There has always been challenges to Christianity, religion, and faith throughout history. Most of the arguments are not new. However, today, there is a change. There is actually something new. This generation growing up right now is dealing with something that no other generation ever has, when it comes to issues of faith. It is the Internet.
For the past two thousand years the main source of information about Jesus and Christianity was passed on through the spoken word. The invention of the printing press brought on a revolution where the Bible was put into the hands of the normal person. It spawned a new era that help spread the gospel and changed the face of Christianity in the world.
We have now entered into the next revolution. The main source of information, for almost everything, for this generation is now the internet. It is now the place people go to learn about Jesus, religion, christianity, and so much more. Unlike, when the primary methods of hearing about Christianity was the spoken word and print, the sources where they receiving this information from are not necessarily Christian.
The new reality for this generation is the Church and Christians are not the main source of information about religion and Christianity. Some of the major contributors to these topics are in fact those opposed to faith. The outcome of this new reality is uncertain but we are already seeing a few trends.
To put this into perspective I ask people to try this experiment. If you really want a true picture of what is on the internet when it comes to Christianity go to a regular bookstore. Go the the Christian or religion section and take a good look at what is on the shelves. I am disappointed every time I have done this myself. Each time I would estimate the vast majority, even as much as ninety some percent, is not pro-christian. Very often the most popular and best selling books in the Christian section are there to discredit Christianity.
Make no mistake. If the average young people is searching for something about the Bible, Jesus, or Christianity online they are far more likely to find information on why it is wrong, dangerous, evil, and ridiculous then something positive. This is the new reality. In my own studies and research I have found many people who now claim to be atheist or doubters, and it all began here.
This may turn out to be on Christianity’s biggest challenge of this century as some are suggesting. Just this week, I read one article and watched one show where prominent atheist groups said religion and faith are in decline because people can now openly question and learn what is wrong with religion.
However, I want to suggest this is not all it seems to be. In fact this is an opportunity. I think questions people have, are opportunities to explore truth. The internet is letting us see what questions this generation actually has about faith. If you want to hear what people are talking about you can. This is an invitation to conversation.
The reason why people opposed to faith say the internet will help lead to the end of faith is that they believe, ‘the truth will set you free.’ Well so do I. I think the internet is going to help us rid ourselves (Christians) of the weight of useless traditions and rituals we can’t remember why we do. These questions and doubts people have will make us study the reasons we believe. All of this will lead to something. However, when people are free from the blinders cause by religion, the stupid things Christians do and say, and look at what is left there is one thing that remains. Jesus. He is the truth that sets us free.