December 14, 2019

What Does it Mean for an Institution to be a Bubble?

Graham Seymour ' 23 - Opinions Editor

A bubble is a concentrated place of people who live a similar lifestyle. Living in a bubble means education invokes close-mindedness rather than freedom of thought. In order to understand whether or not Gordon College is an academic bubble, we need to identify which institutions are bubbles.

A perfect example of a bubble would be the Anabaptist movement of the 16th century. The anabaptists unified behind the belief that adult baptism, rather than pedobaptist (infant baptism) teaching of the Catholic church. Outrightly discriminated by their counterparts, these anabaptist groups congregated outside of society. 

The isolation of the anabaptists meant that the central message of Matthew 28:19 to “go make disciples” was left unachieved, which in turn underscored the importance of evangelism. This establishment of communes off of the grid meant that there was no interaction and integration of free course of dialogue between anabaptists and society. Being closed off to culture meant a closed system of thinking. This orientation on adult baptism resulted in dissonance between anabaptists and the rest of the world. All in all, the anabaptist movement was a system of contrary thoughts born out of a virtually unimportant issue. The anabaptist bubble popped and there are almost none left.

            So, what does that mean for Gordon students? I would answer that Gordon College exists in the midst of a dark part of America, a lighthouse in the storm. Gordon College prepares its students intellectually to interact with the world, not run away from it.

 A bubble is a congregation of close-mindedness, but Gordon refines its students to have freedom of thought rather than repress it. It teaches its students to flourish and run toward the darkness of this generation and not shy away. Grounded with Scripture, Gordon is consequently the opposite of an intellectual bubble. Gordon illuminates the thought of students to interpret the world through the lens of scripture. Bubbles will surely pop in the wake of free thought, but Gordon stands strong on the tree that hung out our savior. We are no bubble at all, but a platform to grow.

            As a student at Gordon, I would encourage all of us not to dwindle in the face of a dark world, but to hold fast to our Truth. The word of the Lord was not given to isolate, but to empower! Let us live in that light which has been revealed to us and move toward the darkness with it.

Graham Seymour ’23 – Opinions Editor

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