Like a trampled spring and a polluted well is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.
-- Prov 25:26
A while back I met a girl who had been a Christian: brought up in a Christian home, attended church and youth group etc. Then she went to university and "lost her faith".
Why does this happen? One usually goes to Uni expecting to become wise, by walking with, talking with and listening to the wise. Why do so many young people become fools in the process? It's as if all the ungodly, sinners, and scoffers of Psalm 1 have moved into and taken over the universitites. Our youth enter these institutions expecting to pick up a dose of higher learning. What they often experience in the process is theft, murder and destruction: theft of joy, murder of faith and destruction of dignity.
What can be done about this? Presupposing that useful knowledge and skills can yet be found in universities -- it's the mechanism we use in our culture to teach the young useful, socially uplifting, professional skills -- how can churches, pastors and parents prepare their young for the challenges they will face?
Christian presuppositions differ from those of the present social milieu. We have different creation stories: Christians presuppose an intelligent God who created us deliberately and for a purpose; the university presupposes a mindless, purposeless process of chemical and biological evolution which, by mutation and natural selection accidently brought us into being.
These creation accounts are mutually exclusive. Each claims to be an accurate reflection of reality. Those who claim theses accounts as their own look out at the natural world and interpret it accordingly.
The university asserts itself as the purveyor of ultimate reality. Its claims are consistent with its presuppositions. But are its claim true?
As Christians, we need to train our children to listen well and to ask the right questions; to be able to enter the university and challenge it: challenge its claims; identify and challenge its presuppositions; hold it accountable for all it has been and now is.
We have sent our children out as sheep among wolves, and many have been eaten. Have we forgotten to teach them to be as innocent as doves and as wise as serpents? (Matt. 10:16)