School is not an easy place for a Christian. It doesn't matter which level we discuss, it is a hard place for a Christian to grow. Years ago it was mostly behaviour that parents worried about, bad influences and terrible opportunities. Now it is a place where a war is fought over the hearts and minds of our youth.
We have to remember that it is a system completely bathed in the world, having its roots in the knowledge and tradition of man. At one point the Bible was a key element of its foundation but this is no more. Now it is fully what man thinks is right and whatever is popular in society as a whole.
These glorious institutions of learning are a hostile environment for the hearts and minds of young Christians who are still trying to allow faith to get established. Maybe it is to them then that the Spirit intended these words:
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. (Colossians 2:8)
This is why our youth need so much grounding in the Word. We need to stop trying to entertain them and help them realize the war they are thrust into every day. We need to help them develop spiritual discipline, to discuss with mature Christians what they are being taught in school, to question everything and examine it against the Word of God.
It is hard because every day they are being presented with things that appear rock solid according to the knowledge of man. It is presented as fact, black and white. If they want to make it through the system they have to learn man's knowledge and be tested on it. Those seeds are there trying to grow roots in those young minds. Even the most mature of us would find it hard to stand up under such daily assault against our faith.
The most important thing for students to remember is that God's wisdom is far beyond the knowledge and wisdom of man. Man's traditions, thinking and actions are born out a rebellion against God and take man even further from Jesus:
The wise will be put to shame;
they will be dismayed and trapped.
Since they have rejected the word of the Lord, what kind of wisdom do they have? (Jeremiah 8:9)
Our God is so much more than man could ever imagine thinking and being:
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9)
Our students should be seen as young Daniels, facing a system that is foreign to any knowledge of God. Not only foreign to the knowledge of Jesus but hostile toward him. They need all the support, encouragement, teaching, guidance, training and prayer that we can give them. To the students I say:
"See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy."