Why campus ministry? Why should Christ-followers be interested and involved in bringing the Person and teachings of Jesus to colleges and universities around America? We in Chi Alpha Campus Ministries always speak of four reasons regarding why we exist and work on campus:
First, we are reaching men and women outside of God’s Kingdom at a key time in their lives; second, we are protecting the investment the Church has made in its young people when they go off to college; third, we are serving and reaching international students while doing foreign missions in reverse; and fourth, we are reaching future leaders for Jesus. Here is a fifth reason: in the battle between good and evil, we are depopulating the ranks of evil.
Consider the most enduring theme of all time that is reflected in literature, movies, pop culture, even television. It’s Batman v.s. the Joker. It’s Luke Skywalker v.s. Darth Vader. It’s Sherlock Holmes and Professor Moriarty. It’s the white hat wearing sheriff v.s. the black hat wearing bully. It’s inherent in the opening theme music of any TV episode of Law and Order (i.e., something bad happens and we want things to be made right). It is Jesus v.s. satan.
The lines between good and evil are sometimes obscured in real life, making it difficult at first to tell the difference between what is good and what is unacceptable. Yet Scripture is clear on the authors of good and evil and which side best contributes to human flourishing.
Read Psalm 1.
The writer provides three guidelines in verse 1 for responding to the evil side of the tension.
First, do not walk in the counsel of the wicked. Avoid evil by refusing to be influenced by it. Knowing what you believe and why helps the godly refrain from being influenced by the thinking of the ungodly. Proverbs 1:10 says, “If sinners entice you, do not give in to them.”
Second, do not stand in the way of sinners. The second way to overcome evil is to avoid places where sinners congregate to practice their lifestyle. It is wise and prudent to not put yourself in tempting situations if you desire to keep yourself morally pure. It is possible to live among the ungodly and thrive as a Christ-follower (see Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego).
Third, do not sit in the seat of mockers. It is hard on campus not to find yourself in a class where a professor questions (or even criticizes) your faith. Psalm 1:1 argues that to walk with God means you do not join up with those antagonistic to Jesus and His teachings.
We in Chi Alpha Campus Ministries believe that God sends us into the world of the academy to reflect His glory and goodness. The good news is we have a God-given resource to counter the bad news (i.e., the negative and the evil). Psalm 1:2 says to immerse yourself in God’s Word each day. Scripture is part of God’s survival kit to enable us to stand strong in the midst of evil, know what is right, access God’s power to live a God-honoring life, and share it with others. How are you utilizing Scripture for your spiritual growth and enhanced testimony on campus?
Serve globally. The man or woman who delights in the law of the Lord can stand on campus as an example of Christ’s forgiveness, an example of a changed life, and beacon of hope.
Love is a verb,
©2017 by Mike Olejarz