Holly Scheer wrote an article on the website www.thefederalist.com on June 21 entitled, “California Bill Would Ultimately Erase Religious Schools.” In it, she summarizes California Senate Bill (SB1146), “California is now attempting to end this system of free association that allows people to define their local and religious cultures. California Senate Bill (SB1146), which is slated for a vote Tuesday, seeks to limit the religious exemptions from federal Title IX regulations that colleges and universities use for hiring instructors, teaching classes, and conducting student services in line with their faith. Under SB 1146, a college would be eligible for an exemption only for training pastors or theology teachers.
“This threatens religious institutions’ ability to require that students attend daily or weekly chapel services, keep bathrooms and dormitories distinct according to sex, require students to complete theology classes, teach religious ideas in regular coursework, hold corporate prayer at events such as graduation, and so on. In other words, it threatens every practice that differentiates religious institutions from secular institutions.”
Essentially the California state government is attempting to tell Christians what they can and cannot do in their own institutions. Our immediate reaction to this bill could be one of disgust and shock that something like this could happen in our country.
Let us dwell upon this for a time: If a Christian institution receives federal funds to assist in offsetting the costs of a secondary education, should it not surprise us if the government tells the academic provider how to spend their money? If Christians begin to rely upon the government to supply the financial footing of their school, then it can and will dictate how the money is to be used.
What can be done to overcome this scenario? Well, this may be a stretch for us here in the United States and with our American college mindset but perhaps the Christian colleges and universities should cease receiving funding from the federal government.
Many years ago now there was a board meeting at a local church in Iowa in which they were concerned about meeting the church annual budget. One of the leaders on the board of this church spoke words that thundered through the souls of the leadership when he said, “Maybe we’ll have to trust God.”
He said what? What sort of words were these that this madman was speaking? They were not the words of a madman, but the words of a man whose heart was totally consumed by God through Jesus Christ.
The United States federal government is over 19 trillion dollars in debt; in other words, our government does not have money to begin with to cover the cost of a college or university education. God, however, has infinite riches, which means that He will never run out of resources and He is free to distribute to those whom He wishes.
Paul the apostle at the end of Romans 11 writes these words, “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways…For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen (Romans 11:33, 36, ESV).
Perhaps what Paul told his audience in Athens will help, “the God who made the world and everything it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made my man, nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything” (Acts 17:24-25, ESV).
The prophet Isaiah in the oft-quoted chapter 40 and verses 9-31 offers extensive proof of God’s control of all things, not just “Christian” schools or activities. And since He owns all things and is in charge of all things can He not supply all things? The short and accurate answer is “Yes.”
All Christians should look primarily to God for where they should attend college or university and then seek how that can be financed apart from federal funding. There are three reasons now since California introduced SB1146 to trust God for finances. First is the bankrupt government; when you are in debt there is no money to be had. Second, the federal government seems to always have strings attached to the money they lend out or grant. Third, God is fully capable of financing a college education without going into debt.
Then there are two common sense ways to work with God in funding a higher education. One, when in high school, work hard to earn high grades and work at a job while attending and save that money for college. Two, while at college, work part or full-time while taking classes so you will not be in debt when exiting the higher education life.
It is always right to trust God for what He would have Christians do about higher education. Whether you are going to attend college or are part of a Christian college or university, the focus should primarily be on God. Trust Him with all of your needs.
An excellent resource to find out how one can finance without going into debt can be found at www.daveramsey.com. God can do great things for financing education and it does not include going into debt and/or having to go against what is right and true.