As a college minister, I forget how some aspects of campus life that are quite “normal” to me might not be normal to many people. Part of this normalcy is the absolute spiritual darkness that pervades many campuses. While we can go overboard in focusing on campuses being “dark places” (just like I’ve recently noted we often do with the Northeast), it helps to remember that spiritual error (and the resulting pain) is one reason why collegiate ministry matters so much.
[I cut down this whole post from a longer one I had up here – I’ll repost those thoughts later.]
If you can, I encourage you to read this student newspaper account of the annual “Sex Power God” event held on campus at Brown University. (I stumbled upon this info when I was on campus Saturday; it took place later that night.) It’s a newspaper account, but the very nature of the event (and nature of the college) makes the article somewhat explicit – so don’t read it if you’d rather not see that. But I want us to understand this side of campuses, too. It’s so, so tough to know this is real.
The event appears to be as crazy as its title suggests. Still, we’ve got to understand the stark reality of these things, because this is the field to which we are called. True, Sex Power God is an extreme example – most campuses probably don’t have an on-campus event that goes this far or indulges this freely. But there are even more ridiculous events out there, too – anyone who’s read Blue Like Jazz is familiar with Renn Fayre at Reed College, for example.
That’s all I’ve got. We’re either going to invade these campuses with a real-and-loving Jesus or we won’t.
I’ve got to hit the road – next stop, Winter Park, Florida.