Scott Hodge

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Christianity’s Image Problem

Oct 11, 2007
7 Comments

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Time Magazine writes about David Kinnaman’s & Gabe Lyon’s new book, unChristian

From the article:

83% of Americans identified themselves as Christians, and that fewer
than 20% of non-Christians held an unfavorable view of Christianity…

Kinnaman says non-Christians’ biggest complaints about the faith are
not immediately theological: Jesus and the Bible get relatively good
marks. Rather, he sees resentment as focused on perceived Christian
attitudes. Nine out of ten outsiders found Christians too
"anti-homosexual," and nearly as many perceived it as "hypocritical"
and "judgmental." Seventy-five percent found it "too involved in
politics."

His study found that 23% of Americans over 61 were non-Christians; 27%
among people ages 42-60; and 40% among 16-29 year olds. Younger
Christians, he concludes, are therefore likely to live in an
environment where two out of every five of their peers is not a
Christian.

This article brings me back to the "Jesus VS. Christians" video we did a few months ago.  Check it out if you haven’t already. 

Link to Time Magazine’s article.


7 Responses to “Christianity’s Image Problem”

  1. Josh Reich says:

    it is an interesting article scott. i posted some of my thoughts here: http://missionalthoughts.wordpress.com/2007/10/10/christianitys-image-problem/

  2. Will Hinton says:

    Scott: thought you might like to check out this interview I conducted with UnChristian co-author Gabe Lyons.
    http://www.goodwillhinton.com/good_will_hinton_weekly_podcast_gabe_lyons

  3. T says:

    Yeah, I read this article yesterday & blogged about it. It’ urks me a bit…

  4. Christianity getting bad press & negative revues… that’s fresh.
    Anyone ever ask other “faiths” about their views of homosexuality? Most hold similar or even more drastic views. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_and_homosexuality
    The key, for me, is how I LOVE the Lord and others. On a national, media, level I won’t change perception, but I do everyday in my city.
    Thanks Scott.

  5. John says:

    great video for thought. also great comments for thought as well. God bless it all. i enjoy reading. john in colorado.

  6. heather egly says:

    In regards to “jesus vs. christian video”…this was an interesting video in lots of ways!
    Based on a few people interviewed, it shows us how Christians can allow room for growth in the way we come across to people, creative ways to spread the good news, relevance without mirroring the world. The world needs to see true love among Christians. Maybe that’s an idea of why we’re not able to demonstrate how we are different than the world?
    People need to experience God in their lives in a real way…they’re looking for Love to be demonstrated… that Love should be spread to them by Christians, based on our personal relationship with God… Love being the basis of our faith in God. If we don’t feel loved, how can we extend that love to the world? Love is being kind, sensitive to help others, considerate… and on it goes.
    Some people, whether they see love or not, will reject God all together. Why? Some could be a wrong idea of who God really is (they’ve been told lies about God and how he is and are repulsed by him)…I think most is due to deception… & they’ve hardened their hearts and are blind to him. Does this mean the Gospel isn’t relevant? No. It means people have closed their hearts to listening to truth … it doesn’t help though, to have a crazy “Christian” around them either as their so called example of “what a Christian is.” So there can be lots of factors…
    Accepting God is a choice… People will still choose to reject.
    It’s sad that most viewed Jesus more loving than a Christian. We’d hope that Christians would be an example of Jesus’ ways, to them. Most people have had crazy encounters with Christians, sadly. The world has seen extreme and weird Christians and have viewed all Christians as weird. Assuming God is the same way.
    God doesn’t want us to be obnoxious to people about the Gospel… God’s not obnoxious. It’s the simplicity of the Gospel and expressing God’s love to them, in action and in words. Our lives hopefully will be transformed by God through him ministering to us by his love first.
    A loving gospel may offend people still. The Pharisees were offended by Jesus. Why? They believed they could get to God by their works… But didn’t Jesus present to them Love??? Even a message of Love will offend some. They still chose to reject the message of Love. They were deceived.
    I think the world will be offended to know that God hates homosexuality.. b/c they’re deceived into thinking it’s ok. God will not reject the person, though his act is gross…however, I believe Jesus would point them to truth…that is love. He would still love them whatever they chose to do..but he wouldn’t wink at their sin. But we don’t need to be obnoxious to these people…we can’t force them to change. We shouldn’t. They need to experience the Love of God in their lives! They need Jesus as much as we do!
    So this is a very long message… wow! As we experience God’s love ourselves and find out people’s needs around us…We can be relevant by sharing God’s goodness to people, but know that they may be offended anyways.

  7. Josiah says:

    The so-called “outsiders” that say they have “no immediate theological complaint” with the Bible, but find Christians themselve to be “too anti-homosexual” and “too judgmental” DO NOT TRULY have a problem with Christians at all. They have a problem with the Word of God.
    Why? Because TRUE Christians are nothing more than A PRODUCT of The Word of God. No more, no less.
    If anyone has complaints about Christians or Christianity, they should consult The Holy Bible before being “judgemental” themselves.

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