[Conversation Stopper] A lot of people think something like this: “If I had been born in a Hindi community, I would be Hindu, if I were born into a Buddhist family I would be a Buddhist. It is the same with Christianity. Sociology demonstrates that people tend to believe whatever other people around them believe, so even if I feel drawn toward Christianity, it is probably just because a lot of people in the US believe it. Culture creates belief, religion can be described by the need to think alike. All values are ultimately social constructions.
The college campus is flooded with worldviews. A lot of people naturally conclude that it is arrogant for anyone to think their worldview is absolutely true, and that it is especially rude and close minded to suggest there is “one way” to God.
[Conversation Stopper] There is a perception that Christianity is a defense mechanism that some people construct to give them security and assurance. The perception is that Christianity is a psychological crutch to help weak people deal with their fears and insecurities. This is essentially to say that religious people invented their father figure in heaven as a security blanket to ward off fears and heal their wounds.
[Conversation Stopper] Many people do not see how having faith in Jesus or being a Christian truly makes someone different in a positive way. People involved in Christian activities and those not involved seem to be the same, so Christianity must not make that much of a difference. Students experience this as true as they see the Christians around them gossiping, partying, sleeping around, not exercising compassion or care toward others or the environment, etc.
[Conversation Stopper] Christians on college campuses are often thought of as being judgmental. They live differently from those around them by avoiding drinking, sex, parties, and a lot of other things students find fun. This can lead them to appear judgmental of those around them; often, the truth is Christians are judgmental of those around them.
[Conversation Stopper] Priests abusing kids. Megachurch leaders misusing finances. Christian students partying on Saturday night and heading to church Sunday morning. Christians treating homosexuals hatefully. Youth pastors addicted to pornography. Christian families breaking up. The list could go on. If Jesus transforms lives and if he was raised from the dead, why do his followers seem to blend in with everyone else? In fact, aren't they more evil because they claim to have found “real life” and a transforming worldview?
[Conversation Stopper] Christianity gets blamed for a lot of things, like the Crusades and the Inquisition. Most recently, some people have blamed Christianity for the environmental crisis, citing apparent apathy given popular beliefs about an impending end of the world.
[Conversation Stopper] When many people think of heaven, their minds are filled with images of golden harps, clouds, and angels. Heaven is pie in the sky when you die, and for many savvy people, that sounds completely uninteresting. Christian worship on earth seems boring enough. So why would anybody want to sit through a worship service that goes on forever?
[Conversation Stopper] Astute observers of the Christian faith notice that it does require a wholesale life change. If your conversation partner makes this objection, then you can take heart in their acknowledgement that it is a big deal. Personal autonomy is one of (if not the) most important values for this student generation and they view any traditional religious structure as confining.
[Conversation Stopper] Many students feel like there is nothing special about the Bible. They feel it is a collection of religious sentiments and is therefore just like any other religious book. They feel the Bible may also have a more subversive agenda in that it is meant to promote one particular view of Christianity at the expense of more “tolerant” options.