I had a conversation recently that sparked some of my “Bible College Pet Peeves.” I thought I had put them aside, since it’s been almost two years since I’ve been in school, but nope…. they came flaring up with a vengeance. So, here we go. This may or may not come across incredibly judgmental (okay, it probably will). Please know that all of this has an undertone of grace and understanding.
1. I go to Bible College because my parents made me, and I’m over church stuff.
First things first: I sympathize with you. But I also want to kick you in the rear (in the name of love, of course). You went to Bible College because your parents MADE you? While I’m sad you aren’t allowed to make your own decisions, that is not a get-out-of-learning-free card. While you’re here, and while you are having doubts about faith/life/church/Christianity/humanity/etc., how about using this time to learn a few things? Go visit professors that will make you think… go voice your frustrations with people who will listen, because they’re EVERYWHERE. And they might even be smarter/nicer/wiser than you perceive.
2. I’m an athlete; why do I have to take Bible classes?
Look at the sign at the entrance of the campus. Sorry, but you should have known.
3. This is my time, I don’t need to serve people while I’m in college.
One of the most perplexing things while I was in school was how few people actually left campus to go serve the people in our community. Because more often than not, these were also the people who had the most critical opinions about church, Christians, theology, etc., which of course makes zero sense. Knowledge puffs up; love builds up, right? If you want to learn, you have to get outside of yourself and do things that make you uncomfortable.
4. I learned all I need to know about the Bible in Sunday School.
Okay, no offense to your Sunday School teachers, but I’m pretty sure they do not have the level of education of the professors that surround you. Also, you were 12. Or 16. Or whatever. Your brain was not even close to being fully developed, and learning by a felt board is not the same as having your nose in a book written by a New Testament Scholar. These classes, believe it or not, enrich your faith, and if you choose not to attend and actively engage… you are seriously wasting LOTS of money, and time.
5. My professor thinks differently than the way I was raised; he or she is probably a heretic.
This is the worst one of all. What a sad, sad Christian culture we live in to believe that if people see Jesus, the Bible, Trinity, Baptism, Communion, the Holy Spirit, and/or the Church differently than we’ve always known, they are somehow a pagan heretic. Seriously people. When you get out of Bible College and into reality, you are surrounded by people who disagree with you. And if you can’t figure out how to disagree with grace and learn from others that surround you, you are only limiting yourself. And God.
Time at Bible College has the potential to be some of the most enriching years of your life… if you let it be so.