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by Tricia Scribner
We have sent this year’s graduating seniors off to college hoping that we as parents and teachers have prepared them for the challenges of college life. We gave them the best education we could, prodded them when they wanted to goof off instead of study, made college visits, wrote recommendations, and helped them write admissions essays. But have we prepared them for the most serious confrontations to their faith that they will face on the university campus?
College can be a dangerous place for the spiritual life of Christian students. What if your child is assigned a Hindu roommate who sets up a shrine to his or her god in the dorm room? Or, what about the increasingly common situation in which your student ends up rooming with someone who self-identifies as homosexual? Showing Christ’s love to persons with whom we disagree is not the only issue. The question is whether your student is prepared to navigate the intimacy of a dorm room setting with a roommate of the same sex who affirms same sex attraction.
Peers aren’t the only source of pressure. Many college professors believe that Christian students are naïve and misguided, and see it as their job to disabuse them of their backward, bigoted Christian notions. How will your student respond when an English professor insists that a sentence has no inherent meaning but rather the reader endows the text with meaning? Will your student be swayed by the philosophy professor who insists truth and morality are relative to culture, or by the New Testament professor who argues that the gospels are full of errors and their accounts about the life and words of Christ cannot be trusted?
Just so you don’t think I am exaggerating about the frontal attack Christian students face a mere twelve weeks after high school graduation, let me share what a former student told me happened the first week she entered college…
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