The thing that turns young people away from Christianity in college

spitting water

A short, informative article was posted here that reports on a study performed on college campuses across the nation. Their purpose: to find out why so many young Christians lose their faith in college. Their strategy for doing so: they asked them.

An example they give is enlightening:

“Instead of would-be Richard Dawkins’, the typical respondent was more like Phil, a student Taunton interviewed. Phil had grown up in church; he had even been the president of his youth group. What drove Phil away wasn’t the lure of secular materialism or even Christian moral teaching.”

According to the article, “he was specifically upset when his church changed youth pastors” because “his old youth pastor ‘knew the Bible’ and made Phil ‘feel smart’ about his faith even when he didn’t have all the answers.”

The replacement youth pastor was a downgrade from the old: more child than adult. He “taught less and played more.”

The main point highlighted in the article, I think, is that churches whose mission is vague and touchy-feely set young people up for becoming the dead branches that Jesus prunes from the tree and tosses into the fire to burn. [John 15:6] The respondents said that the ministers they most respected were those who “took the Bible seriously.”

It is often feared that being hardcore about the Bible will turn young people away, especially in this “age of reason” and science. As a result, churches compromise the Word by allowing the Big Bang Theory to supplant the truth of six-day creation, for example.

But that fear is the opposite of reality. One, because kids want to be challenged, and two, primarily, because Jesus spits that sort of lukewarm water out of his mouth. [Rev. 3:16]


What’s the answer? Simple. Christians should do as their Lord commands them: take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. [2 Cor. 10:5] Believe the Holy Spirit when he says that “we destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God” because “the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.” [2 Cor. 10:4-5]

Take God’s Word into culture in boldness. Don’t know where to start?

How about with having faith in Genesis, Chapter 1, when it says that God created the heavens and the earth in six days. If you doubt its plain meaning there, God gives you a second witness in Exodus 20 when he says that “in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day.” [vs. 11]

Christ will bless you for your faith and obedience. You must step out over that ledge and have faith that your savior will protect you and provide for your daily bread. For every criticism you experience, for every sling and arrow of outrageous unbelief that you suffer, you will be blessed.

Sound too good to be true?

“For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake,” and “blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you” because of Christ. [Philippians 1:29, Matt. 5:11]

Those are the Spirit’s words, not mine.

The solution is to change your presuppositions by adopting Van Til’s presuppositional apologetic, which is simply the Biblical apologetic: Proverbs 26:4-5. Assume as your foundation in all knowledge the truth of Scripture. Everything else is man-made and subject to corruption.

Conform your mind to Christ’s. Your thought processes are broken because they are overrun by sin. Until Christians acknowledge that, admit it, and ask Christ to change it, they’ll continue running in circles, the Church will decay, and our children will be set upon the wide path to hell.

Repair your mind through faith and prayer and by studying Biblical logic.

Our youth will be impressed by your faith in the Word against all pagan assaults.

As Christians, we are to be leaders and set the example for our covenant children. Be hot, not lukewarm. Christ commanded it, and they thirst for it.



3 responses to “The thing that turns young people away from Christianity in college

  1. Great post! Much needed! Excellent scriptures! Here are a couple of creepy links. The fixers are already on the problem. ENTERTAINment Sunday School is being replaced with the EnterTRAINment Sunday School. Second link advocates inoculating the young with best arguments against Christian faith. That way they can enter into a Christian Ju-Jitsu with the big bad enemy. I’m supposing Marxist role playing would be found acceptable in such settings.’s-important-to-inoculate-rather-than-isolate-our-young-people#.UeFHouATs00

  2. Pingback: What your college and seminary professors, and probably your church, will never tell you about studying the Bible | Rebuild America's Biblical Worldview

  3. Oh absolutely fascinating stuff. Of course, not being a youth yourself it must seem so strange that people would ever willingly leave the flock.

    Your ignorance, willful or no, at just why people begin to question is in itself a perfect example of why young people are beginning to turn away from churches occupied by people such as yourself. Because you set no compromise. Never mind that as of this week it is now proven that the Big Bang theory is correct; that has been nailed down. But you leave no room to talk about how this could have been a plan of god, instead you insist that if you cannot accept the exact words written by a man thousands of years ago as he tried to explain what science was not there to explain to him, you’re a bad christian.

    Young people today are exposed to knowledge at a rate you and your narrow-minded peers could not even begin to appreciate. And so they have new questions, while all you present are old answers and ancient condemnations.

    Your unwillingness to adapt and bend are what will drive the young away to seek answers to the new questions, because you provide none.

    That the nature of faith has changed as we discover more about the world we live in. Accept that or die in obscurity as your own pride in your so called ‘true faith’ rots you from the inside.

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