November 11, 2012
This is a letter to the spiritual authority of today from the leaders of tomorrow. It is a plea of young adults to the college professors, youth pastors, mentors, and authority figures in Christian schools, churches, and colleges.
We want you to know that we are trying.
Many times hopeful, zealous young people have been dampened by lifeless rules and harsh condemnation. Rules are good and necessary, we understand that. But our Jesus, you see, He taught that rules were never to outweigh love. We want to be guided by you. Not through demerits, warnings, or threats - empty or otherwise, but rather, through the Word of God, through the example you've been called to be. Teach us to love righteousness by being righteous. Encourage us to be holy by portraying holiness. Educate us in the Word by being in the Word.
Bible college and Christian school is not boot camp. It is a training ground for future pastors, missionaries, and Christian servants. No one applies for a Christian school expecting to be belittled, yelled at, and treated poorly. We are saved by the same blood you are and loved by the same Saviour. It's so very hard for us to respect someone who treats us as ignorant, unworthy, unwanted children but most of the time...we really do try.
Now, we understand we make mistakes. We break rules and make stupid choices and sometimes we need to accept consequences. There's no justification for wrong doings but remember there is always glory in mercy.
A Christian education should not begin with a burning desire to serve God and end with a heavy heart laced with bitterness, discouragement, and lack of useful knowledge. Instead, it should give us an incentive to do even more for Christ than we ever intended.
We ask that you teach us how to share the Word through our speech, actions, and lives. Show us how to live as Jesus lived and how to love people as He loved. Those are the things we so desperately long to see in you. Oh, and please, please, please, don't attempt to teach us these through a textbook while seated on an ivory tower you have built for yourself.
We are (sometimes) smarter than you give us credit for. Just as you see clearly our flaws, we see yours too. Please, don't get upset with us for staying up after "lights out" when you sit in the pews with a sour face and refuse to sing the hymns during worship service.
One more small thing, we hate this urge to somehow prove you wrong because you have assumed we know nothing. Could you consider, just once, accepting that maybe, just maybe, we have something to teach you too?
We are grateful for your sacrifice and this isn't a rant, but rather, some thoughts to share. After all, we may someday be in your position and will need the same reminders.
Keep pressing on for Christ.
The Christian Leaders of Tomorrow
P.S. - This has just been heavy on my heart for a very long time. Hopefully no offense is taken by the rather directness of this post and it is in no way meant to be disrespectful. It is meant to only be an encouragement.
"Only holy Christians are useful Christians; and the preaching of Christ’s truth must be backed up by the consistent living of Christ’s followers if it is to have its due effect upon the hearts and lives of the ungodly." - C.H.Spurgeon