Entering the Real World

Entering the Real World

A by Paladin4life

This was the final essay I wrote for my senior capstone in college. I hope you enjoy it.



Colt Vaughn
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Senior Capstone
Dr. Graham and Dr. Moyer
Entering the “Real World”
            Having lived all but five years of my life within the ivory walls of Academia, the concept of finally graduating and gaining admission to the “real world” is both an exciting and a frightening one. Nearly all of my life experience that I can clearly recall occurred within the realm of its influence. Now is the time in which all of my planning and speculating on how to live my life will come into practice. We have discussed many social and ethical issues in theory throughout this course. Now each of us must choose the path to take and the correct course of action for each of these various social issues as well as the manifold others that will be hurled our way throughout the course of our lives within the “real world”.
King College has emphasized the concept of cultural transformation in Christ for the past four years. Now I have to put it into practice in all of the aspects of my life, including career, community, and culture. Choosing a career will be one of the first things I have to do after graduation. I know my field, but I do not yet have a job within it. There is much I have to contemplate in respect to my faith and my career. I am currently looking for a job as a psych tech under a psychologist. I need to find a place that will enable me to work within my field, honing my psychology skills, yet also apply some elements of my faith as well. It is imperative for each of us, no matter what field we may choose to integrate the values of out Lord into it.
The film The Big Kahuna plays with the idea of integration of faith in the work place. Bob was a Christian and tried to bring his faith into the workplace, but he made one major mistake. Instead of integrating his faith with his career, he ended up hurting his testimony in the eyes of those he was trying to share his fait and offer a good example. I understand the fear that Bob had about invalidating his faith in the eyes of the Kahuna by pitching his company’s lubricants. He did not intend on using his faith to sell products, which shows that he was honorable in reference to his faith, but Bob made a mistake that I need to be aware of: I need to make sure to do whatever job I have well as well as share my faith. Faith must be lived and then told. This is one way to initiate cultural transformation in Christ.
            I have already chosen my community. If the Lord wills I will be building my house on the family land and we will all be living in our own little community. Most of my neighbors are relatives of some sort. It is my goal for all of us to collectively model a good Christian community. As far as the greater community is concerned, I want to live faithfully before them in order to represent my Lord well. This will include being a kind neighbor, helping those in need, and being a reliable member of my community; once again stressing the practice of living faith in addition to just telling it. This is another means of launching cultural transformation in Christ.
            Now, trying to change the culture on a larger level is more complicated, because it is not as simple as fixing one or two things. Many aspects of our culture fall far short of the ideal Christian one. Everyday the news displays further proof that our society has missed the mark (as have all societies). Everyday in this country injustice abounds. These ethical wrongs I have to face and figure out what I am supposed to do about it. The films we watched in class and our discussions have led me to ponder several of these issues.    
Both Rabbit Proof-fence and GATTACA bring up the issue of discrimination. How do I as a Christian and as a minister confront this threat within American society today?  We are al aware of different groups of people that have been discriminated against for various reasons. Sometimes it comes from differences in skin color, nationality, or religion. Discrimination is a terrible thing, because in many ways it takes away some piece of both the oppressive group and the discriminating one. Discrimination brings out the worst in otherwise descent people.
            The first step in dealing with discrimination for me is to find out where my prejudice lies. I have to know which groups of people and for what reasons I have stereotypical thoughts towards. As Christians we have to do this so that we will be able to identify potential weak spots in our ministries. Sometimes we can develop negative thoughts about whole groups of people based upon a single experience. Sometimes people do not understand a particular group and therefore dislike them. Sometimes different theological or ideological views can lead us to treat others as inferior.
I know that I sometimes have a hard time dealing with those whose beliefs differ greatly from my own. When I was younger I often came across as arrogant when I dealt with these kinds of people. The Whites in Rabbit-Proof Fence thought that because they were “Christians” (I use the term loosely), they had the right and maybe even the obligation to take the Aborigines under their wing and westernize them. They treated them as if they were ignorant children who needed to be looked after.
I believe in evangelism. I believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven, but I know that a ministry where I treat other people inferior to myself will be doomed to fail. God has given every Christian the responsibility to carry His Word to the entire world. In order to do it effectively, I must make sure that I see every person regardless of their beliefs as equal, and thusly treat them that way. No one wants to be talked down to like a little child. This does not mean I compromise my beliefs. It means that I present them out of concern for the hearer, with the love of Christ, and with respect for the person instead of with an attitude of superiority.
Christians have many responsibilities in this world. I have previously discussed the importance of dealing with out prejudices in order to have ministries with efficacy, but there are many other facets in our lives in which we need to honor Christ. We have been given many responsibilities within society. We are to seek justice and do our best to live right in this present world. It is one thing to say these words, but a completely different thing to live them out. I have to make decisions in how to apply my faith to many social and ethical issues. On what basis do I choose a political candidate or pick a side on the vast number of political issues being thrown at me on a daily basis?   
Everything I do needs to be done in order to bring honor and glory to God Almighty and bring about cultural transformation in Christ. The problem is (as we found in our classroom discussions) we do not all agree on what it means to bring about this cultural transformation, or even what it should look like. I became well aware of this problem when my group presented on Christian ethics in choosing a presidential candidate.
I thought that making a presentation arguing for Christians to be politically active would be universally accepted by the group, but I was wrong. Many in the group seemed to think that it would be wrong to “impose” Christian views on the society at large. It is a problem that we can not all agree on what the right path for our country is, but that does not do away with our responsibility to bring about change. Each Christian needs to search the Scriptures and pray about what the correct path is on any given issue.
The very last student led presentation brought up a very important point about our beliefs. They asked us the seemingly simple question of where did our beliefs come from. I think this question can potentially lead us in a positive direction, because if we know where our beliefs come, we have a better idea of how to weigh and judge them. Perhaps many of our beliefs are actually those of our parents or some other authority figure who in an attempt to train us grounded their beliefs within us. We may have just accepted them because of the source from which they came and never really thought them through for ourselves.
Our student led discussions enabled me to think about my views on manifold subjects through the lens of cultural transformation in Christ. I thought about my view on many issues, and though I did not change any of my pre-established beliefs, I did stop and think them all through in the light of the information each student offered and as a result stuck to what I already knew to be the truth. In the end I suppose that was the greatest purpose of this course was to make each of us contemplate our beliefs to see what we believe and why.
Upon doing this I was able to determine why I have the beliefs I have. I gave my belief system a critical review and found some places in need of fine tuning, but over all I found my system to be in good shape. This class has helped me develop the critical analysis skills I needed to analyze my own beliefs in order to try and detect fallacies in my thought so that I can appropriately deal with them. I expect to see many theological and political confrontations in the future, but if I can manage to live my faith, be respectful to those I am sharing my faith with, and maintain the other portions of my life as well, then maybe to some degree I can see cultural transformation in Christ.

© 2009 Paladin4life

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Hi just a little note from myself here letting you all know that many of the references in this essay will not make sense unless you have seen these movies. Well anyways I hope you can enjoy this essay about cultural transformation in Christ!

Posted 14 Years Ago

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Added on May 15, 2009
Last Updated on May 15, 2009



Kingsport, TN

Greetings! I am a 28 year old born again Christian, preacher of the gospel of Jesus Christ, as well as the owner of a B.A degree in Psychology. I read the Bible more than anything else, because I base.. more..

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