Living the Antithesis in College

Antithesis. Anti-thesis. Against a viewpoint. Merriam-Webster defines it as “the direct opposite.” God tells us what the antithesis is in Genesis 3:15. He says to Satan: “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” Enmity between the children of the Devil and children of God. That is, hatred, war, and conflict between the elect and the reprobate—no love, friendship, or acceptance. There must be a clear separation between the two.

Now that we know the antithesis is, let’s see how we can apply it to life in college. A place where many of us Young Calvinists (including me) currently reside or frequent.

You’re in one of your Gen Ed classes that you have to take—Introduction to Physics. The class is set up so that you have to work with a group of three other people to get the labs and quizzes done—and you have to stay in those groups for the whole semester. So of course you’re in a group chat with everyone to complete the work outside of class as necessary. On nights that the lab reports are due, your phone blows up with texts within the group chat—and the language being used is terrible. The other students aren’t happy with the teacher for assigning them this or that, so they use filthy language to express their anger, using swear words as frequently as the words ‘I’ and ‘it.’

Sound familiar to you, college-goer? Have you had similar experiences? As a Christian who has been called by God to live an antithetical life, what are you supposed to do in this situation?

The easiest solution, and the one that I tend to fall back on all the time, would be to ignore the language and stay silent. So easy to do when it’s all through texting. You can hide. What the other students are saying might make you feel not so good, but you can just let them continue and not do it yourself. Right?

Here’s the question I must pose for myself: is ignoring someone living the antithesis? Is it doing the opposite of what they are doing? Is it combating the lifestyle that the Devil works so hard to promote?

The answer isn’t always easy for me to hear. In fact, I push against it most of the time. I hate hearing that I’m wrong, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. However, ignoring sinful actions is NOT living antithetically—instead, it is living apathetically. Ignoring is saying to everyone else, “I don’t care. I don’t care about what you’re doing. It doesn’t matter so I’ll just leave everything alone.”

But it does matter! When you’re in a situation where people are using the worst language that is not glorifying God at all, you must step up and defend God and His glory—He demands it. In living a separate life holy unto God, we have to identify and acknowledge what the wicked are doing that is not holy, but then there is another part. We have to then explain why that is wrong and combat against it. Instead of just saying, “Yup that’s wrong” and continuing on with life, we are required to say “That’s wrong, this is why, and this is what I must do instead.” We must constantly fight the fight and run the race!

I could go on and on about so many different scenarios that I have run across and been put through in college—the people I’ve talked to, the classes I’ve taken, the books I’ve had to read. For many of us, college is one of the first places where we really have to exercise our antithetical life to the fullest. It is so important for us to be aware of our calling! But that would have to spill over into more posts. So instead I’ll refer you to a couple articles about how we are called to live antithetically in these ungodly times: http://www.prca.org/resources/publications/pamphlets/item/1572-the-antithesis-godly-living-in-ungodly-times.

I’ll conclude with a necessary resolution that the psalmist brings out in Psalm 101:3— “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.”

Grace Medema

Theistic Evolution

As young people and young adults we often go to college in order to learn about the world around us and obtain a degree in a particular field that interests us. Even if we don’t major in science, we often are required to take science courses for our general education credits. In these classes we are exposed to evolution. We are told that a given fossil is 65 million years old, for example. If this is at a secular college such as Grand Valley State University or the University of Michigan, we can easily debunk such a theory as being a lie. It becomes much more difficult, however, when Christian colleges such as Calvin College are teaching this theory. This is because they try to use Scripture to their advantage. In Genesis 1 we read “and the evening and the morning were the first day.” This continues through the other five days of creation. The theistic evolutionist says that these evenings and mornings weren’t what we know them as today, but are rather millions of years of geological time. Thus the evening and the morning are the first million years, second million years etc. In other words they believe that God used evolution to create the world. This, however, runs contrary to what is taught in the Bible: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters” (Genesis 1:1,2). “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the hosts of them by the breath of His mouth…For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast” (Psalm 33:6,9). These passages show that God created the world we live in from absolutely nothing. Our concern here is not with evolutionists in the main colleges and universities of our land. Our concern is people who call themselves Christians who try to blend creationism and evolutionism into one fluid piece. Christian colleges are beneficial institutions where we may take classes and major in subjects that have something of a biblical perspective to them. However, we must not get caught up in theistic evolution as it is taught in these schools. Why are we to cling to young-earth creationism as taught in the Bible? We are to hold this view because of the faith God has wrought in our hearts “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which do appear” (Hebrews 11:3). When we by God’s grace and Holy Spirit have this assurance confirmed in our hearts. “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6). Let us have a spirit of discernment so that we know what is true and what is false in our education (1 John 4:1). In doing this God will use our education to benefit us not only academically, but spiritually as well.

Kevin Rau