More education need not make one less religious

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Congratulations to all those graduating on every level! Graduation ceremonies are sometimes called “Commencement” because they mark the beginning of the next phase of people’s lives. Whether or not new graduates in their next phase continue their education formally, we all at least should always continue to learn and grow intellectually.

We also should always continue to learn and grow spiritually. We never “graduate” in the sense of reaching the end of Sunday School and Adult Bible Class, but we continue to be blessed by being in God’s Word on even a daily basis. For, His Holy Scriptures testify of Jesus Christ and the salvation from sin and death that is ours by grace through faith in Him (John 5:39; 2 Timothy 3:14-17).

Recently the Pew Research Center confirmed the idea that, among the U.S public as a whole, highly-educated people are less religious. Although, the Pew report also indicated that the majority of American adults identify as Christians, and, among those Christians, those with higher levels of education appear to be just as religious as—and, in some cases, more religious than—those with less schooling.

Although the Pew report did not attempt to analyze reasons for the patterns it found, some think that the Christian faith is incompatible with the kind of human reason associated with higher education. While the Bible does speak poorly of reason corrupted by humanity’s fall into sin (for example, 1 Corinthians 1:18-2:16), the Bible certainly gives sanctified reason a place in our living out our lives as Christians (for example, Romans 8:18).

The Lutheran Reformation that is being celebrated as 500 years old this year was not, as some think, completely against reason, but rather the Reformers promoted the education of both boys and girls, in order for them to better serve in their vocations in church and society, holding reason to its role of serving the Christian faith, not displacing it as master of one’s house.

Those of any and all levels of education are welcome at Pilgrim in order to receive God’s free gift of forgiveness through His Word and Sacraments!

The Rev. Dr. Jayson S. Galler is Pastor of Pilgrim Lutheran Church in Kilgore. You can reach him through the congregation’s website: www.pilgrimlc.org.

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