The Case for Christian Higher Education: Part 1

This September, I am beginning my sixth year of serving on the recruitment staff for Christian Colleges. Those who knew me as I was growing up would tell you that this is probably not the career they expected to find me in. I am an ordained Baptist minister, but my pulpit is not found in a church these days. As I have followed God’s path thus far, I have found that challenging His people to educate themselves at colleges and universities dedicated to Him is a calling and a ministry as well. This series will share with you just some of the reasons why the people of God should seriously consider developing their unique skills and their minds at private, Christian institutions for higher Learning.

Part 1: Knowledge Begins with the Fear of the Lord!

The world has never known a wiser man than Solomon. His wisdom was so profound that the Bible has two books, Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, that are full of timeless quotes that offer comfort and instruction to people from multiple walks of life. I am not saying that wisdom is the same thing as knowledge, but a wise man would be the best source for instruction for teaching us how to use the knowledge we obtain. In the first chapter of his book of Proverbs, Solomon offered this thought;

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of Knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7 [NIV]

Let’s consider what Solomon is saying. You will not find many scholars who will tell you that he is suggesting that our minds are empty until we come to know the Lord. We know this cannot be the case because to even consider the thought that Solomon is expressing requires that we know the meaning of the words he has written. However, Solomon is making an important declaration to those who will consider more deeply what he is saying.

If we want to understand what Solomon is trying to teach us, you and I must go back to the early days of our new lives in Christ. When I made my decision to make Christ my Lord, this was the moment in my life when I first knew what it meant to fear God. Through this fear, I now understood that I was a sinner deserving death. Through this fear, I now knew that since Jesus took my sins from my life, it would only be right for me to live my life as close to His as I could. In the end, this fear began to shape everything my new life was becoming.  My life as a human began without fear of God, and I did not know what the real purpose for anything was. My life as a Christian, a servant to Christ, began with a fear of God’s holiness. For the first time, I knew that my life had a purpose. Now, I could truly understand the things of this world.

My fear of the Lord brought me to a place where my old life, in which I felt I must lie when I’m about to get in trouble, was replaced by an understanding that my bad choices have consequences, but God will correct me and make my life more pleasing to Him. My old life had no concept of true love, regardless of what those around me would claim. My life with Christ has been filled with a desire to use His standards of Love to guide my decisions. A life without Christ may indeed have knowledge, but without the fear of God in a man’s life, we will live in ways where we second guess the greatest moments of our life looking for something more.

Argue if you wish. This reasoning is only acceptable to someone who is willing to make the Lord their true Lord, and accept that when He claims to be the beginning and the end, He means it. I accept that of everything I will learn in my life, I will not fully know everything unless the Lord grants me His insights.

What about you, is this what you accept for your life as well? Do you trust that every thing you have learned finds a beginning in the Lord Almighty? If you do, consider this. What if there were educators who held this same belief as you? What if they were willing to teach you everything they know about art, or history, or the human body, all while doing everything they can to be sure to show you what God’s role in these schools of thought is as well? Would you really want to settle for a teacher who will not consider the mind and intentions of God in their lessons? What if you found yourself paying a teacher to tell you that the God you find relevant and active in all things doesn’t exist, and this God is kind of mental coping tool?

This is just the first reason you should consider attending a Christian college or university for your career studies. God is not just the basis of our heart’s choices, but He should be the foundation of our mind’s knowledge!

Written by Timothy Hegerich

There is truth in our world, and it lies within the word of the One who created the world.  It is my prayer that my thoughts and writings echo this truth and inspire you to seek it for your life today!

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