Recently I read an article (Click here) that reports that atheist… humanist… and agnostic groups are growing in number on college campuses. Here are a few quotes for contemplation…
Campus affiliates of the Secular Student Alliance, a sort of Godless Campus Crusade for Christ, have multiplied from 80 in 2007 to 100 in 2008 and 174 this fall, providing the atheist movement new training grounds for future leaders. In another sign of growing acceptance, at least three universities, including Harvard, now have humanist chaplains meeting the needs of the not-so-spiritual.
As teenagers move into young adulthood, some leave God behind. But not in huge numbers.
More than three-quarters of young adults taking part in the National Study of Youth and Religion profess a belief in God. But almost 7 percent fewer believe in God as young adults (ages 18 to 23) than did as teenagers, according to the study, which is tracking the same group of young people as they mature.
What young adults are less likely to believe in is religion. The number of those who describe themselves as “not religious” nearly doubled, to 27 percent, in young adulthood.
Growing hostility toward religion was found, too. About 1 in 10 young adults are “irreligious” — or actively against religion — after virtually none of them fit that description as teenagers.
What is it that could have a young person be at least somewhat active during high school and then turn against their faith once in college. I’m sure to a degree it is the freedom to do what they want when away from home, but I believe other factors are at work also.
The concern I have as a pastor is whether or not the youth in the church I serve are ready to have their faith challenged. When I was 18 and in college my faith was severely challenged… and I did actually question the validity of everything I believed. But the grace of God prevented me from falling away.
My thought is that youth in the church need more than feel good messages from the pastor. They need more than fun activities as part of a youth group. They need to be discipled by their parents with the church augmenting what they get at home.
The growing boldness of atheist and agnostic groups on college campuses may be but another sign that God is giving America over to what we’ve said we wanted for decades… life without Him (Romans 1:21-25). I believe God may very well be in the process of giving America over to sin.