unChristian: The Alarming Stats

5 11 2007

unchristian.jpgIn 1996, Barna Research Group released a report entitled “Christianity Has a Strong Positive Image Despite Fewer Active Participants.” At the time, the perception of 85% of outsiders (atheists, agnostics, persons who’s faith is different than Christianity or unchurched) was favorable toward Christianity. One decade later everything has changed. 38% of young people outside of Christianity claim to have a “bad impression of present-day Christianity.” Their experiences have led them to see Christians as having an “us-versus-them” mentality.

“Outsiders believe Christians do not like them because of what they do, how they look or what they believe. They feel minimized – or worse, demonized – by those who love Jesus.” (p. 27, unChristian)

Common Perceptions of Christianity

  • 91% Anti-homosexual
  • 87% Judgmental
  • 85 % Hypocritical
  • 75% Too Political
  • 72% Out of Touch with Reality
  • 78% Old Fashioned
  • 70% Insensitive to Others
  • 68% Boring

We have become famous for what we oppose, rather than who we are for.” (p. 26, unChristian)

As I read through the stats, I felt two things. One is heartbroken about the current reality. The other is excited about the challenge ahead and what God could do. What an incredible time to be a follower of Christ. In years past, you could easily live comfortably in a Christian culture. You could do little and say less. That time has come and gone. Jesus never said circle the wagons, He said “Go!” It’s a time for every Christ follower to be engaged in reaching out to people and helping to bring a spiritual awakening to a new generation. May we surprise people with our love.

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