Navigating College: 2 Ways to Build a Solid Foundation of Truth

Originally published on TheReb.

It feels like déjà vu yet again. Sitting down at my computer, headphones in, I hear the familiar messages. Reading through my textbooks, I am constantly bombarded by them. Messages that contradict the Word of God. Messages that feel good to the hearer and those who believe in them.

Messages that lead many to death.

Throughout my semesters in college, I have watched many Zoom lectures for my college classes and have read through several textbooks. Growing up in a Christian home and having experienced my education primarily at home and at a Christian school, entering the world of secular college was quite a shock. Although I grew up in a Christian environment, I was not entirely sheltered from the world and its hatred of Christianity. But coming face-to-face with such unbelief caused me immense grief, spurring on many questions and discussions.

Our college experience has the potential to rock the boat of our faith. We will consistently face the messages promoting false gender and sexual identity, devaluing the lives of the unborn and the elderly, encouraging sexual promiscuity, denying God’s design for gender distinctions, teaching that life evolved over millions of years, and many others. We must actively ensure that our foundation does not wash away by the waves that beat against us and threaten to tear our faith apart.

Building Our Foundation

In a college paper I wrote, I included the Bible as one of my references. But my professor told me that I cannot include religion in my papers, and that I must only use scientific, historical documents in my research. In my science classes, I have been taught that the world formed through the Big Bang, organisms evolved over millions of years into other organisms, and that God does not exist. Many works of literature assigned in my classes have been filled with vile language, inappropriate relationships and descriptions, and content that is contrary to God’s Word.

How do we navigate these waters while we are engulfed in them, whether in a secular middle school, high school, or college? How should we approach any message that contradicts the Scripture that we cling to?

I think there are two primary errors that are made with regards to such content. The first error is to act completely unsurprised by the ungodliness and utter rebellion against God and His Word. There are some who have a nonchalant attitude towards the messages they face, rather than being brought to grief that so many people are rejecting the true and living God, digging for themselves broken cisterns that leave them unsatisfied (Jeremiah 2:13). Second, many err on the side of ignoring that this is happening altogether. They choose to simply move on, not seeing the need to ground themselves in truth to combat the lies of the world.

To effectively battle what is false, our foundation must be laid upon the rock of Christ Jesus, being made up of sound theology and doctrine, a relationship with God, and obedience to His Word.

1. Sound Theology

Counterfeit specialists specialize in identifying counterfeit money. But how do they identify these counterfeits? They spend many hours, not studying the counterfeits, but studying real bills so that through their knowledge of what is true, they can quickly spot that which is false.

So how are we to identify counterfeit messages? By studying what is true.

The first place to turn to for truth is God’s Word, the Bible. Surround yourself with Scripture more often than you are surrounded by counterfeit messages. Delve into the Word daily, meditating upon its promises and truth, developing right beliefs about who God is, what He has done, and what He desires of us.

Find solid pastors who are not afraid to speak the truth. Listen to teachings that can help you in your walk with Christ. Read solid books that align with Scripture. Study theology so that you are able “to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15), being able to discern the truth from the lies you face in school.

2. Relationship with God

But our foundation must not be made of mere head knowledge. Our knowledge of Christ and His Words must lead us to a relationship with Him. To truly love someone and have a relationship with that person, we must first get to know them. It is when we know that person that we can love them more.

And it is when we pray and read God’s Word that we can know and love Him more.

In a chaotic world with a myriad of distractions, we must be willing to pause and listen to what He is telling us through His Word. We must also pour out our hearts before Him. Instead of using God as a genie that we use to answer all our requests, we should come to our Father in humble reliance upon His strength. We must recognize that He alone will help us navigate the lies that the world throws at us.

Stand Up for Truth

After building this foundation, should we simply remain silent? What can one individual do in the face of such lies, disguised as merely promoting inclusivity, kindness, and equality?

I think the answer can be found from one of the most well-known characters in the Bible, the humble king David.

Standing before nine-foot-tall Goliath, David was alone and defenseless, except for a sling, five stones, and an almighty God whose power is indescribable. Facing loneliness, mockery, and seemingly impossible odds, David faced this opposition with incredible courage that is found in the Lord (1 Samuel 17).

Stand up for the faith you say you believe. Do not be afraid to be the only one standing before the giant. Truly knowing what you believe and investing in your relationship with Christ should cause you to grieve over the sin in our land. Let this grief compel you to action. Do not simply spit out the messages you are told to adhere to. Take a stand in your assignments, class discussions, and relationships with your classmates and teachers.

Navigating the secular messages commonly found in schools has caused many to reject the Lord. But let this not be said of you. Let these messages push you to cling to truth, not wavering from the hope that is within you.

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