“The average Christian does not realize that there is an intellectual war going on in the universities and in the professional journals and scholarly societies. Christianity is being attacked from all sides as irrational or outmoded, and millions of students, our future generation of leaders, have absorbed this viewpoint. This is a war which we cannot afford to lose…” – William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith, 1994
Heading off to university can be a shock. The new social & moral pressures are difficult enough. When these are added to the barrage of intellectual attacks undermining Christianity, many young Christians struggle to maintain their faith and many others abandon it.
Many young believers struggle in their spiritual walk because they have unanswered questions. They may have grown up in Christian homes or they may have had an encounter with God; their hearts were touched by the love of Christ and they accepted Him as Lord and Savior. But after time, life’s hardships tarnish the luster of early emotions and the difficult questions begin knocking on the door. “How can a good God allow so much pain and suffering?” “Why did God command killing in the Old Testament?” “Is the Bible reliable?” These may be questions of their own or questions asked by non-believers for which they have no response. Often times, people who’ve been raised in Christian homes go through a questioning season when their Christianity transitions from resting on the faith of their parents to becoming that of their own.
The tragedy is that some of these searching Christians, perhaps many more than we would like to admit, eventually come to the conclusion that maybe Christianity doesn’t have answers… and thus, maybe it is not true. This move may not be out of rebellion but out of an intellectually honest quest for the truth. Many of these losses happen when Christians are in their college years, when young believers are thrown from the safety of the Christian community and into the “outside world” where the typical answers no longer hold up to scrutiny.
How many these Christians walk away from their faith during their time at university? It’s difficult to say specifically. Some surveys have put it between 50%-70% and one denomination realized they were losing nearly 90% of their young people who attend secular universities. These statistics have burdened us for a long time and we felt led to do something about it.
Tonight at YWAM Maui, we will have opening night for our college prep seminar, “Reformation Generation.” The goal of this 4 week program is to prepare university students to not only survive spiritually but to thrive in their faith during these crucial years of education. We address the difficult questions which are raised against Christianity; we apply the critical thinking skills needed to recognize false assumptions; and we develop the spiritual disciplines needed to keep relationship with Christ at the center.
Please be in prayer for the participants who have come from the US and Canada. Pray that God would use this time to prepare them to be a generation of reformers.