Permission and Control

So, this is attempt number three to post this. I tried to text it to this blog, but I don't think that worked. (I can't check my blog, it's gay.) And I posted it on a Bob Jones forum, but that got deleted today. So, here we go.

I heard a missionary give an illustration I will never forget. I don't remember his name, where he lived, or what the rest of the message was about. He studied horticulture in college, and gave two illustrations about planting trees.

The first was about using rope to support a transplanted tree. You can use two ropes tied to stakes to make the tree stand straight up, but once those ropes are removed, the tree just falls over.

The second involved making what he called a "fifty dollar hole." You can buy topsoil that is full of nutrients to put in a hole and plant a tree there, but once the roots go beyond the rich soil into clay, the tree will slowly stop growing. If you just plant the tree in clay, it will grow slowly at first, but it will grow steadily.

It's the same way with rules and restrictions.

Here at Bob Jones, we are given a set of rules, an internet filter, and an pass system to make us "a more effective and well-polished follower of Christ." And yes, the rules do a pretty good job of keeping students from outward sin.

But sin isn't outward. It's a heart thing. Jesus told us that the person who wishes he could commit adultery with a woman is just as guilty as the guy who did. The same goes with hate and murder. Inward desire is just as bad as outward sin.

So, as far as being an "effective follower of Jesus Christ" (which is a good thing), how guilty is the couple who can't go off campus and have sex because of the rules?

What about the person who grew up their entire lives under restriction, and will soon go out into the real world. What will keep them from doing wrong?

I argue that while some restrictions are a good thing (key word "some"), most of the rules at Bob Jones are extra that don't help our walk with God at all. In fact, some of them probably hinder our walks with God.

I want to do right because I choose to, not because I have a university telling me I have to. I want to be able to set my own standards with my girlfriend, instead of just wanting to break BJU's. I don't want to be like a tree that is pampered or overprotected. I want to love God for myself, not cause I have to.


jaigner said...

Good thoughts.

You're exactly correct. Disciples are not made through regulations and rules.

So...this may be an inappropriate question...why are you at Bob Jones exactly? You don't seem like the Bob Jones type. And that's coming from a former homeschooler.

Becca said...

You're way ahead of a lot of other students. A lot of us took 3 1/2 years to figure that out (making the last half year especially tough). Some never figured it out. Hang in there, and keep your head on. There's life after college, and for what it's worth, the habit of making your bed every day turns out not to be a terrible one.