he Collegiate Letter   

The Collegiate Letter Meet The Pillars of Peril
There is nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9).

King Solomon wrote this proverb thousands of years ago, yet it is still true today. Oh, sure, we have airplanes and computers and snowboards now, but new things are not what Solomon was referring to.

Solomon was describing the repetitions of life—how the sun rises and sets, how people toil in their work, how desiring fame and fortune is vanity. It can be summed up like this—you’re born, you learn, you work, you eat, you sleep, you live, you die. No one is excluded; we all tread a remarkably similar road.

There is nothing new under the sun—including sin and temptation.

Sin can simply be defined as going your own way in opposition to God’s way. As the Creator, Sustainer, and Judge of mankind, God has clearly stated His way in the Bible. The Ten Commandments were continually broken way back then; the same Ten Commandments are continually broken now. Sin has been, is, and always will be the problem in the world. There is no new sin under the sun.

There aren’t any new temptations under the sun either. But this is actually a good thing because every temptation you will face in life has previously been encountered—and overcome—by someone, somewhere, sometime. College is no exception—there are no new sinful temptations under the campus sun. In each succeeding generation, they just come wrapped in different packages.

So take heart. You won’t be facing anything previously unknown in college. The Bible says, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man” (I Corinthians 10:13). That was written almost two thousand years ago, and it still applies today.

Where does temptation come from, anyway? The Tempter, of course. You know him as Satan or the devil, and he plays off our inborn sinful tendencies. Satan and his minions have used the same lures to bait people into the trap of sin, generation after generation after generation. Why? Because they work for the vast majority of mankind!

But in reality, Satan is just a three-trick pony. All the different temptations you will face in college—and there are many—can be grouped into just three basic categories.

The Pillars Of Promise Or The Pillars Of Peril?

Have you ever noticed that at many universities and colleges the most prominent building on campus is characterized by several large pillars? Pillars have come to be universally recognized not just as a symbol for the U.S. Supreme Court building but as a symbol of higher education. These massive pillars represent strength, support, and longevity. For college students these pillars promise a better future through education, maturation, and preparation.

At a University of Instruction a student gains an education in various academic fields, grows in maturity from boy to man or from girl to woman, and gets prepared for a career and life as an adult. Fundamentally, these are the three Pillars of Promise that college offers.

Unfortunately, though, the collegiate Pillars of Promise are often perverted and replaced by something completely different. Instead of achieving the promise of a better future as a result of gaining an education, growing in maturation, and getting career preparation, students get distracted and sidetracked by three other pillars that also represent college life but result in a worse future. Choosing and succumbing to these pillars causes a University of Instruction to turn into a University of Destruction.

What are these pillars? Not the Pillars of Promise, they are the Pillars of Peril.

The Pillars of Peril are summed up in a very familiar triad: Sex, Drugs, and Rock ’n’ Roll. Every sinful temptation you will ever face in college falls into one of these three categories. Let’s find out how.


The first Pillar of Peril is Sex. Sexual sin comes in many varieties—premarital sex, lust, pornography (Internet, movies, magazines), oral sex, homosexuality, adultery, masturbation, strip clubs, sensual dancing and dress, lewd jokes, rape, orgies, fantasies, sexual harassment, incest, bigamy, bestiality, and sexual content in movies, commercials, and television. Did I miss any?

All of these are just different forms of sexual sin. They are perversions of God’s design for sex.

If the Tempter can’t get you with one of them, he’ll try another.

Drugs and Alcohol

The second Pillar of Peril is Drugs and Alcohol. The use of drugs and alcohol causes the mind and spirit to be altered. And there are many different ways for this to be accomplished—beer, wine, hard liquor, marijuana, heroin, cocaine, crack, pills, methamphetamine, ecstasy, pain or sleeping medications, GHB (a date rape drug), and even glue sniffing. Once again there are many different options, but they all fall under the same category and do the same thing—they alter your mental and spiritual state.

If the Tempter can’t get you with one of them, he’ll try another.


The third Pillar of Peril is “Rock ‘n’ Roll.” Notice the quotation marks—I’m not speaking musically here, but rather about what rock ‘n’ roll has historically represented—rebellion against authority (especially God’s ) and rejection of the Bible. Whenever God’s authority is rejected, even slightly, man and his own flawed reasoning reign—this is what is known as humanism. The third Pillar of Peril would more accurately be named humanism, which is the direct result of rebellion ‘n’ rejection of God and His Word.

This pillar has a broad reach because it encapsulates every type of thought and action that rebels against God and rejects the Bible. It could be one of the many godless, man-centered philosophies promoted by teachers at secular (non-religious) colleges such as post-modernism, hedonism, evolution, atheism, or nihilism. This is secular humanism.

Or it could be any of the many man-devised biblical errors that you will encounter at a liberal Christian college, such as: The Bible is not the sole basis for truth and has many inaccuracies and discrepancies; Jesus is not the sinless Son of God and is not the only way to eternal life in heaven; and all religions—Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, New Age, Wicca, etc.—are equal. This is religious humanism.

In short, the R ‘n’ R pillar is a battle for your mind, a battle for your worldview. It includes every temptation that says, “God may say one thing in the Bible, but He’s not my authority, and I’m going to believe and do what I want.” When you think of the third pillar, think of the inevitable result of rebellion and rejection of God and the Bible—humanism.

And once again, if the Tempter can’t get you with one of them, he’ll try another—or even more confusing for you, he’ll try to get you sidetracked by several of these erroneous philosophies.

Let’s talk fundamentals for a moment. The Pillars of Peril—also known as sin—have been man’s downfall ever since Satan first introduced them to the first humans, Adam and Eve.

Satan himself was the first “rock ‘n’ roller,” the first one to rebel against God and reject His Word. He then successfully enticed Adam and Eve to do the same in the Garden of Eden, thereby consigning the human race to sin.

It really is a battle between obedience and rebellion. God said the following to Cain, Adam and Eve’s son (and the first murderer): “If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies [crouches] at the door. And its desire is for you. . .” (Genesis 4:7).

What does God mean? He means that if you obey Him, you will do well and be accepted. But if you rebel against God and reject His Word, sin is crouching at your door, and its desire is to destroy you. Think about that: Satan wants to destroy you through tempting you to sin.

Think I’m making that up? Consider this: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world” (I Peter 5:8-9).

If you remember one thing from this month's Collegiate Letter, remember this: The Tempter’s desire is to lure you into habitual sin so he can destroy your earthly life and, even more important, your afterlife. He’s goin’ down, and he wants to take you with him. Don’t let him do it! Resist him!

“Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).

When I hear a student glibly say, “I’m gonna sow my wild oats in college,” I sadly think of this passage from the Bible:

“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life” (Galatians 6:7-8).

You have a choice in college: You can sow a life that pleases your flesh, or you can sow a life that pleases God. It is completely up to you.

Warning! The three Pillars of Peril pose extreme danger to your soul. Those who wrongly and foolishly minimize their danger are denying the reality that sin stings, enslaves, and spiritually kills.

In college your reality is that the three Pillars are perilous and that you must be an Overcomer to conquer them.[...]

Very Important Principle:

The Pillars of Peril are tempting and dangerous, but they are nothing new under the sun.

Message to Memorize:

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world” (I Peter 5:8-9).

From: The University of Destruction
by David Wheaton