To a College Student,
Yes, a few words, not a blizzard of boffo twisting images splashed in your face or pounding rhythms piercing your eardrums. Merely some things that may be meaningful to talk about with others, which I think is pretty cool too.
There is some meaningfulness in college, that place where everything comes into focus, where all the really smart people are, where all the connections with them will finally get you everything you’ve wanted. While you certainly want many things, it’s likely you are most interested in acquiring enough knowledge and skill to get that job, get that wealth, and share it all with loved ones.
Ah yes, that’s what it is all about.
The only thing is that because this whole dynamic is so sweet, the masters of the collegiate experience can easily be made into a god. Young people want it so much that anything told them in the halls of highest education must be holy writ carved-in-stone. More intrepid ones are so immersed in it they get fired up to solve the world's most pressing problems. Here is where they can finally rescue the people in Darfur, end the war in Iraq, promote tolerance for alternate lifestyles, and convert pollution-minded capitalists.
That's cool. Except collegians seem to have an extraordinarily dense part of their brain through which they can't quite get that people have been going gonzo trying to solve problems like these for, well, for millennia. Lots of millennia, ever since man stood up straight.
It's certainly a fine thing to study hard focused on finding solutions to world problems. Professors have a chronic penchant for using lots of impressively erudite (this means "educationally fancy") language to say, "Here's the problem of the day — look at how horrible it is — and if we only did this thing then it'd be solved." Lots of stridently impassioned students then eagerly rally everyone to do that thing.
Except, yeah: been there, done that.
The interesting thing is that many of them see this — they understand the abject despair of being a gnat flung about in a tornado, thrown about by forces they just can't seem to do anything about. What is so stultifying is that they simply refuse to see who put them there, much more do the one thing that would get them to a point in which they can actually do something. Instead they retreat into their postmodern cocoons, even reveling in the prurient angst that seeps from such a place.
The thing to do is turn to Christ.
Ahh, but see, Christ — yes, as in Jesus Christ — is considered part of the problem. College students have been taught that He is someone only religious Neanderthals believe in. They may even cry "Taught?! Are you kidding. We think for ourselves." Uh-oh, more brain density obstruction.
Sorry, but everyone is following someone and their ideas. No one has any ideas of their own. There's only stuff in your brain that's trying to tune into what's true, and the stuff that's true is true and the stuff that's false is false irrespective of what you think about it. Sure there are novel ways to joyfully discover a truth, and many times that's accompanied by rapturous imagination, exhilarating inventiveness, or brilliant insight. I'd bet, however, that wherever it is you're looking, you're hoping to find what's real at the core.
Or, hey, you may just be someone who seeks a modest lifestyle, someone who isn't so much into the save-the-world stuff, but you still want to be particularly tolerant. You may genuinely want to respect those who come from a religious tradition that actually has some decent conception of this Jesus guy, and that's okay — I mean we must be tolerant of course. I guess I just wonder how come so many smugly say, "Eh — Christian, Jew, Hindu, Shinto, whatever, they're all the same" and at the very same time give a thorough dressing down of the guy who seriously believes the moon is made of Swiss cheese.
Most times the assured college individual respectfully responds to the Real Answer with, "Oh, no, not Jesus, don't tell me about him, he's just a pithy religious figure like Buddha" or "he's just an legendary fairy tale character" or "he's just someone that those with power use as an excuse to oppress others" or "he's just not part of my own particular interpretive community."
Interesting. They seem to know quite a bit about Jesus. But, um,
This site is designed to encourage people to consider who that Man is and what He actually does that is behind the solution to every single problem there is. This is not the Jesus of the World's operatives, a concoction that takes a thousand different forms. I've even introduced some of the more common ones in this site. One of them, in fact, is that professor who tells you in class “Stop the exploitation” and proceeds to instruct you in all the ways you yourself can be an exploiter to accomplish that.
To understand and know the true Jesus is one of the most subversive things that can happen on any campus. The college scene is ruled by skillful oath-bound individuals who have marketed straw-man Jesuses because they don't want young people to forsake their allegiance to them. As you may know, to even say that you have The Truth is tantamount to blasphemy, unless that “truth” is the institutionally approved one. Those who've set it up that way don't have to do much to keep you in the fold, because they've already done such a fine job of their own indoctrinating.
I invite you to peek around a bit in this site to find out what all this means.
Oh, and that one thing Jesus did? And does? And will do through you if you'd just ask Him?
Yeah, I'm sorry. You're right. You'll probably have to find out what that is, too, over and above all the ways that's been warped into meaninglessness.
But if you took the time to do it — for instance just click "Scripture" down below there, type in John 1 for starters — you'd find what's really real. And if enough people actually addressed the people in Darfur with His love, then you'd see the world changed. That would include your own world, by the way.
That’s reality worth having.
(For the particularly abrasive cynic, you'll note that this site has no request for or link to make any donation. There is no address or post office box to mail anything. There exists no organization in any building anywhere, though a gathering of individuals in a building is not a bad thing. Ample funding of a fine work is not a bad thing either, though Jesus was far more interested in people worshipping God in Spirit and in Truth, and out of that wholly caring for one another in a community in which all enjoy His bountiful provision. The true church should have no name except that which comes from the vibrant expression of His love through them in a World desperate for what is real. I will add that I do provide an email address for you to ask questions or add a comment if you'd like. I'd certainly like to know what you think.)
This page was originally posted by David Beck at yourownjesus.net on October 21, 2006