Fighting the Current
Impact 360 Institute
Life is full of transitions; the transition from high school to college is one of the biggest many young people will ever face. For today’s young Christian men and women, this is especially true. Now, more than ever, a young person’s first foray into the college environment can seem like an exercise is swimming upstream—fighting a current of modern culture with so many new ideas and beliefs that can prove extremely challenging to his or her faith.
According to Jonathan Morrow of Impact 360 Institute, there are three major challenges the Christian college student faces in this current: relativism, tolerance, and doubt. Each of these areas is a very real threat to a strong, sure faith. Let us be clear; these are not things Christian students may face. It is not a matter of if; it is a matter of when.
The Riptide of Relativism
The ocean looks appealing; but, often, danger lurks just beneath the surface. A dangerous undercurrent can turn into a riptide, surprising its victims as it sucks them under. Just so, we have undercurrents in our culture that threaten to pull young people’s faith under to be drowned by a riptide of relativism.
Relativism is the idea that moral and spiritual truth is relative to or depends upon an individual or culture’s beliefs.
Most of the time relativism shows up not in arguments but in slogans:
- “That’s true for you but not for me.”
- “Who am I to judge someone else?”
- “People are free to believe whatever they want as long as they aren’t hurting someone else.”
This Riptide of Relativism is pervasive; it is found both inside and outside the church walls. As a matter of fact, according to Christian Smith in his book Lost in Transition, 47% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 23 agreed that morals are relative and there are no definite rights and wrongs.
Failing to accept the “all things are relative” belief often causes Christians to be considered unloving or elitist. Such is the environment into which we trust our young people.
So, as a parent, what’s the answer? The answer is to equip our students to defend the truth. They need to be prepared by knowing what they believe, why they believe it, and how their beliefs may be attacked…
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