(I had the opportunity one Sunday last year, to address the 07 graduates at my home church in N.C. When I talked to them, I used about half a page of notes, and I will reconstruct my talk here, in essay format, from this page of notes, and from memory. I also may add a few small things that I wish I had made more clear in the talk, and leave out a lot of things that shouldn’t have been in the talk, (like all my “um’s” and “uhh’s” ) So… if you’re a graduate of the class of 07… and a Christian.. I hope you get a little something out of this blog. ) This blog was first published July 16, 2008*
I hate to ruin the good mood that Mr. Wayne just left us in, but; statistically speaking, half of you will not be Christians in a few years from now.
A guy by the name of Gary Railsbeck did a survey recently, where he found that 30 to 50 percent of all Christians fall away from their faith within their first few years of attending a secular college.
I heard from a different study that 80 percent of Southern Baptists Christians fall away from their faith in their freshmen year.
I don’t want that to happen to you guys.
I thought long and hard about what I wanted to say to you tonight. I don’t have too much time to say it all, so I thought about the most important advice I could give you before you head out into the world.
You see, I do a lot of arguing with skeptics and Atheists. Most of them kind of hate my guts, but the point is, I KNOW what yall are about to walk into. I know their attitudes, and how they think, how they view YOU, and most importantly, what they are going to try and do about it.
In the short time I have to talk with you, I want to tell you two ways you can keep your faith in college.
Mark Twain is quoted as saying, “Faith is believing what you know aint so.”
Famous Atheist Richard Dawkins says this about faith:
“The patient typically finds himself impelled by some deep, inner conviction that something is true, or right, or virtuous: a conviction that doesn’t seem to owe anything to evidence or reason, but which, nevertheless, he feels as totally compelling and convincing. We doctors refer to such a belief as “faith” – Virtues of the Mind
Guys; THIS is how your professors WILL view you if you let them know you have faith. This is how they see Christians. As Richard Dawkins says, “Patients” in need of a doctor.
This is how your non-Christian class mates will view you and your faith. You will be surrounded by people who believe that your faith is nothing more than an irrational belief in something you KNOW doesn’t exist, but for emotional reasons, (or mental handicaps of some sort) you INSIST on believing in God anyway despite the lack of evidence.
I want to tell you right now that if this is what you think Faith is, then you will have no problems at all in College.
Nothing in this world can touch you! No matter what you learn in biology class, no matter what your physics professor tells you; you wont have to worry. You already KNOW that what you believe in is irrational. You already believe that Faith is “believing what you know aint so.”
They think that you turn your brain off for a few hours every Sunday, and turn it back on when you get to your first class on Monday. If you believe this about faith then they would be right!
This is a full proof way to keep your faith through college. The only problem is, it is not the Christian Faith.
When someone I’m arguing with tries to define faith as “believing what you know aint so,” I love throwing Hebrews 11:1 back in their face.
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.”
Unless you want to completely make your faith irrational and meaningless (as the Atheists would have you do) then you’re going to have to accept the Bible’s view of Faith. You’re going to have to fight for it!
Our Faith is NOT irrational, it is NOT based on something we already know isn’t true! In fact, it is just the opposite! We KNOW God is real, that is the only way we can know anything else at all!
I don’t have time now to get into all the different ways we go about proving how rational our faith is, but I assure you, our Faith is every bit as rational, (no I take that back,) MORE rational, and indeed makes FOOLISH, the Atheists faith, or the faith of your college professor.
One of my favorite verses assures us of this. 2 Corinthians 10:3 says this:
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ…”
You guys are ballistic missiles! Aimed straight into the world! Special delivery to Satan, from (…this church…)!
We are to take EVERY thought captive and destroy EVERY false speculation in the name of Jesus Christ. No! Our faith is NOT something to be kept inside, and only utilized on Sunday mornings! We are to subdue the world for Christ!
You have many opportunities facing you now to do just that.
Do you want to sit around all day and look at the sky? Go be an astronomer! I just met a great Creation astronomer last week: Mr. Danny Faulkner. He was in a debate about the age of the universe with Dr. Hugh Ross, (who says this universe is millions and millions of years old) Dr. Russell Humphreys is another EXCELLENT creation astronomer. He is trying to prove how the universe can be as young as the Bible says it is, and still have starlight from stars that are millions of light years away. These guys NEED help from young Christians like yourselves.
Do you like playing in the dirt? Go be a geologist! Go out into the world and PROVE that Noahs flood was real, and that the Earth really is only a few thousand years old! The Creation geologists need your help!
Do you want to crawl around in sewers and rescue hot blondes from Nazis? Go be an Archaeologist! Dr. David Down is a wonderful Archaeologist, who just wrote a book called, “Unwrapping the Pharaos”. In his book he shows that by matching up the secular Egyptian time line with the Bible, a bunch of so called “mysteries” are solved! Just recently Archaeologists in Israel claimed that they have found the tomb of King Herod! These guys NEED young Christians to go out into the world, and learn, get trained up, and help them in the field!
Philosophy! We need Christian philosophers. This is what I personally love doing. If you walk into a conversation between two philosophers you might think they were nuts! But, there are battles to fight on the philosophical front, and we need Christian philosophers out there to fight them!
We desperately need to take back Hollywood! Do you guys like writing stories, or playing around with cameras? Are you creative? Christians MUST take back Hollywood, and begin reclaiming this culture for Christ!
We also need Christian lawyers. I know that sounds like a contradiction in terms, but we do need them! If some woman ever loses her mind, and decides to marry me, and we have kids, I want them growing up in a world where they don’t have to worry about being arrested for reading their Bibles! I want to be able to home school them, and bring them up in the faith with freedom! We need Christian lawyers!
Also, and this may sound a little funny; you guys need to go out, get married, and have lots of babies! You need to be good Christian parents. Where two Christians come together, they can create 5 or 6 or, if you’re really brave 10 to 12 other Christians! We need to begin rebuilding the strength of the family in America!
This world needs more preachers, teachers and evangelists! The crop is plentiful but the workers are few! We need preachers.
So, please, don’t practice the first type of faith I mentioned. Contend fearlessly for your faith, and take EVERY area of thought and academia captive for Christ! Demolish EVERY False idea, no matter where it springs up!
Look the Devil in the eye, and tell him, “I am a Christian; I am rational; and I am proud of it!”
Congratulation on your graduation,
God bless you!