The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Christianity in college

Recently, my life has been somewhat dominated by the increasing stray of close friends from their faithful, steady hike to a new lackadaisical, if not non-existent stroll through the Christian journey.

As college students, most of us find new freedoms, the ability to make decisions for ourselves and to do as we please. Nearly all of us fall into this trap. Yes, despite the privileges that come with it, freedom is a trap – it has been since Adam and Eve.

College life presents a challenge to Christian life.

Despite the traditional church-going times many experience before college, we find ourselves subject to the busyness, relational desires and pressures of young adulthood. Such factors lead to straying from church attendance, the main source of Biblical teaching. According to LifeWay Research, more than two-thirds of young adults who attended a Protestant church for at least a year in high school will stop attending for at least a year between the ages of 18-22 – and ultimately from a walk with Christ. Granted however, such “factors” simply suffice as excuses and nothing more.

All too often I hear friends say, “Sundays are my only days to sleep in,” or ramble on and on about how much work they have to do. These things do have some truth, but how much needless time do we spend on the Internet or doing other things? If we can spend 10 minutes there, why can’t we spend 10 minutes reading the Bible or even working on homework so that we can have time to go to church?

I, too, the daughter and granddaughter of Anglican pastors, stand subject to such scrutiny and add to the statistic. I filled my freshman year with excuses. I needed my sleep, I already had so much reading to do and I was very skeptical of churches other than my dad’s. Thankfully, though, I never strayed as far as to lose my standards and my faith. I definitely remained a believer, but my life was not centered in Christ.

Lately, I’ve had the burden of watching dear friends lose themselves in the stereotype of college life. Partying, drinking, drugs, sex and the like have conquered the lives of once-devoted Christians. Not to say these people are no longer believers, but when sinful acts dominate and the personal relationship with Christ becomes neglected, faith is weakened.

Often, our social lives become the focus and even force us to decide between our friends or our faith. If we remain faithful and stand firm in our beliefs, we risk rejection such as not being invited to a party because you don’t drink or even being dumped for not having sex. Rejections of the sort cause a pressure to engage in such behaviors that the Bible warns will result in an inability to inherit the Kingdom of God. Thus, choosing a social life can consequently prompt a weakened or even lost spiritual life.

However, there must be a balance between the two. Personally, I have found that if I put my faith first everything else will follow. Christians can have fun too; in fact, when I am fully indulged in God I have more fun because I am far happier! But the ways in which we have fun is where we must check ourselves.

Just as St. Paul asked himself, so we should ask ourselves, myself included, “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men?” Paul continued, “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.”

Thus, if we choose to fully immerse ourselves in God and our spiritual lives, we can overcome our sinful nature and remain in the Kingdom of Christ, the greatest gift of all!

All of this, though, does not discount those that strengthen their spiritual lives during college. Some of my friends on the other end have come to participate in Bible studies more and grow day by day in their relationships with God. The freedom that can break the bond with Christ can also strengthen it.

Since my slight wandering I have also strengthened my faith. I feel that the current depth of my relationship with Christ surpasses that of any other time in my life. My college freedom allowed me to do my exploring, but realize what I have in my Christian foundation. It now allows me to put the effort into my faith and bond with the Lord!

Our freedom remains an integral part of being a college student and growing up. However, the way in which we take advantage of it exists as a constant battle for everyone, especially Christian students. It brings us to question our standards, beliefs, morals, desires and our faith in general.

Although each person must make a decision for his or herself, St. Paul declared, “You my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.”

Rachel Thebeau is a sophomore CCPA major. She can be reached at [email protected].

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