Ministering in the Secular University #2
In the Introduction to his book, Ministering in the Secular University, Dr. Rae Mellichamp speaks of his vision to re-establish a vibrant Christian presence in our universities. This is not going to be an easy task, and Dr. Mellichamp mentions at least four barriers to making it a reality.
The first barrier he identifies is the opposition itself. The university is often hostile to Christians. The playing field is not level. Even so, our attitude needs to mirror Joshua and Caleb's, "If the Lord is pleased with us, He will bring us into this land and give it to us."
A second barrier has to do with approval. To be a visible Christian in the university is to risk inviting the disapproval of those around us. The university is a place where ideas are subject to peer review, and it is nice to have our ideas elicit nods of approval. But in issues related to our personal faith, are we seeking the approval of man or of God?
A third barrier relates to the issue of whom we ultimately serve. It is much simpler to compartmentalize our life and serve God when we leave the university, when you go home at night and on the weekends. However, it is precisely that attitude of a secular/sacred dichotomy that has reduced the university to its present spiritual state.
A final barrier we face is persecution. One of the least quoted verses of Scripture is 2 Timothy 3:12 -- "Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted." Although persecution is to be expected, it is not something we need to seek out. Rather, we should seek to minister in ways that are legal, ethical, appropriate and attractive. Then we can rest assured that we are endeavoring to be faithful, and trust God with the positive fruit as well as any fallout.
How do we do that? Well, stay tuned for some helpful suggestions.
The entire text of Ministering in the Secular University is on the Web. You can read the Introduction to the book at: www.clm.org/msu/introduction.html.
Scripture: Numbers 13:30,31 - Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, "We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it." But the men who had gone up with him said, "We can't attack those people; they are stronger than we are."
Action Point: Which of the four barriers listed above is the most difficult for you? How can you claim victory over that barrier?
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