You can’t fill a God-shaped hole with information

When I was a student at Liberty University, from 2012 to 2016, I had to take two semesters of a “Christian worldview” class. It consisted essentially of bullet-point lists of ethical issues, with quizzes to make sure we knew the right answers: How did we feel about abortion? What about gay marriage? We were required to take two Bible classes and two theology classes, which included plenty of information about sexual ethics and basic Christian beliefs about caring for the poor and marginalized.

Yet the more powerful education we received was through thrice-weekly “convocations” — gatherings that frequently featured Republican pundits and politicians. In place of what many Christian schools call “chapel,” all on-campus students were required to attend an hourlong meeting that included worship and a guest speaker. We sang songs about the power of the gospel, often followed by moving speeches about saving our country from socialists or protecting our borders from invading masses.

There is a long history in Christian education that focuses on the formation of the affections, alongside the training of the intellect …

… Yet evangelicals — and Liberty, in particular — have often neglected this focus, falsely believing that if we know the right information, we will act rightly …

At Liberty, our minds may have been receiving correct content, but our hearts were being trained to love wrongly: to love political power, physical security and economic prosperity as higher goods than they are. The leaders of the university may have believed that we could be immersed in the stories and values of the Republican Party while maintaining any theological truths incompatible with them, but the power of our affective education was stronger. The ethics we learned in a classroom were not nearly as powerful as the emotion and desire created in a stadium full of people singing, praying and hearing stirring messages about making America great again.

Kaitlyn Schiess, Opinion | What Jerry Falwell Jr. Taught Me at Liberty University – The New York Times

This strikes me as true, so far as it goes. But Ms. Schiess is not likely to fill her longings anywhere in the Evangelical world.

* * * * * * * * * *

About readerjohn

I am a retired lawyer and an Orthodox Christian, living in a collapsing civilization, the modern West. There are things I'll miss when it's gone. There are others I won't. That it is collapsing is partly due to calculated subversion, summarized by the moniker "deathworks." This blog is now dedicated to exposing and warring against those deathwork - without ceasing to spread a little light.
This entry was posted in deathworks, Evangelicalism. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s