Being a Christian in the universities of today’s world is a challenging task. Universities change fast, often beyond recognition. All the dramatic changes affecting students cause drastic changes in lifestyles and values. Relativism, apathy, hedonism and narcissism are some of the issues confronting students in universities today. Relativism states that different things are right for different people. People can live by different truths and standards. There is no absolute truth, only what people want to believe. People can have different views about everything. All truth, criteria and standards of judgement depend upon the people and situations involved. All points of view are equally valid. Relativism is wide-spread. Nobody challenges anyone else’s beliefs. Relativism is a contradiction of beliefs, disguised as a positive virtue and portrayed as a tolerant position to hold in today’s relativistic society. How can truth be valued professionally and yet despised personally?
Apathy, a general indifference and disinterest in important matters, is deep-rooted in student life in universities. When materialism is the main aim and goal, it is difficult to consider issues of life and faith. This is certainly not on the agenda. Live life on its own terms. Hedonism is the inordinate pursuit of pleasure for its own sake. Narcissism is defined as the excessive love of self, a peculiar fascination with oneself and innate vanity. Both issues cover up the real questions at the heart of the matter. The significant fact is that nobody wants to change the world. Everybody wants short-term satisfaction, not long-term security in the passionate zest for life. Students get into wayward lifestyles for self-expression and personal enjoyment, putting everything on hold for the time being, refusing to face the real issues at stake. People leave everything to chance with nothing concrete to build on, believing that better things will come along eventually, sometime, somewhere. The crux of the matter is that life itself is a fleeting dream, with nothing of substance to hold it in place.
How do we engage the university to reach the professionals and students in a ﬁercely antagonistic culture and a totally disinterested society? The world hates Christians because it hated Jesus first (John 15:18). Jesus told us exactly what to expect when He gave us the Great Commission. Disciples will be made to the ends of the earth. Christ will do it through us. We are His chosen instruments. It is God who convicts the hearts of people. It is His work, not ours. Consider how important personal relationships and honest values are in a totally relativistic world, where the human self reigns supreme, and the only important relationships are those to gratify the self. Christian students enjoy the best of relationships as they are spiritually related in the Lord Jesus Christ. They portray the love of Christ as the only true answer to life’s perplexing questions. Jesus gives us the true meaning of life, in all its fullness. God reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, who died to save us from our sins. Our relationships with each other portray and reveal His loving relationship with us. “We love because He first loved us – (1 John 4:19).
© Miriam Jacob