124 thoughts on ““Controlled Environments””

  1. Dr. Morris is 100 miles apart from where most the people you talk about here; he’s also right when he says, “you are exposed to so much of the World and worldly philosophy that without a solid Christian base you cannot handle it.” I would contend that the answer to that is good parenting before college rather than a controlled environment in college, though.

    1. Dr. Morris is 100 miles apart from where most the people you talk about here

      I would tend to agree that MBBC lacks the general sense of craziness that one sees in most fundamentalism. (I also have been told that I have quite a few folks up there who read this blog including some of the leadership)

      However, the message of this particular video could really have come from just about any Fundy U. And the idea of isolation and control with a view to nurturing young minds is one that is pretty common.

      It’s odd to me that fundamentalism confesses such failure in the preparation of its young people. 18 or 19 years fundy family upbringing including 3 services a week plus 12 years of fundy schooling plus more special services than you can count plus camp every summer…and somehow they’re still not ready for the “real world” when they leave home.

      It’s really extraordinary if you think about it.

      1. “They need a Biblical basis”

        If all of those experiences didn’t give him a Biblical basis and he falls away the first year of State U.. maybe what is wrong lies on our side.

        Maybe we didn’t teach him a gospel-centered life, or God’s unconditional love towards the believer, or the fact that our life is not some “performance” for God but a relationship where we are the beneficiaries, or the fact that God is more saddened for your lack of trust in Him than the individual sins of lying, stealing, pornography, singing to bad music, or cursing…

        The 1st century believers were equipped to live in the world without having to go through 4 years of a controlled OCD Bible College. They surely had a Biblical foundation.

      2. I would also have to say that since the overwhelming majority of parents (unfortunately both fundamentalist and non-fundamentalist) do a poor job there is a sense in which a “controlled environment” is necessary because college will be the first exposure to contrary ideas. Doesn’t mean it’s good that we find ourselves in that position, but I am slow to blame the colleges and quick to blame the pastors and parents.

      3. @Darrell.

        18 or 19 years fundy family upbringing including 3 services a week plus 12 years of fundy schooling plus more special services than you can count plus camp every summer…and somehow they’re still not ready for the “real world” when they leave home.

        Totally can identify with that one. (Minus the 12 years of fundy schooling of course! :razz:) However, I’m actually glad that my fundy parents prepared me well enough. I was born and raised in IFB-land, IFB-home, and the works. Yet, when I finished high school, I found myself better off than most other graduates. Fundy or not. I guess I have my parents to thank for teaching me to take care of myself and take care of things myself.
        I think I also was lucky in the fact that I’ve been too introverted to become too reliant on other people for anything. Whether that’s good or bad.
        All that aside, I think I’ve made it better off by choosing to go to a non-Christian college of any sort. Glad I made that choice.

      4. “It’s odd to me that fundamentalism confesses such failure in the preparation of its young people. 18 or 19 years fundy family upbringing including 3 services a week plus 12 years of fundy schooling plus more special services than you can count plus camp every summer…and somehow they’re still not ready for the “real world” when they leave home.”

        Of course they are not ready for the real world – they have never been exposed to it. 🙄

        1. I know several teens that at 18yo graduating high school don’t know the name of a single person that hasn’t said the sinners prayer. Their entire lives designed to keep them away from ever meeting anyone outside fundy approved circles.

    2. As someone who knows Dr. Morris and his wife personally I would agree that in many ways he is “100 miles apart” from others that are featured here. However, as Darrell has pointed out on numerous occasions, “100 miles apart” and walking step in step with the crazies of fundydom is closer than one may think. On the same website where this video was featured you will also find video of Dr. Phelps, Dr. Nelson, etc speaking at MBBC. And, as I have stated before, MBBC may have one of the worst records of vetting their presidents in Fundy U history.

    3. But what he means by that statement is that no child is ready. Or perhaps that no child can be ready. The fact is that secular colleges are filled with Christian students, Christian Faculty and Christian staff. Anyone who thinks otherwise is living in a dream world. There are thousands of Christian kids who gradate attend 4 years at a secular college and never once think a thing about it and never once loose their faith over it. Oh to be sure they are tried and tested, but that is the whole point of College education. I believe the failure is the with the Christian culture the child grows up in. If you grow up in a culture of isolationism it is little wonder that you aren’t ready for secular college. If you grew up in a culture of control and authoritarian leadership then secular college of individualism and think for yourself would be like going to a buffet as a glutton.

      So the failing is on the church and the parents. The church for encourage isolationism and authoritarianism and the parents for going along with it. Contrary to what Fundy U teaches you…you can’t learn everything there is to learn straight from the Bible. You need to get out in the world. Get a little dirty and experience things. *That* is what makes us a full and complete Christian. Only then will we be strong enough to stand on our own convictions instead of resting in our own tradition. And *that* is why Christian education fails our young people so.

    1. I had him for one class too. He seemed to be very knowledgeable, and he was definitely entertaining for a Fundy U Bible prof. He is definitely not representative of the majority of the lunacy discussed here. But he is speaking for a Fundy U, what else is he supposed to say? At least he discussed the possibility that students might be confronted with beliefs different from theirs. If you look at most Fundy U promotional material is exactly like you (if you are a ‘normal” fundy teen.

      1. Yes, MBBC is much better than most for allowing alternate viewpoints to be discussed and genuinely considered instead of just dismissed.

  2. You’ve got to leave that controlled environment at some point. Maybe that’s really it – the faithful in Fundyland never leave the controlled environment.

      1. LOL! I have made that comment many times. But of course its helpful for those who after a lifetime of fundy upbringing, and four years of intense fundy bootcamp at FundyU still aren’t quite prepared for the horrors of life outside the bubble. Of course this is not as true at MBBC as at the Mother Ship down in Greenville since MBBC students for the most part are allowed to be off campus, work off campus, and generally are in a moderately restrictive living environment rather than a convent. Most MBBC grads leave, they don’t offer quite as many positions for grad assistants, etc.

  3. The whole idea that the world is just soooooooo dangerous and we have to be soooooooo careful and soooooooo seperated, is indeed sooooooo preposterous and outside of scriptural teaching how to live in the world, it’s just hard to take these people seriously

    1. In grad school I was shocked to learn that many of the people who went to state schools for undergrad had more vibrant spiritual lives than those who went to Christian undergrads. Shock! They found Christian fellowships and churches in their state schools and kept right on a-growin’! Just like you’re supposed to if you, say, worked in a secular job…

  4. Hunker in the Bunker
    Watching the shadows on the wall
    The last one in brings only news reinforcing the tales of carnage and distruction.
    Hide the children because we only teach them “what” to think and not “how” to think and they are not prepared for the world. We lose them when they go away to secular college…. so make sure they go to a christian school. (we lose more than a few of these as well it seems)
    Maybe the problem is how the bunker dwellers see Ephesian 4. They see the gifts as offices to be filled and stop before they get to verses 12-14:

    to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.

    1. To complete my thought… why do we think we have to wait until the “College years” to prepare our children for the “Real” world? By then it’s too late.

      1. I made a comment on an earlier comment about this. I agree with you though. I’m glad my parents prepared me for the “real world” before I graduated. Especially since I jumped right into the work force after I graduated, instead of jumping right into college. Despite having fundy parents, I’m glad of the way they raised me (or maybe for the lack of how they raised me, for example, being more lax about me). I think some of my own thoughts and ideals played into it, but nonetheless. I’m glad I was prepared enough to go out into the “real world” and make it without much guidance from others.

        1. Nathan, that’s because they abandoned their more IFBx crap before you came along. They were VERY MUCH into the Hyles/SOTL/Rice/etc. crap when I was born. They’ve come a very long way since then. I think that’s why you and I have had such different experiences of fundyism, despite having grown up in the same home and churches.

  5. Preface: I did not watch the video, however it is refreshing to see a 1:16 video for a change. I think I like it so much I’ll break out in song. Sung to the tune of And can it be.

    And can it be that I should see
    A 1:16 youtube video on SFL
    Usually they’re ten minutes long
    Its burdensome to watch the whole thing
    Now my brain does not hurt except for the green
    that behind the guy on the screen
    It’s just so amazing to see
    A short video, Darrell I thank thee.

    There I’m done. Like my comment or lump it. Amen?

    1. I like it. Why would I want to add another 10 minutes to the countless days of fundy preach-yelling I’ve already heard?

    2. Great song. I’m confused by the green backdrop? Looks like were planning to use it as a green screen effect, and just didn’t get around to it?

    3. As a female, I’m not sure I’m allowed to “Amen” that song, so I’ll ask my husband to do so for me. But wait, if I don’t have a husband … I guess I need to ask my pastor to HAYMEN the song for me.

    4. Inspiring Phil, but you need at least five more verses. And in true IFB fashion (at least the version I was raised on), we will ignore all but the first and last verses for some inexplicable reason.

  6. I was born again in my dorm room at a secular college as God used the faithful witness and prayers of other Christians on campus. I became immediately involved in Bible studies meeting in dorm rooms, an on-campus Christian fellowship, and also attended a good local church. I had many opportunities to share Christ with other students and even gave my testimony as one of the speeches I was required to do in a public speaking class. Years later, many of the believers I knew there are still faithful to Christ.

    I know very little about MBBC and nothing about Dr. Morris, but unfortunately there is a common belief in these circles that if you just get these kids through Fundy U then they’ll automatically turn out right.

    1. Very cool to hear! Dunno why it’s so intriguing to me, but I find it very awesome to hear.

    2. Yay! Yes, God can work even in non-Christian schools! Good to know, since most of us go on to work in secular jobs in the real world. Otherwise our Christian growth would be truncated upon graduation (and I used to be afraid of this, no lie!). So glad God continues to grow me far after I left those “hallowed halls”…

  7. I wasn’t exposed to anything in college that challenged my faith. We were encouraged to only read/listen to other “solid, trustworthy men of God.” My old college still sends me books and letters warning me of all those liberal teachers out there on the world wide interweb. 🙄

    Lucky you if you had anything that challenged your faith at Fundy U.

  8. What bothers me is how people in Fundyland make it seem as if every young Christian who goes to a secular university is going to be exposed to all kinds of junk and leave the faith. That’s just not true. From Bob Jones Sr’s “3 College Shipwrecks” to this stuff, it’s just perpetuating a myth.

    1. Funny that they never talk about all the people who leave the faith because of what they see or are subjected to at Fundy U. 🙁

    2. Yeah….

      My sister goes to BJU while I went to a state college.

      I didn’t leave the faith, but it was a huge shock to have my homosexual piano teacher treat me far better than my sister or anyone at my church had done. He was fun, cool guy that made piano fun to learn (and gave me some much needed lessons on human dignity).

      So, I left that particular fundy church because I was tired of being treated like a sub-human.

      I guess that means the I “fell away from the faith”. 😈

  9. To echo what Phil said above, THANK YOU for posting a video under 10 minutes! Whoot! 😀 That said, I wasn’t nearly as thrilled about the actual contents of said video. I watched it and am now even *more* convinced in the value of secular college over a Christina college (post-undergrad seminaries excepted). Somehow I don’t think that was the intended result…

    1. Wow, Amanda! That was my thought exactly! I am more than ever convinced that a Christian college is where I don’t ever want to send a child again, and I have children with undergrad and grad degrees from Bob Jones!!! But I also have children who are now going to a State College. My goodness, I cannot even begin to tell you how happy I am that at least some of my children will have degrees that are accredited and that were NOT from a controlled environment. That is EXACTLY the problem–how Christian colleges control the environment. I’m sad for the ones with BJ degrees. They are struggling–either unemployed or with min. wage paying jobs. It’s just so sad…..But I WILL NEVER, EVER, EVER send my child to a Christian college. Never.

      1. But, you see, that’s what frustrated me. I couldn’t force myself not to be a ‘problem’. I tried so hard, but finally gave up.

  10. I don’t think Christian colleges actually help strengthen your worldview by allowing you to confront ideas you don’t agree with, unless you count the endless debates over biblical minutae. I didn’t discover what I truly believed until I left fundyism and was able to read the Bible for myself and think for myself instead of being brainwashed and spoon-fed.

  11. I think I remember Dr. Bob 3rd talking about the “hothouse” or “greenhouse theory”, that young christians must be grown in the right environment so they’ll be strong enough one day to live on their own. I call it the hot air theory.

    1. Ever seen what happens to a greenhouse plant the first time it gets a little hot or cold weather? It wilts. It dies. Hmmm….

  12. Since it was so short I watched it again. 🙂
    Then I sat here and thought about it… (yes, you could hear the gears clicking into place)

    I was wondering why this post bothered me so and then it dawned on me.
    Is our God so Small?

    Camille posted a link to a great article on parenting tonight: http://danandkeren.wordpress.com/2010/11/05/you-cannot-bind-their-hearts-to-christ/

    After reading it I came back here and revisited this article. I conclude that the “Controlled Environment” mentality has a very small view of God. A view that God is weak and anemic and therefore He must be helped along for as long as we can. That the Gospel and the God of the Gospel is so fragile that He and His ideas can be destroyed by the world if we allow our children to interact with the world. That is a defeatist mentality and says that the world is more powerful than the God who made it.
    I don’t accept that. Not at all. Yes, I believe that we should live Christlike everyday and teach our children to think, and be able to give a reason for the hope that is in them… and we should not wait until college to do it! We have allowed the world system to cloud our view of the Omnipotent Sovereign Creator God, and we have re-made god in our own image, who is just as weak and frail as we are… and that is what I find so very wrong with this “hunker in the bunker” mentality.

    1. Well said Don.

      I wonder if these people really believe in the power of the Holy Spirit? If they do, then I am surprised that all their emphasis is on man and not God.

      It’s a common theme we see in fundy land. There is a small God and a theology which is completely man centered.

    2. If the Gospel doesn’t work in the World (outside of a “controlled environment”), it doesn’t work at all.

      1. Big G you are right about that. In fact if the Gospel can’t stand on it’s on in the world then it is not the Gospel at all, but some cheap knockoff, an immitation false gospel.

    3. Well said. This is hard to accept, but children have a free will as well. The parent can do everything right and the child still rebels, likewise the parent can do everything wrong the child turns out right. Fundy U ignores free will and asks for 4 more years of indoctrination…”maybe then it will finally work.” It comes from a weak god. Their god cannot be trusted to and prayer will not work. In doctrinarian and control is the only thing that will work.

      At some point that kid is going to grow up and be on their own. The day of Reckoning comes eventually. If you’ve only isolated your child he won’t be ready 30 years later let alone in just another 4. The only hope is that he will remain isolated forever…which only delays the day of reckoning.

    4. I was wondering why this post bothered me so and then it dawned on me. Is our God so Small?

      Our God is not so small.

      Their Gid is.

      1. 😀 you are correct… I just hope that any lurkers from the land of Fun Die will broaden their view of God and see that he fills not only their little box but the entirity of His creation as well.

        And not so long ago I was one of them, and thought that way also. A real, “There but for the grace of God, go I.” The whole idea of a God who is so inept that his followers are unable interact with the world around them lest they be corrupted, a god that is unable to keep his own, who loses the battle with the world daily… that is a pathetically weak god, unworthy of worship.

  13. I think it’s a matter of where the Lord calls you. If you need to be in a secular college, then the Lord can sustain you there. And if you need to be in a Christian college, He can sustain you there too.

    It’s worth pointing out that sometimes the hardest place to live a Christian life is in a Christian environment. It’s easy to go along with all the outward appearances of spirituality, like going to chapel every day and praying before every meal, and not even get close to the inward transformation that Christ really wants us to have.

    1. We somehow made it for about 1900 years since Christ just fine with 0 people being called to attend a fundy u for their protection in a controlled environment.

    2. @grace2live, good point about how it may be harder to live for Christ in a Christian environment. (This applies to Christian schools as well as colleges.) Many times one is rewarded more for the outward appearance so one is tempted to neglect the inner life. In addition, seeing the hypocrisy among students and even faculty can cause bitterness and a hard heart. When you’re treated unfairly by an unbeliever, you can apply the Beatitudes principle about being persecuted. But when someone who professes to be a believer treats you badly, it’s very difficult to know how to handle it.

      I also agree that God calls some to secular and some to Christian colleges and that He can sustain you in either place.

    3. OK, it appears Pastor’s Wife (although my response would not have been as good as hers) has stolen most of my thunder, but Grace2Live, you are so right about God’s calling different people to different situations. God led me from my fundy high school to community college and then to MBBC. Each of those steps along the way was critical to my growth in Christ and my growth away from the extremes of fundyism. It was about halfway through my time at Fundy U that I began to learn about the grace of God and the emptiness of so much that passes as Christianity in Fundyism. I learned more about practical Christian love and grace by seeing what was going on around me and doing the opposite. And I still got an accredited degree 😆

    4. It’s true. And to be honest, I’m not sorry I went to a Christian college. At all. But not for the reasons they’re pitching here. I wasn’t there for the controlled environment; I was there for the intensity of the theological grounding. And I got it, in a way that I couldn’t have gotten it in a secular school. Face it, most of those don’t teach that many credits of theology classes or koine Greek. Not for everyone, but it was something I wanted and benefited from. The controlled environment was just an unfortunate side effect. Would have been nice to get the one without the other, and I wish they wouldn’t market it that way!

  14. I don’t think anyone has pointed out that what they mean by “controlled” environment actually means “controlling” environment. To me, there is a big difference. A Christian school should foster a nurturing environment where students are allowed to explore their faith, ask questions, learn to think for themselves and develop a personal relationship with God. What usually happens is that Fundy U. tells them exactly how they should think and act, and most leave with sour memories of their time spent there (I did).

  15. Just to chip in my tupp’orth of wisdom from across the pond in the UK:

    I went to a Christian college. Staffed by evangelical Christians, varying from Orthodox, Lutheran, Anglican, Catholic, and Baptists (although, Baptists in the UK are, – how can I put this…? Normal). A wonderful group of scholars, on top their academic game, as it were, and vitally they taught me two things:

    1) Not what to think, but HOW to think.
    2) And how to make my theology work in the real world.

    This, it would seem, is a world away from Christian schools and colleges Stateside.

  16. Kids must grow up at some point in time and the “controlled environment” seems like more a *method* than it does a factor for safety. When I left BBCE in 87 I left with the expressed intention of finding as much about the world as I possibly could…I was 26 years old and had no idea about how to interact with people who weren’t “in” our subculture. The scary thing was, the more I got to know people “in the world” the more I realized that they were more authentic than the people in the life I had just abandoned.

    1. All the horror stories just didn’t hold any water did they? That’s why I hate it took so long for me to get past the kool-aid induced coma of the IFB. I swallowed the whole, “The world is stronger than God so you had better not have anything to do with it,” mentality. Fortunately I finally woke up two years ago and my oldest two will be graduating from a really good public school this coming spring.
      Congratulations on your escape Mike. 😎

      1. I was alway told stories of people who left IFBism and got into tragic accidents shortly after. How about the stories that everyone outside of fundyism is mean and has no real joy in their hearts? Or, when I was at HAC, the numerous messages about how people who dropped out of HAC never did anything worthwhile with their lives?

        I’m not quite a year out and some of the indoctrination has yet to get out of my system, but I do know that I’m healthier (and haven’t gotten into any tragic accidents yet), happier, and surrounded by amazing people.

        1. Emily if no one else tells you I want to say it to you. I’m proud of you! I appreciate your testamony and I am proud to know ya (well at least as a frined on SFL). Just wanted to say that.

        2. george wants to say he’s proud of you too and glad to be your “frined” as well. (That’s code for friend)

        3. Aww, thanks! I enjoy you and the rest of my SFL friends- it feels good knowing you’re not the only one.

          Tlle George ih fro me.

        4. Holy crap! They actually drill into people @ HAC that those who leave live the rest of their lives as failures? WTF is with those a-holes!

    2. I had a similar experience. I left Fundy U and immediately started working at Secular U. I had heard all the stories so my wife and I expected to find 1 good church in the town if that. We found many some so full of students they have to have 2 services to accomodate. My church had to meet in the gym during the school year. The biggest fall out I had with Fundamentalism was this topic. Realizing that I had been flat out lied to. Everything they told me was designed to keep me in the fold through fear. When the truth came out I reexamined everything. If they lied to me about this what else did they? Turns out a lot.

      It is one thing if you are called to Christian education. But that isn’t really what this guy is talking about. The idea that your child should go to Christian education for the reasons he gave is absolutely farcical.

  17. One thing I find very interesting is, as much as fundies do not trust their children to make it in a secular school, they highly respect Christian leaders who graduated from prestigious secular schools. Especially exciting is a special speaker who went through secular university, learned all about something like evolution or other religions, and through all that study saw clearly that only the Bible has all the right answers.

    1. It’s similiar to the way church folks want their children to get saved early, but then they always give more attention to people who get saved later in life out of lives of deep sin. The latter people are the ones who get paid for speaking engagements and who have the most exciting sermon illustrations. No one ever seems to honor the Christian who accepted Christ at an early age and tried to live for Him all their life. There’s nothing dramatic about that!

      (P.S. I know we do not live for Christ for the praise of men, but it DOES seem that the “Superstars” are always those who have a dramatic conversion story or those who, as you said, interact with the world – i.e. in secular university – and triumph.)

      1. I always figured I could never make it as an evangelist, since I never worshipped Satan, sold drugs, killed people, nor even rode with the Hell’s Angels. That doesn’t leave me with much of a conversion story to tell.

        1. You are supposed to make all that stuff up if it didn’t really happen to you. Didn’t they teach you that in preacher boys class?

          ok, maybe they never used the words “make it up” but you should have read between the lines.

    1. Notre Dame was good enough for Bobby IV. Haven’t heard anything out of him for a while. Is he even still a fundamentalist?

  18. I suspect this was not Dr. Morris’ intention, but he actually makes an excellent argument here for going to a secular university.

    1. … But what’s with the silent woman in the video who sits looking adoringly at Dr. Morris (never at the camera), saying nothing?

      Also, I couldn’t help noticing that one of the “related videos” on YouTube is an ad from a Dr. Morris for breast enlargement surgery. Probably not the same Dr. Morris, I know, but my inner 13-year-old still can’t help being amused.

  19. Lest anyone think that MBBC is becoming a bastion of liberalism since they are not “as crazy as some of the others” listed here. Don’t worry. They still function as a dictator in their students lives controlling all of the little minutiae of the students experience in the “controlled environment”. They are still blacklisting and badmouthing local churches, area pastors, and throwing up road blocks to any student that would dare question MBBC’s authority in regards to their control.

    1. They are “moderate” compared to 90% of the garbage here on SFL, but could still do with a little less top down and a little more grace when it comes to practical matters. It can be pretty scary if you stop discipline and start discipleship – its messy and requires you to admit that even true christians still sin.

      The problem at MBBC, and even more prominently elsewhere is the whole “Bow to your Sensei” mentality.

      Break the wrist, walk away…

  20. This is rich. Listen to what he said

    “Without a solid Christian base you cannot handle it. And many of our young Christian teenagers do not get that solid, Christian base, that Biblical worldview which helps them interpret all of the facets of life. ”

    So he is saying that he failed. That the churches he frequents have failed. That the parents have failed. The pastors have failed. In 18 years of that child’s life they failed to give the “solid, Christian base” and so we need another 4 years to indoctrinate them before they can fly on their own. That is basically what he is saying. Of course he wouldn’t admit that…they just “didn’t get it” but really that is what he is saying is that his churches failed. And that is really what this is about. If your child grew up in Fundy land they aren’t ready for secular college, a place where they can think for themselves and no one will tell them what they can and cannot do. It would be like a person who’s never had sugar suddenly gets dropped in Willy Wonka’s factory only to become the big fat blue berry. Of course that is what is going to happen because you didn’t teach them you isolated them. Isolation does not work.

    But sooner or later there will be a day of reckoning, we’ve all been there. It is finally the time when no one tells you how to cut your hair, wear your dress, or when to get up and go to bed. You finally realize that you get to make your own decisions. For most that happens when they go off to college. Some kids make horrible decisions, but most don’t.

    One more quote: “And that’s the great thing about a Christian college is that you get that biblical world view. ”

    What he means here is indoctrination. That is the great thing about Christian college because “it gives us 4 more years to indoctrinate…I mean teach them a Biblical world view that we failed…er…I mean they didn’t get when they were teenagers.”

    When I left BJU I started working at the local University from where I grew up. I remember hearing stories about why I shouldn’t go there and how no Christians where there. I remember hearing how horrible the students were, how ungodly and heathen. Then I found a godly church who’s members consisted of hundreds of students, faculty and staff (me :-). Some of my closest friends attended that university graduated and never once lost faith in God. They were shocked that my wife and I ever had an aversion. I now attend a church smack dab in the middle of the most universities per capita in the US. Students, faculty, staff from all of those schools attend my church, sing with me in choir, minister with me in the city. Thank God there is an entire wonderful group of Christians out there that don’t think twice about sending their children to secular college…in fact, they don’t even think there is another way and I think that is a good thing.

    Folks the whole, “your child can’t handle it” ethos is a lie. Fear mongering designed to keep you and your family in the fold. Pure and simple FUD. Your child can handle it. I’ve met hundreds…all of my closest Christian friends since college did all secular education. Pure and simple they can handle it. And there are organizations out there on campuses. My church hosts several, but there is Campus Crusade among many others. College is a great time to find yourself. It is a great time to start thinking on your own, not for being indoctrinated. Christian education just delays the inevitable. If your child cannot handle it you’re just delaying the outcome by a few years.

    1. Mark,
      you are being too kind. The belief isn’t based on “they can’t handle it,” rather its just good for business. Its instilled fear to assure that the follower’s money flows in one direction. The IFB is a cult.

        1. Yes. They try to control your access to contrary information. They make you fearful of the outside world. They demonize people outside the group. They have wise sages who do your thinking for you. They intellectually bully young children and people with low self estate.

      1. You are right I am being too kind…it is because I don’t believe that the lie/business bottom line is across the board. I believe some people truly believe this…they’ve lied to themselves so much for so long or are simply so clueless that they actually believe it.

        But you are right this guy most certainly is doing this as a business strategy. Pure and simple…and it is rather sick. Not because he might not have a point, but because he consumerizing people’s religion for profit.

  21. Best is a subjective term.
    Every environment is controlled. Some just more than others. The trick to selecting the environment is to look at the controls and determine if they are the right ones for you. I was at a Fundy U and learned the hard way that it was not the right choice for me. I was in the US Army and learned that it was not the right choice for me. I was in a Fundy church and learned that it was not the right choice for me. Some environments document their controls so you can save the pain and heartache being in that environment. Some don’t.

  22. Essentially what he is saying is this. 18 years of isolationism didn’t work so give us 4 more and your kid will be ready. It didn’t work the first time because it is flawed to begin with…it won’t work the second time.

    Darrell is right. It really is something that they are basically admitting that they failed, but now they want a second chance…4 more years to get it right. The problem is that it will be 4 more years of the exact same thing. Doing the same thing expecting different results is crazy. And it doesn’t work.

  23. I think I need to get back into that controlled environment. I’m beginning to think for myself and it’s scary. 😯

  24. Even if I don’t miss some of the trappings of MBBC, I sure miss Dr. Morris. Right or wrong for these particular 78 seconds, he is a gentle, loving guy.

  25. silly video, really is. I went to a secular college, as a very devout religious person (though not fundy, but still very conservative) and left- the same! what was my secret?
    1) interacting with folk of violetenyl different opinions, to evaluate theirs and mine
    2) actually knowing why i beileved what i beileve
    3) sure the need to shar with others, but the realization that i cant convince everyone- or really anyone
    4) the ability to get to know people, and share my own struggles wtih my own faith with them.. I may have strong opinions, but no matter how thought out, the essence of faith is that little bit of uncertainty in the back.. some of my good friends are happy athiests- that doesn’t bother me. I understand them, and they understand me.
    5) all this video suggests, is religious parents completely fail to raise their kids religiously so they need a college to do it for them.

  26. Thank you all for the feedback, both positive and negative. Criticism can be edifying. You are welcome to interact with me personally.

    1. Dr. Morris:

      Thanks both for stopping by and for the invitation to chat. It’s an unusual response to things posted on this site and a pretty classy thing to do, in my opinion.


    2. Thanks for being kind & reasoned in commenting. I tried to direct my dissent at the idea of the necessity of a controlled environment or a shelter. I don’t anticipate most Christian colleges agreeing with me, but I hope I didn’t insult you personally. Everything said by anyone that knows you is in a very positive light, which speaks very highly of your personal character.

    3. Dr. Morris, I agree that your response is classy, which is quite unusual for people who have been featured on this site.

    4. Dr. Morris,
      You know I’m always glad to interact with you personally, but it might be helpful to hear your public answer to the objection that many here have raised. If fundamentalism cannot get a kid’s worldview solidly in place after 18 years of the system, is this expressed need for a controlled college environment a confession of wholesale failure in the system?

      1. Let the record show that J Waltz and his family are the real class act! The question posed to me was why do/should parents choose Christian colleges; what do Christian colleges offer that differs from their secular counterparts? Remember, some of us did not grow up in little Christian schools. For some of us, the Christian college was an incredible haven from the worldliness we had always known. It was a breath of fresh air. This is a personal answer, not a broader rhetorical one.

  27. Dwayne, sometime you and I need to head back to Mt. Monadnock and do some fishing. Miss you, bud.

      1. Mt. Monadnock! That was fun wasn’t it? If they all only knew how goofy we were! Angela says hi!Thanks.

  28. The problems I would have w/ allowing my children to attend such an institution as MBBC are, well, many. But here are some examples from their website:

    1. Lists of “approved” and “unapproved” music (because we know God only puts his approval on certain styles/performers/types.):




    2. The really legalistic women’s dress code:


    (I noticed that jeans are basically never permitted for women, yet they are “spiritual enough” for men. Also, they need to learn how to spell “Crocs”.)

    Love the note that church dress “should reflect a desire to look one’s best out of respect for God’s Word and the church.” Because God looks at the outward appearance. 😉 Glad to see nylons are required (for modesty, perhaps??? LOL)

    There’s more good stuff there too, but just thought I’d point out some of the blatant legalism.

    I’m willing to bet there are faculty members, board members, etc., who KNOW these are stupid, legalistic rules. Why do they keep them? Because they need the financial support of the legalistic donors (read: older people who contribute to the institution), and they need parents/pastors from these types of churches to continue to send their students to Maranatha. Of course, they would never ADMIT that out loud. And then, there are the faculty/staff/board members, etc, who honestly believe this crap.

    This is what typically happens when you point out a legalistic rule to someone who knows the rule is legalistic but doesn’t want to SAY it, because they also know the financial ramifications of dropping the rule–they give you some load-of-crap response like “well, we have students and families from all different backgrounds and cultures, so we really have to try to be sensitive, even though we know those things aren’t actually in the Bible.” 🙄

  29. While I’m at it, check out this “telling” page from their website:


    “These students will avoid the moral challenges that come with attending a state university and will be surrounded by peers who, for the most part, will encourage them in their faith.”

    Note the second section where they criticize Cedarville.

    “Baptist or Bust

    One variance in fundamentalist and evangelical colleges is whether that college identifies itself as Baptist, or stresses that it adheres to Baptist distinctives. Most evangelical Christian colleges embrace denominational diversity in their admissions policies, affiliations, and theology.” (Because God cares about denominations 😉 )

    “Fundamentalist colleges generally prohibit any alcohol use by students, faculty, and employees. Evangelical colleges are not always so clear-cut in their guidelines.” (Because a staff member having a glass of wine w/ his wife may be his spiritual downfall.)

    “Evangelical and fundamentalist colleges tend to take differing views of both personal separation (conduct I won’t participate in) and ecclesiastical separation (those I won’t participate with in religious endeavors). Requirements for dress and conduct, church attendance, and the scope of practicing Christian liberty can demonstrate a philosophical chasm between fundamentalist and evangelical institutions.”

    Note, the bottom paragraph that claims that these rules are only in place to make a “safe environment to develop spiritual discipline.” Yeah. Okay. Nice try. I think some of the Amish have more freedom, actually.

    “There are many choices in the spectrum of Christian education available to young people today. Parents shopping for a Christian college need to be diligent in selecting one with theology that supports what their child has been taught at home and at church.” (because apparently their 18-year-old can’t pick his/her own college. He/she also can’t stand up for or defend what he/she has been taught for 18 years.)

  30. OMG! I Loooove this! Everything about it is amazing, including the flute scales in the background.

    “You cannot handle it.”

    Right. Jesus went to a Christian college.

  31. This post came up on the random post generator. For some reason when I read the title, the first thing I thought of was heating and air conditioning! 😆

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