After four years of hard work and much sacrifice, our daughter Sarah has now completed her college four-year degree. Her mother and I, proud parents, had the honor of witnessing her graduation ceremony at the end of April at Adrian College in Michigan. Sarah completed two majors and one minor with a nearly perfect grade point average (3.98/4.00), and in our severely recession-depressed area was greatly fortunate to be hired by an interior-design firm almost immediately upon graduation. The happiness of her graduation day was marred, however, by some events that are a cause for concern and a harbinger of troubling times ahead for this once-Christian nation.
A college commencement used to be a much simpler affair, but these days it has turned into a day-long event, it seems. The morning began with a baccalaureate church service, where a trio of students gave addresses. The advertised worship instead seemed centered on self-congratulations and liberal politics in lieu of any focus on Christ and His Blood shed for our sins. There was no mention at this church service of dedication to a life of Christ-like faith?far from it. The first student, instead, gave the assembled audience a leftist rebuke of both America and Christianity. It would be an understatement to say that, at least to me, this seemed entirely out of place in a building dedicated as the house of the Lord.
The student-speaker told us that she was dedicating her life to confirming to Americans that our Christian religion and form of government are no better than any other. All religions are equally beneficial and need to be respected, and hatred or criticism of other religions should not be tolerated. This is an even more insidious theme than the long-heard liberal refrain that “all religions lead to Christ.” Today’s version says that His death for sin was actually a complete and total waste because Christ really isn’t needed at all; any religion, or no religion, is equally fine. Even further, it implies that Christ and His Word are profoundly in error, or even malignant, for claiming to be the only way to salvation. Although stated in other terms that may sound sweet, liberal, and well-meaning to our young people, the fact remains that it is grossly in error, for it starkly contradicts what God tells us in the Bible.
Can a person legitimately be called a Christian while rejecting the Bible and the teachings of the Christian faith? I think not! We read in Acts 4:12, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” A Christian is distinguished by his belief that Christ is the way of salvation, and that there is no other way.
The Old Testament has a similar theme. Perhaps nothing in the Old Testament is more respected and revered than the Ten Commandments, where we read, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” (Exo. 20:3) In case the meaning of those words is not clear, God expands upon this principle saying, “And in all things that I have said unto you be circumspect: and make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth.” (Exo 23:13; cf. Ex. 34:14)
There is a great danger in disobeying this command, for God warns, “Yet ye have forsaken me, and served other gods: wherefore I will deliver you no more.” (Jdg. 10:13; cf. Jer. 25:6) Punishment awaits those who serve other gods! In fact, the Bible refers to other religions and their gods as “no gods.” The Lord warned, “Have ye not cast out the priests of the LORD, the sons of Aaron, and the Levites, and have made you priests after the manner of the nations of other lands? so that whosoever cometh to consecrate himself with a young bullock and seven rams, the same may be a priest of them that are no gods.” (2Chr. 13:9)
Why did God bring the Assyrians and Babylonians to destroy both Houses of Israel? The answer is clear: “But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear to turn from their wickedness, to burn no incense unto other gods.” (Jer. 44:5)
But can we not take a syncretistic approach and practice the rituals of all religions on an equal basis? That does not work, either, as Christ pointed out to us in Luke 16:13: “No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”
After suffering through the morning’s “sermons,” an enjoyable and benign baccalaureate luncheon was followed by the afternoon’s events. The graduation address was given by the long-popular Christian spokesman and recording artist, Pat Boone. Of course, being a Bible believer, Mr. Boone has stated his opposition to sodomy?what the modern liberals incorrectly refer to as “the gay lifestyle” as if it was only something joyful and innocent.
Just the idea of having a commencement speaker who is a Bible-believing Christian conservative was enough to incite anger among the many liberal students on campus. Added to that, Pat Boone’s stated opposition to homosexuality caused an absolute uproar. A petition drive was initiated to “disinvite” him as commencement speaker, and it was boasted (probably correctly) that a majority of professors on campus had signed the disinvite petition. A student boycott of the commencement ceremony was promised, and the angry leftists insisted on an alternate speaker who is a liberal Jewish Democratic Party politician.
The choosing of a commencement speaker at this college is the final decision of the college president, and a donor had promised a quarter million dollar donation if Pat Boone were selected. That this would greatly benefit the college was of course of no concern to the leftists, who insist on having their way regardless of the cost to either themselves or to society.
Although there were rumors that the commencement ceremony would be disrupted by demonstrators, instead a group of protestors went through the audience rudely passing out rather scurrilous flyers attacking Mr. Boone while he was giving his address. Of course, the flyers quoted extremist left-wing sources that defamed and insulted the honored guest speaker. Yet Pat Boone’s speech was well-done and inspirational, and he received a warm and positive applause by most of those parents in attendance.
In case any of my readers wish to chide me for sending my daughter to one of those “secular colleges,” I should mention that Adrian College is considered a Christian university, founded under the auspices of the Methodist Church. May God help us when even our Christian colleges are turning out such graduates who greatly despise the faith and teachings of Christ!