Me, an intellectual:
Judaism and Christianity are two very separate religions with views that are often at odds with each other. In fact, Christianity was founded on the belief that Judaism was wrong; acting as if they are "basically the same religion" only serves to lump Jews in with one of our biggest oppressors.
I was born and raised in a small town in Texas. Most of my friends in my graduating class went to public schools in- you guessed it- Texas. Not me though. I ended up about 20 hours away from my home without ever having been away from my parents for more than a week (to camp 45 minutes away). So why did I go so far away from home for college you ask? The answer it not what you’d expect. I didn’t want to be far away from home. I didn’t want to be able to do whatever I wanted. I didn’t want to get away from family. I wanted to go to a school that had the most amazing Christian Community I’d ever seen.
So I get here and it is the most amazing community I’ve ever been in. My floor is amazing, I love my roommate, and the events are creative and plentiful. So a check goes in the social box. World-renowned Christian intellectuals are coming to speak to us constantly. So a check goes in the academic box. We have chapel 3 times a week and I joined 3 small group bible studies that I am growing to love. So check the faith box.
Everything was perfect… I was miserable. My first few weeks of college were characterized by a lack of a secure identity, a discontentment with interest in my classes, a jealously of the quickly budding friendships around me, and a sudden upsurge of guilt from the past coming back to haunt me. It wasn’t the easy transition that everyone I knew was expecting me to have. I was actually experiencing doubt and drought in my spiritual life that was juxtaposing the christian environment I was in. The thing was, everything was new- and I didn’t know how to handle it. I thought that I could be this new person that I felt like I was meant to be without anyone knowing anything about my weaknesses. That sentiment resulted in the hiding of my true self so that the people I met only saw what I wanted them to. I only knew what my faith and identity looked like in the context of Texas while living under my parent’s roof. I’d never had to deal with newness or transition before this point.
Thankfully, one night, God gave me the strength to be vulnerable. I shared with a few women what I was going through, and saying it started the healing process. I found that in order to love others and for them to love me, I had to be honest with them about who I was and what my life was like. I had to not just confess my sins, but stop letting guilt rule me and accept grace. Since then, I have friendships that have grown exponentially. I am so excited to be in a place that’s new because I realized that everything isn’t new. God’s love for me has always been steadfast and his grace for my mistakes has always been abundant. I finally learned what it meant to trust on him when you don’t have anyone else. My situations change and even I change, but God never does. I am being redeemed and restored just like Colossians 3 says. Who knows where I’ll be tomorrow?
To love is to be vulnerable. -C.S. Lewis
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. -2 Corinthians 12:9
We should not assume that the tough questions of a hostile professor are at the root of lost faith. Rather in many instances, I believe the Christian community has failed to disciple its science-inclined students to become responsible, intelligent, capable, resourceful, and faithful followers of Christ. We need to do a better job stewarding the intellect of this generation.