by Pastor David Cox
To some people in Christendom, the entire Christianity rests on the back of Christian universities. Without them, Christianity will fall. They are our “Saviors” when it comes to solving all the problems and issues of our day. I beg to differ though. It would be wrong for me to criticize a Christian university because I personally hgad a bad experience while there. Within the context of Christianity, there is long lost teaching of soul liberty (which supposedly Baptists still hold, but most only in word, and not in deed).
My issues with Christian universities are not personal. I went to one (Bob Jones University), and for the most part I liked it, and I had mostly a good experience there. Although I am not a supporter of Bob Jones any more, when I went there, I felt at the time they did have standards and high norms. So that I don’t seem “vindictive”, I will refrain from recounting personal bad experiences I had and then criticizing them for it. Perhaps I was wrong or rebellious, or perhaps the individual staff or teachers or other students put in charge were wrong. Noen of that is not the point. Every student which goes off to school will have some run-ins with the authorities that be, and most will always defend their own foolish ways against the school.
My issue with Christian universities is not with any one in particular, but with the system as a whole. We were taught that every Christian young person should go to a Christian university to get a good Christian education that would serve him for his Christian life. First of all, that is not correct. The Bible nowhere exhorts us to go away to study the word of God in some recluded place called “a school”.
The pattern which the Bible gives us is personal Bible Study done in conjunction with a good, sound local church. The picture is always the same, God teaches us locally through a local church. That is the only thing we see in the Scriptures. What is galling to me is that the whole basis of a Christian university is the underlying idea (seen if not actually spoken) that “the local church is incapable of teaching the Bible in any meanful way”. If you go to any Christian university, and tell them that you are representing your church without a pastor, and ask what they think about the educational requirements for a pastor, they will push for “only accepting a man (from our school) with a PhD”. People trained under pastors without a seminary degree “are laughable” in their eyes. In other words, the concept is that a local church pastor cannot prepare their people, and especially their young people, to live the Christian life correctly without help from these Christian universities. They are the guardians of the Christian faith.
Where are the Christian universities in the Bible? Are they not of recent invention? The entire concept of “getting a Christian education in a specialized place” (not a church but a university) doesn’t have many years of history.
From a Bible-believer’s viewpoint, there are some extremely serious problems with the concept of a Christian university. The most glaring offense is that local churches are inept, incapable, and fumble the ball. (I know of a lot of pastors who do exactly that so I need to be careful, but interestingly, all these bumbling pastors seem to have gotten their preparation in a Christian university!).
That most pastors today have no drive nor dedication to give their best to Christ speaks ill of our times. The solution to this problem is not dumping the plans and designs of God for “something better than God can come up with” but to return to the purity of God’s plan.
I will direct you to other pages for each of these main issues in why Christian universities are wrong:
Future pages on this topic
5. God’s example rejects “Denominationalism”.
6. Concentration of teaching key people is not biblical, rather the independent and parallel growth is.
7. Concentration of government of God’s work is not biblical, rather God has set us the example of each locality of people being self-governing under God’s direction.
8. Rat rules are not God’s way of living for young people.