Last summer I spent a month at Wittenberg University in Germany studying with and teaching at night twenty-six divinity school students on the biblical view of courtship, singleness, loneliness, sex, lust, marriage, and Jesus Christ.
Wittenberg is the city of the Reformation and Martin Luther. Some 60,000 people live there now.
At night our group would go to the city center for ice cream. There the local teens would hang out. And my, my! They were a rough bunch. Spiked hair, girls in combat boots, neon hair, piercings in ten different places, ragged jeans. Public making out, wild screams, some nudity.
They liked to sit at the base of Martin Luther’s statue, just down from the cathedral and its famous Reformation door.
Some evenings I’d walk over and talk with them as they drank themselves silly or passed a joint around.
“How old are you?”
“What do you do for fun?”
“Get plastered.” “Sex.” “Stay out all night.” “Fight.” “Talk trash.”
Some of the deadest eyes I’ve ever seen.
Pointing upward to Luther’s statue, I asked, “Hey, who is this fellow?”
Shrugs all around. “Who cares?” “We don’t know.” “Just some old dude from long ago.”
I’d point at the famous cathedral down the street and press, “Isn’t that a beautiful building? What is it? What goes on there?”
Again, vacant stares. “We don’t know.”
These young Germans did not know history. They did not know of any future. All they knew or cared about was right now, living for the night, instant gratification.
If you’ve ever been late and walked in on the middle of a movie, you know how confusing that can be. You didn’t see the start. You do not know the ending. All you know is the confusing jumble of the present.
Too many live life in such confusion. They have no context for their lives. No past. No future. Only right now and their animal appetites screaming for satiation with pleasure. And so it is we live for the present “whatever.”
Never have I seen the university so confused. Yet, too, never have I seen students so hungry.
They do not want cheap, glitzy, contentless sermonettes. Nor platitudes. But real truth. Logical presentations. Questions and answers. Honesty. Peace.
In short, everything they want, Jesus Christ has! And I’m committed to giving Him to them!Stephen M. Crotts at Carolinastudycenter@msn.com The Carolina Study Center Website: www.carolinastudycenter.com Phone: 910.313.1153 or 336.570.9305
Want to Help?
One of the German summer school divinity school students, Slava from Minsk, Belarus, has asked me to visit in the coming winter. This would entail preaching in his church each night for 14 days, holding a seminar each morning for area pastors on marriage and family, and preaching in 6 area universities during the afternoons.
I think God is in this and am looking into a visa and air flight. To do this would cost around $4,000. As usual, we’ll have to build a partnership to accomplish it.
Let’s pray. And as you find the level at which you’d like to get involved, just let the office know by letter or email.
I can go. You can help go. And together we can join God in his labors.
Thanks to you who have kept us on the field of ministry by your encouragement, prayers and giving. Good results happening!
Our need is to expand our donor base by 26 more persons and our church base by 7. If you know anyone who would like to partner with us, would you put us in touch? We’d gladly make an appointment with them and present the vision of campus ministry.
Let’s press on until He appears in His crowning glory to rule! Jesus, our Savior!
You’ve so hungrily received from us over the years…. The Word of God, …The Lord’s Supper, …counsel, …weddings, …funerals, …fun….
Now you are helping us give the same to others, especially college students throughout the Southeast. Now we receive from you the prayers, the encouragement, the financial backing to do the work of the ministry with the Carolina Study Center.
We call this trust.
It’s called partnership. Sometimes friendship. But I call it love!
In behalf of Jesus Christ and students, thank you for all you’ve done in 2002.
It’s been a productive year in Christ Jesus. And we could not have done it without you!
Bible Memory Verse:
“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”