Sunday, May 07, 2006

As sheep among wolves!

There they were the graduating seniors who happen to attend the church where I go every Sunday. The name of the church isn't important; it could be any number of churches across this country. They were being recognized for graduating high school and their choices of which college they planned to attend. All active in the youth group and various church functions, they were enjoying something they will probably never enjoy again - safety in numbers. At least with short-term mission trips they go out in groups. In just a few weeks, they will begin their trek into the world for the most part alone.

I hope I'm wrong. I know there are a lot of para-church groups on college campuses and the time spent in church over the last several years ought to count for something. The only question I have - well there are several - what will they do under pressure? They're certainly in for it. Today's college campus is the lion's den of Biblical proportions.

Many young people have an epiphany of some sort - whether by the prodding of their parents or through some sort of peer group pressure at a church camp or breakout weekend. They make a decision to become a Christian, rededicate their life or volunteer for strategic service. They are convinced of the validity of their "conversion". They believe the old church adage that "you and God are a majority".

Sure, they spent summers and weekends working with the kids in various Sunday school classes or short-term mission trips to Nebraska. But odds are good that many - if not most of them - haven't once been called upon to defend their beliefs, define their worldview or even give their "testimony". How many could do that - ad-lib, off the top of their head? Most? I doubt it! Even if they could, would those worldviews stand up under scrutiny? Under the pressure of an atheist professor, salivating over the opportunity to use well rehearsed arguments and class peer pressure to literally eat them alive.

How many of that recognized bunch of grads will still be standing after even two years of "higher education"? Sure - in the long run, we hope they all come back to the faith they once believed in - but what will happen in the interim?

Here they are, having survived Harry Potter in all his witchly incarnations, Star Wars in its Buddhist mind numbing "empty your mind, Luke" psychology and the Bravo channel's multi-cultural tolerance of all things abominable. Yeah, they navigated those rough waters - but what about the ones that aren't presented as fiction? What about "The DaVinci Code" that will play at the end of this month? Have they been prepared to answer the challenges this work of pure fiction makes to their "Christian faith"? Again this is nothing compared to what their professors will dish out.

Some parents answer the threat of the culture by shrouding their kids in church schools, all the way to picking out a good "Christian" college for them to go. If they only knew of all the pastors and grads who came back talking about their atheist theology Profs or the pressure to fit in with other students who have never even thought of having a conversion experience.

- Now for my two cents... as a non-parent -
I believe it would be wise to get your kids involved in a good program of apologetics. Big word - I know. Apologetics isn't apologizing for stuff, it's not even apologizing for your Christian beliefs. It is being ready to give a well-reasoned answer for the attacks that will certainly come their way.

One of the best ways to equip your kids for answering the attacks is a series of logical and well reasoned responses found in the book; Unshakable Foundations by Peter Bocchino and Norman Geisler. Its approach is to take many of the worldviews and ideas and distill them through the lens of logical thought. It helps to take them from the realm of how they feel or what they believe about their Christian faith to what they can know and how they came to such a well reasoned understanding that can withstand arguments from science, philosophy, law, history as well as the problem of pain in a world created by a good God.

I know those kids would be much better equipped and ready to face what lies before them if they had laid a solid foundation for their faith prior to entering the lion's den that will be the next few years of their lives.

Unshakable Foundations can be found at:

or you can go to the website


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