Our Next Graduate Is Not A Satanist
Our daughter is set to graduate next month, joining her brother and mother as the members of the family who finished university in four years. That makes me odd man out, but I consider my own academic path a service to them because they all come off looking quite well in comparison.
All four of us went to different campuses of the University of California: Davis, Santa Barbara, Berkeley and San Diego. These are large research universities, the type of places I often hear vilified by some Christians as good for nothing but indoctrinating students into Satan’s ways.
I am pleased to announce that my children are not Satanists.
Rather, each of them found their faith in Christ grew throughout their time in university. They enjoyed fellowship with other believers, attended solid churches with great teaching, and served in ministries that suited them well while challenging them at the same time.
You see, public education is not Satan’s playground, at least no more so than any other place in God’s creation. Rather:
The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it. (Psalm 24:1.)
No one who belongs to Jesus will become anything else, whether they are in public school or any other place. If your children belong to Jesus – as ours did when they went off to college – then they’ll always belong to Jesus. (John 10:28-30.) And if they don’t yet, they may. I was a firm atheist in college until my final year. Then Jesus took me as his own when I was studying abroad and has kept me securely ever since. (You can read my salvation story here, including some of my travels through England where it all took place.)
The other side of this, of course, is that sending kids to Christian schools (whether as kindergartners or collegians) will not make them Christians. Our salvation is based on the work of Jesus, who told his friends that the ones who belong to him are the people his Father has given him. (John 10:29.) The Bible describes God’s decision-making process:
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to son-ship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will — to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. (Ephesians 1:4-6.)
Some people find these hard verses to understand. We don’t like it when we’re not part of the decisions that affect our lives. But the passage says that belonging to God is based on his choices, not ours. (Other passages talk about making our own choices but they are not contradictory, merely complementary.)
The school you enroll your children in is not the deciding factor in whether they become or remain a believer in Jesus. The deciding factor is the will of our Father in heaven, which is carried out by the power of the Holy Spirit through the finished work of Jesus. Jesus is the one who passed the only test of eternal significance; we’re the ones with the passing grades because of it.