I entered college as a Christian. My mother and father, the rest of my family, and our church made sure of that.
When I came out of college four years later, I wasn’t a Christian anymore. Worse, I didn’t even know it. And it took me 35 years to find my way back to the Cross.
Millions of young men and women enter America’s colleges every year. Many of them have the same de-Christianizing experience I had.
The West-Coast Christian Worldview Conference (WCWC) — scheduled for July 26–31 at Bethany College, Scotts Valley, California — may be an antidote to the anti-Christian atmosphere at many colleges and universities.
I can’t help wondering what those 35 years of my life would have been like had I been able to hold on to my faith. Had I been armored spiritually by something like the WCWC experience (which wasn’t available back then), things might have been very different.
This will be the Conference’s fifth year. Fifty to 75 students are expected to attend, said Zachariah Rousas Wagner, its administrator.
“We give them green-tinted glasses, so to speak, to see the world in an entirely different way,” Wagner said. “It’s a very intensive course of lectures, eight hours a day all week. We need to teach these young people that the Bible is still the standard for all of life — music, philosophy, science, your work, your personal relationships.”
Dr. Joseph Morecraft III, pastor of the Chalcedon Presbyterian Church, Atlanta, Georgia, a nationally recognized authority and speaker on the Bible, will be one of five high-powered lecturers at the Conference.
“We try to put the fodder where the cattle can reach it,” Dr. Morecraft said. “We try to develop in these students a powerful love of Christ to restrain them from ungodliness. We try to refute the various approaches to life that they’re taught at college.”
This will be Dr. Morecraft’s second year at the Conference. A few of the students, about 35 of them, have come every year, Wagner said.
“We Christians are supposed to be as crafty as serpents,” he said, “but actually it’s our opposition that’s doing that. They’re so crafty, the students don’t even know it’s happening.”
What is it about the college experience that can undermine a student’s faith?
“For a start, they feel very liberated once they’re at college,” Wagner said. “For many of them, it’s the first time they’re out from under their parents. Today’s culture glorifies college as the opportunity to do whatever you want.”
Many professors, he said, have an anti-Christian worldview, which they try to instill in their students.
“These professors are experts at manipulating students through peer pressure,” he said. “It’s very hard for a Christian student to voice moral opposition to a professor. The professors have most of the students with them, and they can be very cruel.
“You expect to be able to talk about ideas in the classroom, but that’s not what it’s for. It’s really a general tool of Satan to equip his army in this world.”
Dr. Morecraft agreed.
“We have to try to clarify what students will be hearing in their college classrooms,” he said. “A professor has a lot of credibility. Under that cloak of credibility, he can pass on a lot of propaganda.”
A Personal Memoir
Neither Wagner nor Morecraft wished to go into specifics. Looking back on my own college years, however, I remember a few heady moments.
Our sociology professor taught us, “The only unnatural sex act is one that can’t be performed.” Every week we had a different celebrity speaker, but they all preached the same message: Judeo-Christian values were for fools and peasants.
We had a “performance artist” who threw sheep guts all over the stage, and a guest speaker who called on students to burn down the ROTC building — which they tried to do that very night. Then there was my aunt’s adult school professor at the state college, who used to ask, sneeringly, “Now, what do the Christians say?”
At the time, I thought I was resisting this heavy-handed propaganda. I see now that while the really blatant twaddle kept me occupied, the subtler stuff crept around my defenses.
“Let’s face it,” Wagner said. “Today, the college classroom is a place for disseminating propaganda for immoral lifestyles.”
He doesn’t guarantee that participation in the Conference will keep a college student from losing faith in Christ. “But if nothing else,” he said, “it’ll show the Christian students that they’re not alone. They’ll meet others who believe in the Bible as the guide to everything they’ll encounter in life.”
Other speakers scheduled for this year’s Conference are Henry Johnson, Brian Abshire, mathematician James Nickel, and Dave Bush — all Christian scholars with experience as Christian spokesmen nationally.
- Lee Duigon
Lee is the author of the Bell Mountain Series of novels and a contributing editor for our Faith for All of Life magazine. Lee provides commentary on cultural trends and relevant issues to Christians, along with providing cogent book and media reviews.
Lee has his own blog at www.leeduigon.com.