Thursday, August 06, 2009

Pet Peeve

Someone has unwittingly stepped into my "zone of frustration" and you, lucky reader, get to hear about it!

For many years, probably close to nine, I've been noticing that there is yet another 'in crowd' and 'out crowd' at church. Yes, friends, that place where everyone should be accepted in a come as you are fashion, we divide by denomination, dunk vs. sprinkle, moderation vs. tea-totallers, NIV vs. King James vs. some other version, weekly or less often communion, and traditional vs. contemporary worship.

And there is another insidious division that shows itself at about the age of 16 and doesn't really ever go away...Bible college versus some 'less than devout' education and career choice.

Please don't get me wrong -- I am thrilled that people choose to dedicate their lives to careers such as missionary, ministry, or other self-sacrificing life choices. They make eternal differences in the lives of many and they are well trained at the institutions they choose to attend.

God also calls many more to be educated and work in the secular world. If I look back on my life, every single person who impacted my decision to follow Christ spent the vast majority of their life in the secular world. They attended a public high school, a state university, worked at a major corporation, and served in the local community with me.

I have felt like an ineffective parent because my children chose private religious institutions or state universities instead of Bible colleges. And my kids felt like outcasts because their college and career choices, clearly ordained by God, as teachers (degrees which they could not get at the "in" Bible colleges) were not jobs considered in full time service to God.

Not only do we as Christians seem to judge those who live outside salvation, we have determined that there is a heirarchy of devotion based on the college and career choices of those who are brothers and sisters in Christ. I daresay that there are thousands of Christians living quiet, Godly lives in the trenches of American life every day who are impacting millions of lives by becoming like others so that by all possible means they might save some (See Paul's approach in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23)

I am very glad that you are following God's call on your life to go to a Bible College and are devoting your life full time in His service. But please, don't presume that others AREN'T doing the same by following a different path!

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