Unrelated note: My internet access was cut off for 5 days and I just now got back online, I will respond to blog comments soon, I apologize for the silence!.
Some day soon I’d like to do a “series” on raising children in the faith, and especially the tendency to downright indoctrinate children into being Christians. That’s strong language, but I do believe it’s fair.
Its a fascinating topic for me as I begin to contemplate how I want to raise my daughter and approach the God & spirituality subject. As I’ve mentioned, I’m considering involvement with a house church because I don’t want my daughter to grow up thinking she goes to church like it’s a place, as I’d rather she think of church as being a body of believers out and among the world. I digress…
So as an unofficial and impromptu start to the series, we’ll work backwards…
Now that my friends and I have been out of college for a handful of years now (I’m coming up on four years, meaning the freshman of my senior year are now finishing up) I’ve noticed that a lot of my friends are not the hyper Christians they once were. Tsk tsk. They’ve loosened up a bit, not the warriors they were in their hayday, maybe even partaking in things they’d sworn off (casual drinks, swearing, etc).
Now I didn’t even go to a Christian college, and I didn’t even involve myself with the Christian ministry on campus (ex: Inter Varsity Christian Fellowship), yet I have still noted this trend.
I’d say only those just as hyper vigilant in their faith now as they were in college are the ones who entered seminary. Which could prove my very point.
In college, Christian or not, the believers were surrounded by religion: with Thursday chapel, Tuesday Bible studies, Sunday church, Wednesday worship circles, Saturday morning breakfast, and Friday night activities (Monday was actually spent on school work). And now, outside of college and that barrage of structure and support, they’ve eased up a bit on the religious front.
And maybe this is not so bad?
We could, and oh we will, spend days examining this.
But now that the freshly freed adults enter into the normal, every day world, they create/find their own niche and aren’t as devoted and strict as they once were. And maybe they’re actually participating in a faith that is a little more sustainable, and real, even it’s not as spotless and overt as before.
We’ll have a look at this more, later, at how the structure may be useful for a “season,” especially the pivotal and volatile college years, but for now I’m wondering if we can keep them so boxed in that they actually NEED to be free? And I’m wondering what the real gain ends up being from that experience.
Well, do we overdo it with college students? What message do we send, even accidentally, through this kind of structure? What long term benefits can it give?