Someone told me that Cedarville University had removed some professors because of their bad theology. Others have praised the school for its good teaching and professors. I have to admit that I was skeptical about the university due to what I had experienced in the past. When my wife and I visited the school in the early 2000’s to see a Christian college student compete in a national Cross Country meet, the dinner afterward was accompanied by rock music over the speaker system. I also heard from a previous Cedarville student who bragged about blasting secular rock music in the dormitory about that same time period.
You may have noticed that I mentioned rock music. Why would rock music be a problem? To most people today, an aversion to rock music is an odd view to have. Everywhere you go, you hear it. Attend a Cleveland Cavaliers basketball game and you will be pounded with the music. The same thing is true at a Tim Horton’s or a Subway restaurant. Rock music is imbedded in our society. But this doesn’t necessarily make it a good thing for Christians who want to be separated from the world.
Rock music has been the vehicle by which the world expresses their desire to be free from rules, to throw off restraint, and to express anger and sensuality. Listen to the world and they will tell you these things. During my lifetime, certain Christian performers attempted to meld rock music and a Christian message in an attempt to reach the world. This is “an unusual phenomenon, since rock music has historically been associated with themes such as nonconformity, sexual promiscuity, rebellion, drug and alcohol use and other topics normally considered antithetical to the teachings of Christianity” (Wikipedia). For some reason, that idea appealed to me in my teen years because I wanted the world and Christianity at the same time. After God saved me, I saw the error in mixing the world with Christ.
“Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” —James 4:4
Today, I visited the school via Cedarville’s website. The chapel service was to have Andrew Snelling from Answers in Genesis as the speaker. As I listened to a man introduce the visiting speaker, I noticed the drum set behind him and wondered if they would play something before the message. They did. A rock band played for the gathered crowd. You can view this part of the chapel service at the link below.
The title of this article is an important question. If God is against mixing His message with worldliness, and if Christian rock music accomplishes this, why would we want to recommend such a school to our young people? Is it something we can overlook because we like the preaching? Is it just a difference of opinion (meat offered to idols)? Or is it worldliness infiltrating a college and displeasing the Lord? These are important questions to answer. But let’s set aside these questions for a moment.
Let’s assume that you are a conservative, fundamental Christian who believes that separation from worldliness is important. And let’s assume that you don’t agree with this kind of music. With those assumptions in mind, do you think it would be a good thing to send your Christian young people to a college that promotes the opposite of what you believe is pleasing to the Lord? While the students might get a good education (the Answers in Genesis speaker probably said some good things) and while the doctrinal statement of the school says good things, what else will your students get from the school? They will be influenced by worldly music with Christian lyrics on a daily basis and will be mingling with professors and students who believe the opposite of what you have taught them. Is this what we want for our Christian college students?