Redeeming the Campus: A Field Where Young Minds Meet

There is something in common between these founders of religious cults like Felix Ysagun Manalo of the Iglesia ni Cristo, Ellen Gould White of the Seventh-day Adventist, Eliseo Soriano of the Members Church of God International (Ang Dating Daan), Apollo C. Quiboloy of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ: The Name Above Every Name, Charles Taze Russell of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society (Jehovah’s Witnesses), and Joseph Smith, Jr. of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormonism), many of them started their religious cult group as a young person or in their teens. If only some missionaries took the time to explain to them the love of Christ while they were still students then we will surely arrest some false teachings around the world.

If you want to brush shoulders with the next leaders of our nation then you start visiting the campuses. If you want to make a dent into the future then you win the hearts and minds of our young people. The word campus came from an eighteenth century word which means “field.” And it is in this field where young minds meet to discuss post-modern philosophies, formulate new ideas, and challenge long held traditions. This is also where the future of our nation is forge on the anvil of every classroom.

Almost three to four centuries ago, majority of the Ivy League schools were founded by Christians for the purpose of training future pastors and missionaries. These schools were Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Dartmouth, among others. One of the university known as Harvard started off with a Christ-glorifying motto which is “Truth (Veritas) for Christ (Christo) and the Church (Ecclesiae)” in 1692. In fact, a brief story of their early beginning can be read towards the entrance of Harvard which states:

“After God had carried us safely to New England, and we had built our houses, provided necessaries for our livelihood, reared convenient places for God’s worship, and settled the civil government; one of the next things we longed for, and looked after was to advance learning, and perpetuate it to posterity; dreading to leave an illiterate ministry to the churches, when our present ministers shall lie in the dust.”

Today, they drop the words Christ and Church retaining truth. It is sad to know that after an era of Christian pastors who sat on the presidency of Harvard University they were succeeded by a number of Unitarian Universalist cult members who denies the Trinity doctrine and believes Jesus Christ is a human creature. Then another set of liberals succeeded them until today. It is also regrettable that along the way they manage to pull down the original vision of Harvard University. The Yale University original motto was “Christ the Word and Interpreter of the Father, our light and perfection.” Another motto that centers on God is that of Princeton University which states “Under the Protection of God She Flourishes.” Notice that many of the great universities and colleges were founded by Christianity while atheist has not contributed anything. The reality is that atheist people are educated in those institutions that Christians had established.

A number of centuries ago, they call theology in every university as the queen of all sciences before it was dethroned and replaced by the term religion. The word university came from uni meaning one and versus meaning turned which means “turned into one.” The main purpose of higher education in a university during her early days is to unify the students more on moral training rather than just instruction. As researchers Nyiri and Preece wrote about Cardinal John Henry Newman’s comment,

“The purpose of higher education is not abstract knowledge, not even a broadening of the mind, but nor is it training for an occupation. The purpose is to produce men who can make sound judgments about life, who can thus live, and assists others to live, their lives wisely. And if that is so, classics, philosophy, and the social sciences,  may be more appropriately practical disciplines than their professional counterparts.” – Nicolas A. Nyiri, Rod Preece, Interdisciplinary Research Seminar (Wilfrid Laurier University), “Unity in Diversity: Proceedings in the Interdisciplinary Research, Volume 1.”     

If this is the case, then we can now picture that every profession are meant to help humanity live together in harmony. How much more if they use their professional degrees to advance the kingdom of God in the sphere of medicine, engineering, arts, philosophy, education, media, politics, and more. I understand that this may be challenging to achieve in our day and time, but this is still possible if that young person comes to the saving knowledge of Christ at an early age. Therefore, it is important to reach out to university, college, and high school students with the love and salvation of Jesus Christ. As Dr. Ravi Zacharias once said,

The Bible reminds us to guard our doctrine and our conduct. Our youth know firsthand what the world has to offer. They need to be reached at a younger age because of the world of the Internet that ravages young minds sooner than ever before. Building their faith is not a prime strength in our churches today. We seem to think that we need to entertain them into the church. But what you win them with is often what you win them to. They can see through a hollow faith in a hurry. Their minds are hungry for coherence and meaning. They long to think things through. They long to know why the gospel is both true and exclusive. None of these issues are often addressed within their own reach. I believe this is the most serious crisis of our church-going youth today. Their faith is more a longing than a fulfillment. We have a special burden for the youth. We will keep at it as we try to reach them. It’s a tough world for the young.

Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12, ESV

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