Ideas are important. Growing up, I was surrounded, for the most part, by people who had the same center to their ideas: Christ. I grew into that and accepted Christ as my own Savior, the center of all my ideas and beliefs. For a while, I did not encounter anything so different from that on a regular basis.
And then, I went to college. Now on an almost daily basis, I sit and try to learn in an atmosphere not Christ-centered for the first time. I find myself constantly on my guard and extremely hesitant to accept any ideas being taught without inspection because I do not want to integrate false and dangerous ideas into my belief system. I do not want to base my life on unstable and false ideologies. But, it's hard, and sometimes I feel like giving up and shutting down completely, not accepting anything. To try to find the truth and the good amidst the perverted and off-center curriculum constantly is tiring. I get angry at the statements that focus on irrelevant issues and forget the real problem. When the obvious truth may not be spoken for fear of offending someones sensitivities, I wonder if anything can or should be learned in this class. I have become more cautious, even to the point of cynicism, when certain topics are brought up.
In all this, I yearn to find a break from this in church. That is where I go to worship and fellowship with fellow believers, to be built up in Christ. However, I have become suspicious of everything I hear there as well. I have heard some statements, even from the mouths of trusted church leaders, in our local congregation and on the denominational level, that are...well, worrisome. As a younger Christian, I hesitate to criticize Christians who are older than myself. I believe God intends for younger folk to learn from the elders. However, when I hear statements that imply a doctrine that is blatantly anti-scriptural, it throws me into doubt and questioning. More than I would be afraid to learn some wrong theory about the brain, I would shrink from accepting any even potentially heretical theology. If I cannot trust church leaders, who are major instructors in the faith, who can I trust to teach sound, scriptural doctrine. Now, I realize that rejecting the church because of statements of a few people would be wrong. Christians are made to live in community as the body of Christ, not on individual little self-controlled islands. I am learning the (should-be-obvious) truth that God works through faulty people as He is working in them. They will not be perfect. The body of Christ is not yet perfected and God is working. I will not reject the church because of the faulty people in it. I happen to be one of them and unified is the only way the church will grow and improve.
But, back to ideas outside the church.
When I am participating in secular amusements like movie-going and other things, I have found myself struggling to enjoy them because of my concern about accepting any bad ideologies. I could simply separate myself entirely from anything secular to try to escape unsavory ideas, but, like I noted earlier, I would not be able to escape them all by running to the church, even though I would be in an atmosphere in which people would be (or at least should be) trying to learn and grow closer to God's truth. Currently, I know God has me where I am, going to college, studying psychology. In my studies I have confronted and will continue to confront faulty and even lethal ideologies. However, I have faith that God will strengthen me to be able to face them, weed out the truth from them, and be able to fight the lies.
Yes, ideas are important and good ones may seem hard to come by. But the most important thing is to keep God at the center of all ideas and beliefs. From there, everything else will come into line. When every idea, thought, belief system is measured according to God's truth, one will be able to tell what is good and what must be discarded as falsehood.