Word Magazine June 1965 Page 12
THE VALUE OF A RELIGIOUS BACKGROUND ON THE COLLEGE CAMPUS
By Robert Bowman
Address delivered at the Church of The Redeemer, Palo Alto, California, On Orthodox Youth Sunday, 1964
(San Francisco State College)
The reason for going to college is to acquire knowledge of this world. All men naturally desire to know, but knowledge without the fear of God is completely useless. There are many things, the knowledge of which is of little or no profit to the soul. A man’s first consideration must always be the salvation of his soul. When we stand before the Lord on Judgment Day, He will not ask if we know the rules of grammar, or Newton’s Laws of Motion; He will ask, instead, if we know and observe the Laws of God. This is not to say that a certain amount of worldly knowledge is not proper and necessary, but that knowledge which is to be acquired in the institutions of higher learning, must be true knowledge.
How is the student to recognize true knowledge from false doctrine, if he has not first based his entire life on a firm belief in the doctrines of Jesus Christ? “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” (II Timothy, 4: 3.)
Young minds are easily molded. They can be molded in the path of Christ and Godliness, or they can be molded in the path of worldliness and evil. But a young person’s soul, which is firmly entrenched in the ways of the Lord, will serve constantly as a barrier against the teachings of evil, and against the temptations of Satan.
In II Timothy, Chap. 3, we learn that in the last days – perilous times shall come. Among other evils, men will be “ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” We learn, also, that evil men will grow worse and worse, not only deceiving but also being deceived.
Any young person attending college and having a firm faith in Christian principles can easily recognize the obvious falsehoods which are so blatantly preached in our universities today. Only a godless student could be trapped by a godless professor into believing that Man, rather than being created in the image of God, is a product of his environment. The Christian student is clear and unshakable in his knowledge that God has given Man the ability to choose between right and wrong. No amount of poverty or of so-called “social inequality” can make a criminal out of a person. The person himself must choose, regardless of his earthly surroundings. Yet it is in the universities that students are persuaded to believe that some nebulous group, known as “Society” is responsible for all the evils perpetrated by Man. After the teaching of this doctrine for thirty years and after loading this country with “social psychologists” the crime rate continues to rise with appalling rapidity. Upon entering college, one must know the absolute truth, that God will not be “phased out” (as the saying goes) by the ‘Social Psychologists,” arid that each man is responsible for his own deeds and the salvation of his soul.
As you may know, upon entering many of the California State Colleges, the student is required to take a speech test. In this test, he is allotted three minutes to speak on a subject, which he chooses from a list of ten or twelve, before an audience of fellow students and a speech instructor. One of the subjects on the list given to our group was “Is Organized Religion Losing Its Influence in Modern Societies?” One young lady’s answer was “Yes, because Science is the new millennium, and religion is a thing of the past. It is Victorian in all of its ways and ideas.” I would like to reply to this young lady with the words of Thomas A. Kempis, “The more and better thou knowest, the more heavy will be thy judgment, unless thy life be also more holy. Be not, therefore, puffed up with any art or science; but, rather, fear because of the knowledge which is given Thee.”