Combating a Liberal Mentality in Secular Education

Posted in Young Adults on April 16th

Combating a Liberal Mentality in Secular Education

by Jasmin Michelle Smith

 

Liberal /ˈlib(ə)rəl/

    adjective

  • open to new behavior or opinions and willing to discard traditional values.
  • favorable to or respectful of individual rights and freedoms. (“liberal citizenship laws”)

synonyms: tolerant, unprejudiced, unbigoted, broad-minded, open-minded, enlightened, forbearing

                  antonyms: narrow-minded, bigoted

  • (especially of an interpretation of a law) broadly construed or understood; not strictly literal or exact.

 

 

Most people who have heard of Sarah Lawrence College know very little about the school… They have either heard of it from the movie “10 Things I Hate About You” as the main character’s dream school, know it as an EXTREMELY liberal college, or know it only as the most expensive college in the nation or close to it.

When I attended, it was all of these things, including my dream school. As a reader it is important that you understand that despite having received the Holy Ghost at 12 years old, I was not actively in the church when I made the decision to attend SLC– although returning to church was a goal that I had in mind when choosing to go to school in NY. I was raised by very loving parents who taught me the importance of valuing and loving others, as well as what makes each of us individuals. They never denounced anyone’s lifestyle or personal choices except for those who were openly hateful or simply irresponsible and immoral. I was very much entranced by the campus at Sarah Lawrence and fell in love with the idea of a place where “one size was never meant to fit all” and “everyone was unique.”

While attending SLC, I learned a lot about the world; about the history of the United States, especially in terms of inequality and injustice; and about myself: my strengths, my weaknesses, and my desire to pursue my purpose. Everything about the campus environment was liberal, with the exception of a small group of conservative students – most of which were not Christians, as the “Christians” on campus were not noticeably active in the school culture.

Despite the obvious attempt of the school’s courses, professors, and culture to “enlighten” each student and broaden our thinking (within the confines of the liberal mentality), I did not leave SLC to become a passionate civil rights activist attempting to rewrite political policies upon graduation. Instead I recommitted my life to Christ.

While living in the SLC bubble, it was easy to become indoctrinated by the liberal beliefs represented there. It was easy to subdue my conscience and convince myself that loving everyone as Christ meant the same thing as fighting for everyone’s right to choose their own lifestyle; that this is what Jesus had meant when He commanded us to “love our neighbor.” It was easy to let go of “traditional values” especially when I wasn’t fully convinced of them in the first place. It was easy to start to listen to the voices of worldly politicians, professors, and peers, rather than the voices of pastors and preachers, especially since I wasn’t praying or even attending church services regularly.

This is how the enemy works! He is cunning and subtle. He will never come out and ask you to let go of every ounce of conviction at once. Instead he slowly chips away at your foundation, getting you to make small compromises here and there, until eventually the bottom falls out from under you and you find yourself in a pit of sin.

I spent my college years in a fog… unsure of what I believed, defining myself by the opinions and standards of others, and trying to “find my own way.” I spent years trying to silence the Holy Ghost within me, as God was warning me to turn back to Him. And this is true of God, He will always try to reach you, even as you walk away from Him, but if we are not careful we can become desensitized to His voice, making it even harder to find our way back to Him when we finally realize we’ve gone astray.

It wasn’t until I left the SLC bubble that my eyes were able to see clearly. I realized that the enemy had almost won my life completely, but God had been calling me back to Him all the while. It would have been easy to allow the enemy to convict me of my mistakes, to live in a constant state of condemnation for the choices I had made, to convince myself that I was beyond redemption, but in spite of my guilt and shame, I found an altar and God in all of His grace met me there with open arms and has kept me since.

As an Apostolic Pentecostal Christian, I am not ashamed to live by the Word of God and take it literally. Not only does my faith in His Word not make me a bigot or narrow-minded, but it allows we to love others the way Jesus did, unconditionally and with the intention of saving their souls. I am not willing to discard the Truth or my faith for anything or anyone. I am fully persuaded that God’s way has been and will always be the best way.

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