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But that's not the only danger that awaits a well-meaning Christian heading off to the university. The college student wants to find a community of friends they can belong to, as they've left most, if not all, of their high school friends behind.
Here is where the crouching tiger lies, and perhaps the hidden dragon, as well. Most Christians are only told to avoid the crazy, pot smoking hippies or science ... all of it. While the former may be good advice and the latter is horrible advice, they both leave out one of the most dangerous things to the faith of a college student – other Christians.
You have to know who is safe to hang out around. So, with that in mind, here are the top 5 Christian groups to avoid in college.
5. The no-Breakfast Club – By that I mean, the ones who sleep in ... everyday ... including Sunday. The siren call of worshipping Jesus with your eyes closed in your bed sounds enticing, especially after you stayed up all night playing Madden or writing a research paper (which will change depending on if you are talking to your parents or not). But you don't want to start that.
I know this will sound shocking to college students, but you don't know everything. Yes, I'm aware that you read the entire Bible ... most of the Bible ... part of the New Testament ... OK, you watched some of The Bible miniseries and googled "John 3:16," but trust me there are lots of things you can learn from other people. If it helps, imagine church as a free class on religion without a $584 textbook that when you return it, the bookstore will only give you a coupon for 25¢ off your next purchase.
4. John Calvin's Drive-by Homies – This has nothing to do with holding to a certain theology and everything to do with gang-like tactics of a certain group of Calvinists. What, you question my gang comparison? Let me show you.
Wearing clothes to signify who they roll with? They all wear their muted plaid shirts, tucked into their khakis to let you know what's up. Beef with other groups trying to come on their turf? See what happens if an Arminian tries to step in their mix. Most preferred method of dealing with those who disagree with them? They will stroll by you quickly as they smack you upside the head with a John Piper PDF they just printed out for free from Desiring God, so what's up now?
Another similarity: I would rate the likelihood of an inner city gang member and one of Calvin's lil' homies having read Calvin's Institutes as about the same.
3. Class Skippers for Jesus – Leave it to Christians to reframe being a loser slacker as being holier than others. Class skippers for Jesus love to talk about how they are too busy doing things for God to show up to their Econ 101 class. "I'm out loving people. I don't have time to learn about material things like money."
Yeah, except that just usually means they go hang out at a coffee house and talk with themselves about how much they all love Jesus more than those who actually went to the Economics class. All the while, they magically have money to buy iPads and premium coffee. Well, they have money, until their parents discover all the money they spent on college was "given as an offering to Jesus." Apparently, their barista at Starbucks is a Hispanic guy.
2. The God Is In The Club ... Club – When I was in college, you know the one place I never thought to look for Jesus was in the club on college night. Apparently, according to this group, I was wrong. They say they can worship God and go to the club, even at the same time.
To what kind of club would God most likely show up? Is He a techno music kinda of God? Does He want some slow, smooth R&B jams? I'm so confused over this. I will say this. If the Almighty Creator of the entire universe shows up at the club, the dance floor looks a little too crowded for God to fit there. I'm fairly certain He's not squeezing between some of the couples dancing, but maybe I'm wrong.
1. Looking for Love in all the Church Places Group – Now, there is nothing wrong with meeting someone at church or a Christian group and starting a dating relationship with that person. If you start dating someone in college, that may be the place where you will find the people who most share your values and faith. There's a difference between that and these people.
The people in this group are the ones using my top 10 Christian pick-up lines. The women are on the prowl for a Mrs. degree and the guys are roving for a Proverbs 31 women that can homeschool their 75 kids. It's like a safari hunt, only bloodier. These people will not be denied. You'll say, "Thanks, but I'm not really interested," but all they'll hear is: "Please, pursue me even more aggressively and as weirdly as possible. Yes, I am open to hearing your conclusion that God has preordained us to get married and absolutely I am asking you to propose to me awkwardly before we have ever dated."
What other Christian groups should the normal Christian avoid in college? Is it possible to go to college that has Christians in attendance and not meet these groups?
This is an edited repost.