Sometimes no matter how much you expect and prepare yourself mentally for something, it still serves to shake you when it actually does happen.
It has been only a week here at Yale-NUS. A long week, admittedly, but 7 days of 24 hours nonetheless. Is such a time enough for the anticipated tensions to arise? Apparently so. Already there has been much talk about religion, and homosexuality, and (especially) feminism. As a Christian with Biblically-informed Christian worldviews, I cannot help but feel like a minority whose views are suddenly radical and dangerous, even irreverent and heretical. It is a rude awakening to the reality of the world as it is today after many months of enjoying mainly Christian environments and communities. I expected it to be easy to stand for my beliefs – after all it is not as if I am without friends who question them. But I have realised that it is a whole different ballgame when you are actually immersed and surrounded by people who hold views that are fundamentally in direct contention with yours. Perhaps irrationally, I feel passively oppressed. I do not dare to speak up, or sometimes even to say that I am a Christian. I fear that I will be judged, seen as a fundamentalist bigot who hates gays. It is a terrible inner tension to have, and I have come to treasure contact with fellow Christians who share my views. (Whoo! Comrade!)
To be sure, I cannot say that I am taken by surprise. (“You brought this upon yourself, Derek.”) People did tell me to expect this, and I really did. But again, expecting something and being able to weather it when it happens are two different things. Nonetheless, I chose this college with the knowledge that such tensions would arise, and I chose it in faith that God will bring me through it. So all I can do is hold on to Him and His Word, and trust that He will give me the words and the wisdom. If He is for me, who can be against me?
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed. for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
I cannot wait for CF to start.