College Week: Mandated Spirituality

BJU Prayer Group

At Fundy U it is not only encouraged that the students do their good works before men to be seen of them, it’s downright required.

Chapel is on the beginning of the extra spiritual walk that is demanded from the students at fundamentalists colleges. For some students “Christian Service” outreach will be a requirement, for everyone it will be very, very strongly suggested. As a reward for fulfilling the Great Commission by doing skits for neighborhood children and yelling at drunks, your collegian (think fundy fraternity) may receive points towards a trophy. This accolade will be awarded with great ceremony before the entire student body to congratulate these students who are evidently a little less unprofitable than the other servants. Blow that trumpet a little louder. I don’t think enough people are looking yet.

Students at Fundy U will also be attending an evening prayer meeting with their roommates whether they like it or not. At some institutions the unwritten mandate goes so far as to state that someone in the room must actually be praying for 10 out of the allotted 15 minutes. Evidently God takes the same attitude toward 8 1/2 minute prayers as He does toward 9 1/2 percent tithing. This time limit presents a problem since it only leaves 5 minutes for roommates to give competing testimonies of how many people got saved on their outreach that afternoon.

There will also be required Bible classes for every student in which students will learn important spiritual truths such as why Rahab was wrong to lie when she tried to save the spies and how if you turn your head sideways and squint you can see the shape of a cross being formed by the furniture in the Hebrew tabernacle. For all classes students will need to purchase approximately 1,983 3×5 cards in preparation for taking KJV Bible verse quizzes. Even Algebra classes may have a verse quiz from time to time. Be prepared.

Work for the night is coming and be sure to document your efforts well. It’s not like you have a choice and there may be a trophy in it for you.

picture of BJU girl’s prayer group courtesy Life magazine.

74 thoughts on “College Week: Mandated Spirituality”

  1. @Jordan

    As a ministry grad of PCC, my biggest regret is that I didn’t break free of fundamentalism sooner. I’ve found that more open I am to other people and their views, the broader my opportunities have become to be effective for Christ. I admire PCC grads like Jim Meldrim and Winn Collier who are doing much more for Christ (IMHO) than they could have had they remained within the culture of fundamentalism.

  2. Bass, what I responding to was the notion that university faculty don’t care in big, secular state schools. I heard that all time growing up in Fundyland – go to a Christian college, because, at a big, secular state school, you’re just a number. I found that to be a lie. I think most of the BJU faculty are wonderful. I didn’t encounter a bad egg in 2.5 years there.

  3. “They joke about going for their “Mrs. degree”, but it’s not really a joke. That was one of my sister’s main goals to get out of college. And, yes, her husband was, of course, going to be a pastor. Now, he’s driving a FedEx truck…”

    The FedEx delivery driver delivers far more good news to my home than any fundamentalist pastor I’ve listened to. 😀

  4. I can’t believe people would pay $40K over 4 years for a husband & be a stay-at-home wife.

  5. Well, my comment responds to the one before, but is more appropriate on the Love and Marriage post.

  6. @UptownHippie

    “The FedEx delivery driver delivers far more good news to my home than any fundamentalist pastor I’ve listened to”

    The FedEx driver probably makes more money too.

  7. Ahhhh yes. My fundy college was extreme, but not waaaaay out there. But I used to dread Saturday morning soul winning. We had to present the gospel to at least five people: whoa if it were raining and you couldn’t talk to anyone! And Sunday afternoon ministry was mandatory: bus ministry or nursing home. I got disillusioned with soul winning my second semester, it just didn’t make sense, and I highly doubt anyone “won” were ever truly saved and you never heard from at least 90% ever again.

    @Randy: why do people go back? Because they’re pressured and manipulated, that’s why. Think about it: like many on here, you grow up in a fundy church with fundy parents and you’re young and trust them completely. Because you’ve been doing that your whole life. So you go. If you disagree you’re told the pastor is the shepherd and you’re the sheep, and they have much more experience then you. You go home for summer and talk to people on the outside and realize hey, they are very obviously Christian, active in their churches: they wear pants, listen to contemporary music, see movies, and aren’t any less a Christian!

    You say you can’t go back, it’s just not for you. You’ll be hammered for talking to “worldly” Christian friends, not being loyal, not studying your Bible, it’s all emotions, “you’ll miss your friends,” you’ll miss out on God’s will (since it’s obviously here), you name it, they said it. After three hours you start to believe it: they’re in authority, and you start thinking of all the ways you’ve messed up over the summer. In a fit of desperation you agree: even agree to reschedule a cross-country trip you’ve been waiting months for, and will cost $450 to change all the tickets. And you bawl the whole way home.

    When the church is your whole life, it’s hard to break free from it. I’m glad for the few “outside” friends I had, helping me keep my perspective on the whole thing.

  8. “When the church is your whole life, it’s hard to break free from it”

    Amen to that.

  9. You go back also, because, once you realize your credits will only transfer to another like-minded school, you have to start college all over. Why swap devils. Go back to the devil you know.

  10. Wow easterlily241 u just described my entire situation. Except I’m trying not to go at all.

  11. When I went off to college, I got a few jokes about getting my “Mrs Degree” and was slightly offended, then I laughed as I told them I was going to an all-women school. Bahaha! You should’ve seen their reactions. “Why yes, I’m going to college to receive an education! What a novel idea!” I’m involved in my church and also college ministry activities, so I do see quite a few guys my age.

    1. Reminds me of a time I came back from college, and the assistant pastor’s wife asked if the reason I didn’t have a boyfriend was that I “didn’t like guys.” Not sure what she was implying, but, no that wasn’t the reason.

      Actually, as a former faculty member at FundyU, I’ve noticed fewer graduates leaving with Mrs. degrees in recent years.

  12. “When the church is your whole life, it’s hard to break free from it”

    That is called a cult. I know, I am 46 and I am just this year coming out of it. The programming is strong in the Fundy cult.

  13. I’m 41 Don and the deprogramming in me has gone on for about 15 years now. The hardest part is isolation from my still-fundy family.

  14. @Loren When it has been a lifetime thing and your whole worldview has been skewed by the cult programming it is very tough… I brought out all the family I have left in this world when I left. We miss some of our friends but for the most part the best friends came out when we did as well.

    I feel like my last comment should have been, “The seduction of the darkside is very strong… once you start down that path it is hard to turn back.”
    “Consume you it will.”

  15. I wonder if the Christian Service reporting notebooks are still at the bottom of the lake on the campus of the college I attended. The guy who threw them in the lake as a prank was a trouble-maker from day one. The school eventually found a way to get rid of him. I believe his name was Darrell. No relation.

  16. “If young people see the benefit of these rules and view them as “picket fences” meant to keep them protected and blessed inside the “house” where God wants them, then they will have no desire to escape, run, or seek a different life. They will realize that the “picket fences” of God-given authority exist to keep harmful things out of their lives.”

    That last sentence totally takes away the more important matter – the heart. That’s great that your forcing your kids/teens to externally conform to a set of rules so they don’t physically do something wrong, but you’re not making them any more spiritual with those rules. It’s commendable that you want to keep them away from things, but how about you get your kids/teens to develop discernment and priorities instead of just making them obey a rule on the grounds of ‘because I said so’.

  17. “Believe it or not, there will be rules at Bible college. If you want to be successful in life, you will have to learn to obey the rules. WalMart has rules. McDonald’s has rules. Everywhere you go in life, there will be rules. Every young person needs authority and accountability in his life.

    In Bible college, there will be rules about making your bed, cleaning your room, going to bed on time, etc. If you cannot obey human authority, you will have a difficult time obeying God and His Word. Being obedient is necessary to being a good Christian.”

    From a recent article from the Recruitment Director of a Bible College. The article was about how Bible College can help you for a lifetime.

    1. WalMart and McDonald’s are the specific examples he uses to illustrate being successful in life? I’m so giggling right now!

  18. If you cannot obey human authority, you will have a difficult time obeying God and His Word. Being obedient is necessary to being a good Christian.

    And there it is. Upping the Ante at its finest.

  19. I went to BJU and I very much remember prayer group. Occasionally there was a sort of “contest” that would break out to see who had the more urgent sounding request. The ultimate was mentioning anyone who had a ruptured spleen. It was sort of like catching the Snitch in Quidditch, because you automatically won the contest.

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