Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Notes: The Christian Family Conference 2010 (Part 5)

My wife, oldest daughter and I attended the Christian Family Conference in Denver this past week. It was an amazing time of encouragement with other Christian parents – most of whom are devoted to homeschooling and home-training their children to be godly men and women, prepared to take on the world with a multi-generational vision. I’m posting some of the notes I took from the conference sessions. Some are sure to fly in the face of the traditions and cultures which most people would consider normal in today’s culture. But these men who spoke to us used the Scriptures, and their lives and the lives of their children are a testament to their integrity and boldness on these topics. Their words motivate me to continue to raise my children in a radical, counter-culture, God-fearing way.


Voddie Baucham is perhaps the strongest, best preacher I have ever listened to. He is clearly a dedicated family man, preacher, and evangelist. His words on education take you from his days being raised in the rough part of Los Angeles, to his story of obtaining advanced degrees from multiple notable colleges (including Oxford University), to his words on the dangers in higher education today. If you want to be seriously challenged, visit his website (but remember, I warned you, it is serious stuff). For my own words on higher education, visit here or here.

“Harvard or Heaven” by Voddie Baucham

· First of all, college is not inherently sinful, or completely useless. That is not what we’re saying.

· God calls us to prepare our children for heaven, not college or career. But this doesn’t mean that no one should go to college.

· So, what is potentially wrong with college today? There are five specific things.

1) Most undergraduate degrees aren’t worth the paper they are printed on

· On average today, a high school diploma will net you $1.2 million of income over your entire career. A college degree will get you $2.1 million. A master’s degree will get you $2.5 million.

· But, you can give your 18-year old a check for $10,000 (just once, and this is far less than you would pay for the first year of most colleges), and encourage them to save $500 a month during their “career”, then they will have $1 million in the bank by age 51. So, if being a millionaire is the goal…..then this is a pretty safe route to get there.

· Read the Forbes magazine article from January 14, 2009 entitled “The Great College Hoax”. It’s eye-opening.

· The “loan sharks” charge more, higher education costs more, the return of a college degree is less – all because the colleges know that America worships at the altar of higher education

· If you go to a decent state school and get a B.A degree, you can spend between $80,000 and $250,000 to get a four year degree – in “specialties” such as Film Studies, Art History, Dance, Chicano Studies, Interior Design, African-American Studies, Packaging Science, Metalsmithing and Jewelry, Golf and Sports Turf Management, and Surf Science. You can even get a four-year degree in Painting – not artistic painting, but how to paint a living room! Really! The point here is that people are paying tens of thousands of dollars to get a degree – just because they can. The reward of having these degrees is very limited.

2) Four years is too much time to waste

· If you are getting a degree that is worth nothing to your future career, or to God’s kingdom, then you are wasting four very productive years of your life

· From ages 18-22, people start careers and families. Read Malachi 2:14-15 to see what God places importance on in our youth.

· A lot of people pick majors in college because they simply don’t know what they want to do, or because they have flunked out of their first or second choice. And a wrong choice of major made during college can limit your options for life.

3) College costs too much money

· The economy is down, but tuition and enrollment are up! How can we explain this except that people are worshipping the idea of education, rather than analyzing the product?

· Are we counting the cost? See Luke 14:28-30. Yet, families are going into debt for college educations. And young families are starting their marriages knee-deep in debt – at a time when this burden should not be on them.

4) College is not for everyone

· Not everyone has the academic ability to go to college. But this does not prevent colleges from enrolling them as paying students!

· Long ago, when there were only a few universities in the United States, students used to have to know Greek, Latin and Hebrew – before being admitted to college! Now, an average college will take you if you have a pulse and a loan. College is a business, and people who are willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars each year are welcome.

· A new college model to generate more revenue is to allow unqualified students to enroll – but then put them through a year of “remedial” classes – turning a four-year degree into a five-year degree….and charging full price for that extra year. Think about it.

· You don’t have to have a college degree to support your family! Don’t believe the lie that is told about this!

· Those who graduate from college generally don’t know anything about the business world – they have to be trained in their first job. Why not cut out the middle-man (universities) and apprentice them right out of college?

· What about my kids – what should I do? 1) Analyze their gifts and talents (Proverbs 22:6), 2) Analyze their desires and callings (1 Timothy 3:1), 3) Ask yourself if college is necessary, 4) Follow the Lord’s leading

5) Most universities are philosophically antagonistic to Christianity

· Professors are often the enemies of God (not always, but often)

· Proverbs 13:20 – the companion of fools will suffer harm – it’s a promise

· Students are often guided strongly by their teachers – in life, morals and character

· So what if I decide that college is for my child? 1) Do it as quickly as possible (Ephesians 5:15-17), 2) Do it as inexpensively as possible (Luke 14:28), 3) Do it as safely as possible – don’t send your children into a lion’s den, evaluate the environment they will be in, consider college near to home


Back to Notes: The Christian Family Conference 2010 (Part 1)