Our daughter is in her first year of college, and she announced over Thanksgiving that she's abandoned the Christian faith. She said Christians have always oppressed women and minorities, and she doesn't want anything to do with such a backward religion. Where did she get this?


You might ask your daughter where she got these ideas, but I suspect they came from a professor who has a strong prejudice against the Christian faith. Sadly, although many of our great universities were founded on Christian principles, most today have rejected their Christian heritage, and in many cases have become aggressively secular.

Why do I say that someone who holds these views is prejudiced? The reason is because the charge that Christians have been responsible for oppressing women or minorities simply isn’t true. Jesus was born into a world of oppression; over half the population of the Roman Empire were slaves, and women had very few rights or access to education.

But in time, all that changed — because Christians took a stand for righteousness and justice. It took centuries, and in fairness, some who claimed to be followers of Jesus instead followed the ways of the unbelieving world. But Christians took seriously Jesus’ command to love others as much as we love ourselves. The Bible says that in God’s eyes, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).

Pray for your daughter, and urge her to examine the claims of Christ with an open heart and mind. Let her know that you still love her — and God loves her, too. In addition, talk with your pastor about ways your church can better prepare young people for the challenges they’ll face in college or the workplace.