God’s people strive for Excellence
Having come from a Christian University that strives for excellence, I thought that excellence was almost an essential requirement for being saved. Everything I did, I tried to excel at. I still have that concept to do my best for my Lord.
Prov 12:26 The righteous is more excellent than his neighbour: but the way of the wicked seduceth them.
1Cor 4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
Luke 16:10 He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.
Luke 16:11 If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true [riches]?
Luke 16:12 And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who shall give you that which is your own?
Luke 16:13 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Luke 16:14 And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him.
The Paradigm Shift
Here is the problem that I see. A shift has been made from being faithful and biblical to being excellent, as if secular recognition of a Christian school’s “excellence” will somehow win the unsaved world to God. The presentation of being “Christian” somehow is second or third or fourth to being excellent (first).
This shows us how God’s genuis again makes the church the preferred and spiritually blessed method of God, and how the Christian school fails. Their view is always on their “bottom line”, how much money they make. They judge and direct their administrative actions by how it affects enrollment rather than how faithful one decision will be, versus how unfaithful or unbiblical the opposite decision will be.
God’s Method stands against Peer Pressure
This brings us to a very important revelation about God’s church. A local church has a small group of people who fully sustain its activities, pays its minister’s salaries, and decides within itself what is essential, and what needs to be done. Within this context, most all of these members who financially sacrifice for this ministry are convinced to most of the important doctrines and ministries that the church is involved in. Outside peer pressure is usually from the unsaved, which is met with the confrontation that we are not friends of the world, but children of God.
Jas 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
A Christian University on the other hand is in a very critical situation always, and it never gets better. By the nature of the beast, it has to consume dozens of years of savings from the family of each of its students, so no student can stay at a Christian university for more than a few years, and then they leave. Schools live or die by enrollment.
While a local church will study the Bible and come to a conclusion and make a public stand on an issue, the pressures against them usually can be resisted very easily. As long as their membership base is convinced of the doctrine, all is well. The church uses its services to explain and teach the Bible of its doctrine, and all is well.
A Christian university knows that it must float with the doctrines and popularism of its day. If the majority of the churches where they draw their sutdents are now into contemporary music, they must go that road, or lose enrollment. The structure of their whole being is given over to succumbing to popular pressures. One strong statement that will rile the anger of most milk-toast churches could be the death knell for them. So by nature, Christian schools will always go for the middle of the road on any doctrine or issue.
At one time Bob Jones University had a great following of Fundamentalism in America, but that was when they were “outspoken” for truth, and boldly denounced error. Good people of God came to them looking for spiritual leadership in the battlefield of life. Things change, because a Christian school simply cannot hold that position ever, and if you look over the years, strong condemnations against sin, seem to very difficult for any Christian school to make.
But also look at local churches, and you will see it is very easy and very common for pastors and local churches to condemn homosexuality, euthenasia, abortion, etc. They can condemn public issues and change the public viewpoint, or at least influence it, and also let the public know that there is “another side” (God’s side) to cultural issues. Schools don’t work the work of God by their nature. They are “for profit” institutions, and being in that situation, they must attend to their primary directive, make money at any cost.
This is why over the history of Christian education, every Christian institution has gone liberal. That is where all the people are, no doctrine, or poor doctrine, or unbiblical doctrine. The true people of God who hold to the Fundamentals of the Bible are a very small minority in any age or culture. The multiplication of Christian Universities has only aggravated this situation diluting the pool or pie from which these schools draw from. Since evangelism is definitely not a possibility for a Christian University, because rather than taking a church’s position, for example, speaking in tongues (Pentecostals, Holiness, Nazarene), or infant Baptism (Presbyterian, Catholic, Anglican) are unbiblical doctrines and practices, and a (biblical) local church will preach against them, a Christian University officially becomes non-committal about these things because they need students from all these churches. They prefer to kill the issue saying it is too controversial for them to take a stand on, rather than denouncing the error.
This will always happen, and any time a Christian university publicly and strongly denounces something, it is an anomally, basically some strong group that sends a lot of kids into that school gives the school an ultimatim, denounce this or we cut you off. In themselves, they want to cut “essential doctrines and beliefs” to the barest minimum so that as many religious groups can “come under their umbrella” as possible.
1Cor 16:13 Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.
Eph 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
2Thess 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.
Nowhere in the Bible do we find commandments to accomodate our doctrine, beliefs, and practices established on God’s Word to suit the popular viewpoints of unsaved men. Our witness depends on being faithful to God’s standards and doctrines, and showing that in our life before the unsaved.
By caving in on this, they effectively negate any possibility of witnessing and showing the unsaved the strength of God in the Christian’s life. All of this is “automatically built into the Christian School system.” You cannot get it out of it because its structure is built around being “global” instead of local. A local church’s mindset is being a witness locally first and foremost. Their efforts at being global are missions, and they basically concentrate on the ministry at home where they are.
When you use this Christian School system to educate your youth, don’t be suprised when they come back with the mindset of where they studied. Study with a local church pastor that is dedicated and given over to training people locally in his church, and you will get a biblical mindset. Many local churches are large enough (with enough men of God to have various Bible teachers) that they will start a Christian Bible school within the local church, and they will use classrooms and teachers (from their own local ministry), and all of this is exactly biblical. But when you rip the school from a local church, make individuals the owners and president without being under the requirements of 1Tim 3 and Titus 1, then you break the biblical example, and make a problem for yourself.