I sat next to a young man on a four-hour flight from L.A. to D.C. this past October. The first remark out of his mouth was something about hoping a naked lady would sit in between us. I knew right then that our worldviews were probably very different. I kindly told him that I was happily married and didn’t share his hopes. He sheepishly said that marriage was a good thing as well.
Over the course of the next four-plus hours, we shared a very robust worldview conversation. It was cordial but intense. This man of about 30 years informed me that he was agnostic. He told me that he was into scientific facts and not faith as I was. Since he was into facts and I was into faith, I decided to ask him how everything came into existence. He quickly told me that math and physics had proven how everything came into existence and that he had even heard a mathematician explain it all. Unfortunately, he couldn’t remember the name of the man who had explained it all or what he had said, but he was confident that it had been explained. I simply looked at him and said, “You call me a man of faith and yourself a man of facts and science. And yet, you have all your faith placed in a man whose name you can’t even remember.” I kindly told him that it took more faith to believe in his worldview than it did mine. I told him that I believe in a God who created everything and then gave us a written record of his work that we can compare against reality.
Perhaps the saddest part of our discussion came when he told me that his two grandmothers were Southern Baptist and Mennonite. He even said he had been named after two men in the Bible. My heart broke as I thought about his two grandmothers. No doubt they had high hopes their grandson, Matthew Adam, would grow up to be a man of Christian faith. Surely they believed he would carry on the Christian heritage they were passing down to him. Sadly, they were wrong.
This story has been told over and over again in the last two American generations. 80% of the 15-35 year-olds in America today declare they are not born again. 94% do not believe in one or more of the cardinal doctrines of Christianity. 76% do not attend church.1 A strong majority have no problem with same-sex marriage.2 We are fully confident that 16,000 hours of non-Christian K-12 education has played a major role in the loss of Christian faith in this generation.
However, there is a slice of the 15-35 year-olds who are carrying on the Christian faith in a powerful way. This group is made up of those young men and women who were given a thoroughly Christian worldview through their home, school, and church.
Let me tell you about T.J. This young man spent nine years in a Christian school and developed a biblical view of life. In the fall of 2014, he enrolled in a secular university and began to experience teachers and students who did not possess a biblical worldview. Because T.J. had been taught to think critically, he won many of the debates that one of his professors asked him to engage in. The professor told him he ought to become a lawyer. Soon enough a hot button cultural issue was on the debate schedule. Abortion.
There were 25 students in this particular class, and T.J. was the only student who had been trained in a Christian school or homeschool. When the professor asked each student to declare their position on abortion, 23 students stated they were in favor of abortion. T.J. was the only student against abortion. One young man said he didn’t know what he believed but was siding with T.J. because T.J. always won. The professor asked the “majority” to make their case first. They gave the “group think” answers they had been fed throughout their K-12 school years. After they had concluded their arguments, T.J. made his case. At the conclusion of his argument, he stated in no uncertain terms that if all he said was true, abortion was, in reality, murder. The professor asked those who had changed their minds to switch sides. All 23 students who had previously stated they were for abortion abandoned their argument and joined T.J. One young man, deeply trained with a biblical worldview, was able to persuade 24 other students.
Our mission at Renewanation is to transform our culture by giving millions of new children a Christian worldview education. Can you imagine the impact on our society when millions of students like T.J. are flooding into every area of our culture? T.J. came out of the school that I helped start in 2002. This school was the genesis of Renewanation, and T.J. is the reward for our investment and labor.
This is the answer to America’s problems. We must regain access to the hearts and minds of our children, and as we do, they will change our world.
Is this work easy? No! Is it a quick fix? No! Nothing easy or quick is going to fundamentally change the course of our nation. However, we can give millions of new children a Christian worldview if we will unite and stay the course.
Many of you who are reading this article are investing your life in the work of giving children a biblical worldview education. Thank you! You are changing our world more than you can possibly know.
Others who are reading this article are investing heavily to provide your children a Christian education. At times, it seems almost impossible to pay the tuition, or the work of homeschooling is a greater challenge than you expected. Let me encourage you to stay the course. You are guaranteeing your children a future few children in America will experience. You are setting your children up to be leaders in a culture that has lost all direction. Remember, it took just one T.J. to persuade 24 students who had not been taught the truth. How many young people will your child influence as a result of the Christian worldview they are receiving through your investment of finances and time?
If we want to win the next generation, we must fight for their hearts and minds!
Jeff Keaton is the Founder, President and CEO of Renewanation. A successful pastor, church and school planter, and a ministry entrepreneur, Jeff has invested his adult life into helping people grow spiritually. He speaks across America challenging the church to reach the world for Christ and to get involved in the great cause of giving children a Christian worldview education. He is the author of The Life of Radical Faith. Visit his website at jeffkeaton.net.
1. Thom S. Rainer and Jess W. Rainer, The Millennials(B&H Books, 2010), 232-236.
2. Thom S. Rainer and Jess W. Rainer, The Millennials (B&H Books, 2010), 90.
This article originally appeared in The Renewanation Review® magazine. All Rights Reserved.