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2003 Conversations


Joy Williams: Rooted in Grace (December 29, 2002)

Judy Rachels: Christmas gifts (December 22, 2002)

Ralph Carmichael: New music for a timeless message (December 15, 2002)

Roger and Greg Flessing: Media, ministry and society's ungodly messages (December 8, 2002)

Rick Salvato: Meeting medical and spiritual needs around the world (November 24, 2002)

Asa Hutchinson: Drug Enforcement's top officer (November 17, 2002)

Bill Bright: 'Not I, but Christ' (November 10, 2002)

Ray Berryhill: Living by faith (October 20, 2002)

Owen C. Carr: Reading through the Bible 92 times (October 13, 2002)

Curtis Harlow: Combating campus drinking (September 29, 2002)

Wes Bartel: Making Sunday count (September 22, 2002)

M. Wayne Benson: The Holy Spirit knocks (September 15, 2002)

Dr. Richard Dobbins: Understanding Suffering (September 8, 2002)

K.R. Mele: Halloween evangelism (August 25, 2002)

Roland Blount: God makes a way for blind missionary (August 18, 2002)

Cal Thomas: Finding a mission field (August 11, 2002)

Lisa Ryan: For such a time as this (July 28, 2002)

Dallas Holm: Faith and prayer in life’s toughest times (July 21, 2002)

Paul Drost: Intentional church planting (July 14, 2002)

James M. Inhofe: Serving Christ in the Senate (June 30, 2002)

Karen Kingsbury: The Write stuff (June 23, 2002)

Michael W. Smith: Worship is how you live each day (June 16, 2002)

Wayne Stayskal: On the drawing board (June 9, 2002)

Fory VandenEinde: Anyone can minister (May 26, 2002)

Thomas E. Trask: Pentecost Sunday (May 19, 2002)

Stormie Omartian: Recovering from an abusive childhood (May 12, 2002)

Luis Carrera: Beyond the Shame (April 28, 2002)

Tom Greene: The church of today (April 21, 2002)

Philip Bongiorno: Wisdom for a younger generation (April 14, 2002)

Deborah M. Gill: Christian education and discipleship (March 24, 2002)

Norma Champion: Becoming involved in politics (February 24, 2002)

Steve Pike: A candid discussion about Mormonism (February 10, 2002)

Raymond Berry: More to life than football (January 27, 2002)

Sanctity of Human Life roundtable: Doctors speak out (January 20, 2002)

Chaplain Charles Marvin: Ministering in the military (January 13, 2002)


2001 Conversations

Combating campus drinking

(September 29, 2002)

Curtis Harlow, leadership development representative for the Chi Alpha Campus Ministries U.S.A. office in Springfield, Mo., spoke with John Cockroft, staff writer, about campus drinking. Chi Alpha is the missionary arm of the Assemblies of God to the secular colleges and universities of America.

PE: How does Chi Alpha address the subject of drinking?

HARLOW: We take on-campus drinking seriously while trying to avoid a stereotype that all students are part of some "animal house." The sad truth in America today is that every campus deals with alcohol abuse. All of our leaders can tell stories of serious injury and even death that occurred as a result of students drinking on campus. However, drinking overall is down at most schools, and even secular universities are starting to see that typical campus drinking parties are bad for students. Chi Alpha tries to serve students and the campus by giving a positive alternative to drinking and providing clear answers to the complex questions students have about substance abuse overall.

PE: Why do so many college students drink?

HARLOW: It is about stress relief and the desire to be accepted. College students are making the most important decisions of their lives. The pressure to pay bills, form new relationships, succeed in the classroom and ultimately sort out their basic worldview can place a heavy burden on them.

Drinking also lowers inhibition and in an artificial way facilitates relationships. It provides a sort of social glue for young adults who are desperately looking for a substitute family while they are at college. That’s why it’s hard for even a Christian to resist the temptation to go with the crowd to a frat party or be part of the gang drinking beer in a dorm room.

These temptations are compounded by the reality that drinking on campus has become a very deeply ingrained tradition. Spring break trips have become an "alcohol bath" and are seen by millions of students as a sort of rite of passage. It is sad that even students who do not drink regularly participate in spring break drunkenness as a part of their "college experience."

PE: What are some steps for college students to overcome alcohol addiction and/or temptations related to it?

HARLOW: They must find a source of peace that does not come from a can or a bottle. The pressures of college only intensify after leaving school – resisting alcohol is all about finding a better way to deal with stress. That’s why Chi Alpha emphasizes worship and prayer in the midst of the campus environment. Students need to know they can find Christians in the presence of Christ right where they live. If we are successful at ushering in God’s presence, the peace of Christ might become the next "drug of choice" on campus.

Students also need to be proactive about establishing friendships and articulating exactly what their values are before they go to college. Jesus sent His disciples out with clear instructions and in groups of two. The campus is a mission field and we need to send our students to campuses with a lot of specific help on how to handle temptation. We need to make sure they have other Christians with them as they go. Our Web site, www.chialpha.com, lists schools that have a Chi Alpha ministry and gives advice on how a student can begin to build relationships with believers even before coming to campus.

PE: With what other life issues does Chi Alpha help students?

HARLOW: The three big issues are: What should I do with my life? Whom should I marry? and What do I believe? How college students answer these questions has a lifelong impact. Chi Alpha tries to provide not just cookie-cutter answers to life issues but a relationship with God and His Word that will produce a true disciple. If we can win over college students, Chi Alpha will develop lifelong leaders.

 

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