Sunday, May 23, 2010

From "Bible College" To "University": Spiritual Compromise, Ruin and Worldliness

Note: I can't say this dream is prophetical in nature, though I do believe in prophetical dreams:
"'And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; (Acts 2:17; cf. Joel 2:28 ESV)
Further, do not consider this dream a slam on my Alma Mater, Mid-America Bible College (now Mid-America Christian University). This, to me, was just a dream's way of using familiar reference symbols known to the dreamer to warn me about slipping into worldliness.

I concluded a disturbing dream around 3:30 this morning, disturbing enough for me to power up my computer and blog about it early this Sunday. What makes it especially poignant is that today is Pentecost Sunday and the verses above were written about this day. I was back in college with my buddies and it was a changed place. Gone were the Mid-America Bible College days; the institution was now called Mid-America Christian University. One of my friends was dating a new girl (in a sea of new faces on an expanded campus) who was lax in morality. The Bible's commands about sexual behavior did not seem to phase her and my appeals to the Word made no effect. My stand for biblical truth antagonized her and, frankly, alienated me from my friends from one degree to another. I tried to warn my friend—without success—to dump his girlfriend; he knew better but would not. My dream ended by me encountering different students from "the old days" and asking them their opinions on the new atmosphere at the school. Nobody was in favor of it. I awoke feeling sad.

I'm no dream analysis expert but I take this dream to be a warning to me against allowing compromise and sin into my life. MBC is where I learned so much about God and his Word. The school represented my spiritual condition. The name change (and change in the spirituality of the new students) represented compromise and relaxing of standards. Sexual sin represented apostasy from God (a prominent metaphor in the Bible). My friends and the antagonistic girl represented different facets of my personality in turmoil and contradiction.

Warning: Larry, heed the Scripture—
Thus says the LORD: "Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls. But they said, 'We will not walk in it.' (Jeremiah 6:16 ESV)
God, forgive me! God, help me!

Addendum: I scrapped my printed sermon on Pentecost this morning. I read Acts 2.1-18 and then shared my dream as an introduction into the ways the Holy Spirit can get our attention, guide us, correct us and console, comfort, exhort and rebuke us. I spoke of the ongoing ministry that the Spirit has to every believer. I then led the congregation in a prayer, surrendering to the Holy Spirit's guidance.

If anyone is interested in dream interpretation from a believer's perspective I'd recommend Christian psychiatrist Paul Meier's and minister Robert Wise's book, Windows of the Soul: A Look at Dreams and Their Meanings.