Discussing the topic of “rules” as a general matter is sort of like discussing “Japanese History,” it is narrow within a broader scope, but it is still too broad to be adequately addressed in as short a space as I have here. So, for those of you who always complain that I am not thorough enough, I will admit that now, so save your “pens.” This is, however, really only meant to introduce the following “Rules Compilation.” Regardless of how much one knows or has thought about “rules” as a concept, this “Rules Compilation” speaks for itself. But first, I would like to make a few
observations about people who like the PCC rules; and when I say “like the PCC rules,” I am NOT saying those who “like PCC.” I like PCC, I just do not like much of the philosophy that governs the “community” (for instance, the amount and extent of the rules).
I must say that from a sociological and psychological point of view, it is interesting to hear people express the idea that they “came to PCC becauseof the rules.” These are the people who want strict regulations to govern their lives (which is ok) but who want others to determine what they will be; they are the ones who seem to wallow in their own lack of self-worth, for
they obviously feel themselves inadequate to determine their own personal rules themselves.
It seems to me that this type of outlook, besides being completely abnormal, is a form of psychological and social sadomasochism. There is a desire to tie up and bind one’s own mind and social freedom, even though society (and Scripture) expects otherwise. These students desire to have their social interactions inhibited by others, as if others have some innate, privileged knowledge as to what is best for other individuals on a semi-grand scale. I think these individuals fall into one of two categories:
(1) Those who simply love PCC so much that they will resort to any measure to justify and explain PCC’s harsh regulatory environment.
Deep down inside, these people do not really want the strict lifestyle that PCC requires, but they see this as a small “evil” compared to the greater “good.” This is completely understandable. In fact, I am hoping that most of those who have expressed a joy at being constantly told what to do fall into this category and not the second. These individuals, though,
fear saying anything negative about PCC – they are afraid to admit that PCC could be in need of some change.
This tells me that, good intentions notwithstanding, these people desire the status quo over true intellectual discourse. They would rather stick their heads in the sand like an ostrich and pretend that their dislike for an overabundance of rules does not exist, than to admit that perhaps this overabundance needs to be made a little less abundant – i.e., PCC is not as “perfect” as they would like to admit. This is an indication that their lives are contingent upon the image and are heavily intertwined with the success of PCC, not with learning, for learning involves confronting and challenging ideas – even if they are one’s own.
(2) Those who actually DO want PCC’s strict rules.
The second group of people I see are those who actually do want PCC’s strict rules. I believe that this exhibits a lack of maturity and the presence of a poor self-image. This individual is saying one of two things: (1) I CANNOT, or I am INCAPABLE of making rules for myself, or (2) I WILL NOT make rules for myself. Therefore, this person says, I need someone else to make them for me. This individual is expressing either an inability to cope with life’s basic challenges, or he is expressing a satisfaction in not having to cope with life’s basic challenges – i.e., setting basic guidelines for oneself.
The Apostle Paul said in I Corinthians 13:11 (KJV), “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” Being an adult means taking on adult responsibilities and making adult decisions. Being a child means having others make them for you.
Can we delegate to someone else our basic responsibilities before God? Technically, yes. Philosophically, yes. Legally, yes. But what about morally? I don’t know. . . . It seems to me that if God gave us a free will to exercise for His glory, it would be a violation of that basic responsibility to say no, I won’t exercise it – you do it for me. Is God looking down at the PCC community and rejoicing over this collective exercise of free will? Is God happy that students are acting “according to His principles” simply because someone else is making them? It’s difficult to imagine. So, to those of you who say that you WANT the rules at PCC I say, grow up. Be men and women, not boys and girls. Stop looking to constantly suck stability from the teats of PCC’s self-anointed morality breast.
Before I get completely taken out of context, let me make something clear: RULES ARE GOOD. RULES ARE NEEDED. PCC MUST HAVE RULES. But before you now dismiss Mr. X as having been “born again” to the PCC way, hear me out. Inherent in the whole notion of rules are two concepts: authority and purpose. Actually, “purpose” is a stepchild of “authority,” but for the purpose of simplicity, I will keep them separate. (For our view of authority versus PCC’s “view,” see Issue 1, No. 1; Dr. Horton’s Statements; Issue 2, No. 4.)
Assuming that PCC has all the authority in the world to make all of its rules, which I think for the most part it does, there remains the question of “purpose” – what is the purpose of the rules, what are they meant to accomplish?
To those who are strong advocates of PCC’s current system, I would like to pose the following hypothetical for your consideration: Let’s say PCC decided that based on the Scriptural admonition to do everything “decently and in order” (I Corinthians 14:40), it was going to require that all students coming in and going out of chapel must do so in a single-file line with “door holders” and “line monitors.” And let me just repeat all of the justifications that have been used: (1) you decided to go there, so accept it; (2) it’s based on Scripture; (3) to express disagreement with this rule exhibits rebellion; (4) PCC needs to maintain a good “testimony” (instead of “image”); etc.
Some of you would see no problem (does the pied piper come to mind?). Others would say, wait a minute, there really is no genuine purpose for having this rule. It simply goes too far. Without consciously thinking through any principles upon which to arrive at that conclusion, you would essentially be weighing the positive aspects (maintaining order and discipline) against the negative aspects (waste of time, poor image, improper way to treat adults, humiliating, etc.) to come to the conclusion that the negative far outweighs the positive. And you would be right.
Now, consider the following “Rules Compilation” in the same light, and ask yourself the same question: what are the positive aspects versus the negative aspects? Also ask yourself: Why doesn’t PCC include these in the Student Handbook? One more: What would Christ (or the Apostle Paul) say about these “rules” if He were here today?
But then read them again for entertainment, for they are quite amusing. Go ahead, laugh out loud. Oops! I forgot, laughing out loud may be considered “active participation in rebellion.” If you laugh, you had better laugh quietly. . . .