If you’re sending your son or daughter off to a secular university this fall, you’ll want to help them with a strategy to maintain their faith. 

According to David Wheaton, we can summarize the battles our students are going to face on campus in what he calls the three pillars of peril: sexual immorality, drugs and alcohol, and the worldview battle.

“The first one is a battle for the body, which is sexual immorality.”

“The second one is a battle for the spirit, which is drugs and alcohol. That comes from Ephesians 5:18, ‘Be not drunk with wine but be filled with the spirit.’ In other words, you can be filled with the Holy Spirit or you can be filled with alcoholic spirits.”

“The third pillar of peril is the battle for the mind. This is the worldview battle that you face in the classroom; a worldview that is antithetical to the biblical worldview.”

David describes how secular universities often teach worldviews that oppose the biblical worldview.

“I call it humanism; it’s a man-based thought, rather than God-based thought. If you go to a secular college you’re going to run into secular humanism, whether it’s atheism, materialism, etc.”

He adds that spiritual opposition isn’t only experienced in secular colleges, it’s also taking place in many Christian colleges around the country.

“Historically, in Christian colleges there is what I call ‘religious humanism’ there, where man sort of twists the orthodox traditional interpretations of scripture; the miracles really aren’t literal, Jesus isn’t really the only way, the Bible is not the inspired Word of God, it’s the words of men. That can be equally confusing to the kind of secular humanism that students will face at secular colleges.”

It’s important for students to know these key battlefronts in order to maintain their faith and thrive in college. David expands,

“It’s like getting a scouting report on your opponent in sports. Every coach does that; they tell you what your opponent does well, what you should be ready for, etc., and those are the big things that the opponent – so to speak – at campus is going to throw at a young man or young woman when they go on a college campus.”

It is possible for our students to stay a Christian in college today. As parents, we can help them develop a game plan to avoid the spiritual pitfalls and stand firm amidst opposition. 

David Wheaton is an author, radio host, and former professional tennis player. David’s first book,   reached as high as #25 on Amazon.com. David is also the host of The Christian Worldview, a weekly, nationally-syndicated radio program that airs on 150 stations and a contributing columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Spiritual opposition in college