Lifestyle changes in college:
Swearing: I don’t where or from whom I learned my first cuss word, but certainly by the time I was a teenager I swore quite frequently. I had some underlying anger issues which probably encouraged that. At first I thought all swearing was wrong. I began to eventually realize these are just words and their meaning is no different than other words which for whatever reason are not considered swear words.
The F-bomb was the only one I withheld from. Eventually I realized that despite even secular culture viewing it as worse, there was no logical reason for this. I mastered cursing when the company allowed, and how to completely cut it off in the presence of my parents or others. Before even starting college I had satisfactorily ruled using swear words as acceptable in the Christian faith. Since then, I have at times completely refrained from using such words because of their perceived ignorant usage as filler words in our culture when a more descriptive word would work better.
Summary: Overall, I think the core, fundamental, evangelical elements of Christianity stayed in tact while in college. What changed was the irrational rules that had haunted my childhood. I began to sort out what was logical based on the Bible, and what was just someone’s ideas cloaked with Biblical rhetoric.
Certainly, I think my parents were sincere in their beliefs. However, the key feeling that I felt drove many of them was fear rather than rationality. I was a rational person. I needed logical support from the Bible to convince me to live a certain way.
Fear is a common driving factor in many people. I find it especially common in Christians but perhaps that is simply because of my greater exposure to the Christian sub-culture.
Fear expresses itself in everyday life so much so that those who are fearful may not even realize their actions are being dictated by their fears. Growing up these fears included falling away from God, insincerity in our faith, that “the world” might pull us away from God, that the government might force us to learn wrong values, that we might have our mind poisoned by immoral behavior, that friends might lead us into sin, that addiction might control us, that a bad president or senate might persecute us as Christians. The list of fears was endless.
If you know anything about the basic premises of Christianity, this is completely illogical in some ways but also understandable.
Ultimately, if there is an all powerful, all loving God, who wants to save people from an eternity of torment, and guarantees a way for that to happen, Christians should be the least fearful people in the world. And yet they are not…