Thinking about Pensacola Christian College?

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I too have been down this road......

Postby SilverSolver » Wed Jun 20, 2012 12:15 am

This is a topic which is rather dear to my heart, as I also was home-educated, and went to PCC for 5 semesters, and I think I have a somewhat broader understanding of this matter, perhaps because I dabble in psychology and sociology. I also believe that I am a very solid, Biblically-grounded Christian.

I attended PCC from 2000 to 2002. The rules were somewhat arbitrary and capricious in some levels, but contrary to what some people will say, they are all clearly defined in the handbook and supporting literature, such as memos delivered to students' mailboxes. I would agree with the assessment that it is something along the lines of Christian military academy.

I do believe that most, if not all, of the rules exist for one of four reasons: 1) A Biblical requirement on Christian conduct, 2) To reduce the temptation for sinful behavior, 3) To reduce something which would otherwise be subject to interpretation to a clearly-defined, and therefore consistently-enforceable, standard, or 4) To provide the students with life-skills which will be useful. An example of #1 is the requirement that students dress modestly and tastefully. The Bible requires this of Christians, therefore they require it of their students. I read the linked Greek word study about it, and nothing in it negates that Christians should dress modestly; in fact, according to his word study, dressing tastefully is also a Biblical mandate, and I believe that he is correct. An example of #2 is the prohibition on being alone with members of the opposite gender. It is certainly true that some people can resist the temptation to become immorally involved with their beau, even when alone, but some do not have the strength of character for this, and since PCC certainly can't make rules for 4,000 students on a case-by-case basis, they simply lay down the law. It's stringent, but it creates a very safe environment. An example of #3 is the requirement that men's hair not be long enough to touch the ears or the collar of their shirt. Certainly no one I know of believed that having a man's hair touch his ears was sinful, but it avoided ever having an argument about whether or not a man's hair was too long. An example of #4 is the requirement that women wear hose and men wear coats and ties at certain points in the day. Our culture has become so sloppy that many young people have never learned of the need to sometimes dress up, whether it be to impress a prospective employer, or to honor a dignitary, most of all God. They want young people to learn to be at ease in attire which is honoring to those around them.

So far, my post has only defended PCC, but let me assure you, the institution has a dark side. An excellent article by Dr. Kent Hovind called "I do not recommend PCC" has recently been re-published on the BitTorrent network. A quick web search turns it up easily, though those unfamiliar with downloading things off the BitTorrent network may have to get a bit of an education before they can read it. The article outlines some of the ruthless practices of the administration when dealing with people with whom they disagree. I agree that they kick people out too quickly, when they should make a serious effort to restore them, in accordance with the mandate of Galatians 6:1. The constant peeing match between them and Bob Jones University was a source of both amusement and chagrin; it was funny at times, but also sad that two institutions with nearly identical mission statements would reduce themselves to quarreling like schoolchildren.

One of the greatest illustrations of the problems that can arise from PCC is the girl with whom I fell in love there. She was from a home which was ostensibly very similar to mine; both of our families were Christian, and both were pretty conservative. Mine was unfortunately also somewhat dysfunctional, but miraculously, my parents are still married, and lately seem to be pretty happily so. Her family was more "perfect." Her parents were Baptist missionaries, and her family pictures as a child were all the "perfect family," complete with the 3 little girls in matching, modest, somewhat old-fashioned dresses. She was the oldest, and grew up with all this perfection beaten into her head. She then went to PCC, and those ideas were reinforced even more.

The great issue came when we were married and away from college, and I started to reject some of the "rules" to which she was accustomed. Mind you, the rules were almost entirely in the #3 and #4 categories, with a few from #2. These were not #1 Biblical mandates. For example, one winter I allowed my hair and beard to grow without any trimming. I think it reached the base of my neck at its longest. It was not "long" in my mind. I also discovered the joys of pipe smoking on occasion. Incidentally, Charles Spurgeon, the prince of preachers, also enjoyed tobacco in moderation. The only mandate that the Bible gives in regard to such things is to not be a stumbling block to others, and to not be in bondage to them. Yet for these things, and others, I was judged to be the lowest of the low by both her and her parents. The end result of that was that she divorced me after two children and less than four years.

I tell that story to say this: PCC does have a great deal of emphasis on Biblical behavior, and this is good. It also has a great deal of emphasis on maintaining order, which is necessary. It is somewhat lacking in its emphasis on the individual relationship with Christ. This I believe to be unintentional. There are many God-fearing men and women at that institution who have devoted their lives to helping young men and women become men and women of God who can be used to advance the cause of Christ. There are also many rigid, self-important people who seem to enjoy making other people uncomfortable. This sends a very mixed message to young people who may be new to the faith, or simply not well-grounded in their personal walk with Christ.

That, in a nutshell, is the entire reason that I took a solid hour to write this all out for you to see. PCC will show you what you are. Titus 1:15-16 speaks to this: "Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate." If you are a fraudulent Christian, living for your own selfish desires, PCC will seem absolutely unbearable. At every turn, PCC will stand in the way of something you wish to do, or be, and it will seem like they do it all just to irritate you. If you are a lukewarm Christian, content to merely exist in a set of rules that you believe pleases God without pursing a deep personal relationship with Him, it will assist you in becoming an even more self-important, self-righteous pharisee. If, on the other hand, your heart is on fire for the Lord, and you exist only to serve Him, PCC will be at times puzzling, but it will never be grievous; you will continue to grow closer to God during your stay, and you will learn to have a heart for the needs of your fellow man in the process.

The relaxation of some of the rules has been mentioned, so I will address it briefly. Some of the #3 and 4 rules have been relaxed, such as women not being required to wear pantyhose all the time, and being allowed to possess cellular phones outside of your car. This doesn't bother me. The relaxing of the music standards does bother me, because I believe that most, if not all of what is called CCM carries a subliminal message in its musical style which fosters a casual attitude toward the things of God. I say this as someone who semi-regularly enjoys swing and jazz; I know that not all fun music is evil, but I also know that CCM does not carry the reverence toward an Almighty, Holy God which the great Christian music of bygone years carried. I believe that this is a reflection of the intellectual and spiritual condition of the artists.

Consider for a moment the life of Martin Luther: a monk who was highly educated in music and the Bible, who was willing to put his very life on the line for the Word of God, and a man who suffered much at the hands of the false teachers of the day. It was he who created the grandiose song "A Mighty Fortress is our God," a majestic hymn which practically drips with love, admiration, and above all trust in the great Jehovah God. Just thinking about it moves me with love for my redeemer. Then consider the life of Sandi Patty: a woman who was trained in music, and began a very successful career, but was caught in adultery, and subsequently left her husband for the man with whom she had been committing adultery. After this, she had to perform pop for awhile while her image recovered. She performs songs such as "Let there be praise," a song which has a driving beat and exciting melodic syncopation, but which is Biblically empty. Then let us consider Casting Crowns: it is basically a Christian garage band, made up of people with (so far as I can determine) little musical training, who perform songs like "I can only imagine," which is melodically lifeless and lyrically opposed to the Biblical record. I don't have to imagine what I will do when I stand before the risen Christ; I will do exactly what everyone else has, which is to fall on my face and cry "Holy! Holy! Holy is the Lord God of Hosts!" For anyone who wants a real eye-opener on what has truly happened with Christian music over the last 150 years, I highly recommend the free download of three messages by H.T. Spence, found here (3 individual links): ... 2402233956 ... 2402234046 ... 2402234113 Dr. Spence chronicles the great falling away in the Church, and how music has both driven and been affected by this apostasy.

In short, I don't recommend PCC, but neither do I really want to automatically discourage people from attending. If you believe that God would have you to attend PCC because He wishes to use it to make you a better servant for Him, I will be the first to help you get there. If, however, you want a cheap college near the beach that makes your parents feel comfortable so they'll help you run away from them, please, go somewhere else. I met a lot of people at PCC who were in this group; they were perpetually miserable, and they made the lives of the people around them more difficult. Hopefully this now over two-hour time investment of mine can help someone who is prayerfully considering PCC for themselves or a loved one to make a wise decision.

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Joined: Fri Aug 09, 2013 11:26 pm
Location: Washington, D.C. area

PCC's strangeness...

Postby Arby » Fri Aug 09, 2013 11:44 pm

A young friend who is going to go to Evangel mentioned to me that PCC doesn't permit students to attend evangelical churches. Can this be true? I am shocked, frankly. Indeed, she cited it as the main reason she decided against PCC. I suppose it struck her as odd, perhaps even un-Christian. For some years I have tried to pin down the difference, if any, between "fundamentalist" and "evangelical," and have tried to explain it to some international journalists -- especially some years back when there was so much talk of the "evangelical vote" in presidential elections. So, I explored it a bit and interviews some pastors on what they thought the difference was, etc.

Frankly, I had not heard of PCC until some years back when a young acquaintance decided to go there. Since I hadn't heard of it I figured it couldn't be in the top tier of Christian colleges, and I still think it is not. Probably not the second tier either, as far as respectability, academic or otherwise.

Isn't PCC, though, where Billy Graham got his under-graduate degree, before going to Wheaton College for his post-graduate work? I can imagine, as a young Christian, perhaps he didn't know better at the time. Or perhaps PCC has changed in the many years since then. But maybe I have that fact wrong, where BG went...

On Abeka -- my children have been going to a Christian elementary and middle school for their entire schooling and I noticed the Abeka books and that they were from Pensacola. Frankly, I was very unimpressed with the books, which, for me, cast doubt on my children's school itself. Couldn't our school find better texts than these? Didn't our school know any better? What is wrong with these people!? And I wondered why a more respectable, top-tier Christian college didn't come out with higher-quality textbooks. (Maybe they have and I just don't know it). Certainly, the Christian college world can do better than these books from PCC! Frankly, I still don't understand that.

A third point: A very good friend of mine became involved, long ago, in the start-up denomination run, in recent years, by C.J. Mahaney. By personal observation, it became clear to me that it was cult-like, some hallmarks of which were excessive authoritarian leadership, being "controlling." Heaven help you -- seriously -- if that is what those of you involved with PCC are experiencing! That is not real Christianity, in my opinion.

Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Aug 09, 2013 11:26 pm
Location: Washington, D.C. area

Billy Graham went to Florida Bible Institute (FBI!)

Postby Arby » Fri Aug 09, 2013 11:53 pm

OK, I Googled it, Billy Graham went to Florida Bible Institute, which is now called Trinity. He did not go to PCC. OK, got it.

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