Admittedly, this blog does not regularly spotlight parenting advice, but in an article highlighted by Tim Challies, Adam Griffin poses a question that all Christians should ask themselves. And it bears directly on how Christian students and professors should conduct themselves on campus.
In this article, Adam ponders what kind of man his now one-year-old son will become. In the process, he compares his desire for his son to be highly esteemed with what Scriptures like John 15:19 say will happen to those who follow Jesus faithfully:
Reading this, I realized that if God answers my prayer for my son to be a follower of Christ, people will hate him. People will absolutely, unquestionably be repulsed by my son.
If God graciously saves my Oscar, people will call him a bigot and a homophobe. Some will ridicule him as a male chauvinist as they scorn his “sexist” beliefs. He’ll be despised as closed-minded for saying that Jesus Christ is not only God but the only God. He will probably meet a girl who insults his manhood or considers him old fashioned for waiting until marriage to have sex. His peers will think him a prude. Bullies will call him a coward. His integrity will draw insults like “goody two shoes” (I don’t even know what that means).
Teachers will think that that my son ignores scientific theories about our origins, prompting his classmates to mark him an idiot. People will tell him he has been led astray by his parents down an ancient path of misguided morality masked as a relationship with God. Financial advisors will think he’s irresponsibly generous. When he takes a stand, there will be those who will not tolerate his intolerance. He will be judged as judgmental. He will have enemies, and I’ll be asking him to love them, and even for that he’ll look foolish.
Clearly, as Christians, we are not just called to hold Biblical positions, but also to do so in a way that is polite, winsome, and above reproach. But the Gospel and all of Scripture include an inherent offense that can never be removed. No matter how nice we are, the truths of the Bible will offend others. And this offense is what we and our children must be prepared to endure.
Nowhere do Adam’s observations play out more vividly than at universities, where those who vocally advocate, defend, and try to live out Biblical truth will be hated. This is true for students, who can get vilified for criticizing vulgarity, labeled “racist” for defending life, expelled as “homophobic” for declining to endorse immorality, and cursed out for defending marriage. But it is also true for professors, who can get passed over for promotion or even face accusations of unethical conduct if they defend unpopular or unfashionable truths.
Thankfully, our Constitution offers students and professors protection, and God has graciously blessed those referenced above with victory. Of course, Alliance Defending Freedom remains willing and ready to stand with others who face similar persecution for faithfully following Christ. But all of the protections our Constitution affords and all of the lawyers ready to spring into action are completely worthless unless the student or professor is first willing to be hated.
So if you are a Christian who happens to be a university student or professor, Adam’s parenting article raises two questions to ponder prayerfully:
Does your university hate you?
If not, why not?