We have taken a look at the top 5 objections that this study has found in regards to Christianity. Over the next few posts I will be sharing qualitative quotes from the Saurage report that takes a more in depth look at the perspectives behind the objections. Today we are looking at how some Christian groups are perceived to be too intolerant. (These answers were attained through four qualitative studies in Austin, Bostin, Phoenix and San Francisco.
Some Christian groups are too intolerant:
“Evangelists. People who want to save me, or tell me how they’re doing so well because they believe in Jesus. It sounds like you’re saying to me because I don’t believe what you believe, not only am I going to Hell but I’m not going to be as successful while I’m here. It is kind of insulting. (One respondent agreed.)” (Male, Austin)
“Christian groups think that they are basically the most blessed, the best, and that everyone else is broken. Everyone else needs to be fixed.” (Female, Austin)
“Most of them, not all of them, are saying, “Nope, it’s only this way. Everyone who is a non-believer is a non-believer. There’s no good non-believer.” I think that usually non-believers are a little bit more open minded, accepting of all religions and accepting of everything. (One respondent agreed.). I’ve had many actual experience where people have asked me where I go to church. I say, “I don’t go to church,” and then they won’t talk to me anymore. I worked in Wisconsin and I had some of the older customers would not talk to me anymore. They would not deal with me. They would not have me serve them anymore.” (Female, Austin)
“They’re not willing to look at themselves and see their own flaws in themselves, and then try to help people. Their ideas of themselves, of “We’re right, and no one else can tell me otherwise, “and it’s just this stubborn thick headedness that just is completely saturated through all of them.” (Female, Boston)
“I went to a Christian university for a little while and one of my classes we had a discussion. It was an ethics class and we had a discussion about how religion affects your ability to be ethical. Basically they said to us that if you’re not Christian then you couldn’t possibly be ethical or have morals.” (Female, Phoenix)
“I have a friend who was raised Jehovah Witness and I think she was 12 or 13 and chose to be baptized in the church because that’s all she ever knew. Then when she grew up she had a different life. She became a stripper and drank and smoked and did all these things. Her mother literally is not allowed to talk to her. If she sees her in a store will not approach her, will not come up to her. She cannot acknowledge her daughter, but yet she has another daughter who did the same thing but did not get baptized and she can still talk to her. But because my friend chose at a young age to get baptized her mother cannot speak to her. Once you accept Christ in your heart under the JW umbrella you are now a member, very much like Mormons. Once you get listed in their books you’re a member for life. Same with Catholics I believe. The moment that you step outside of that rule book… You’re baptizing yourself into the rule book and once your step outside of that rule book you are no longer… You are who you hang out with, so you’re are excommunicated and you do not come back.” (Female, Phoenix)
Some of these stories are hard to hear. There stories and experiences are uniquely their own. It is important though that the church hear these perspectives in order to understand where people are coming from and understand the experiences they have had, whether for right or wrong. For more information check out theresurgencereport.com
I have showed you the objections that people have against Christianity. The difficulty with the information is discerning how much these objections contributed to them leaving church. Today I will be showing the primary reasons that people left the church. These percentages are of the 1000 people who were interviewed for this survey.
Primary Objection to Christianity
These results give us a slightly different picture than the top 5 objections survey does. This list shows us that though people hold the top five objections to Christianity, it doesn’t mean that it is the primary reason people are leaving. This list of objects as to why people left has four of the five objections in the top five. Hopefully knowing the most important issues as to why people are leaving will help your church navigate reaching out to these people.
For more information check out theresurgencereport.com
I grew up a part of the Evangelical church. There are many people in America today that would identify themselves accordingly. Part of the research in the resurgence report asked people what their thoughts of Evangelicals and Jesus were. I would like to share them with you today to give a better idea the picture that un-churched and de-churched people have regarding these subjects.
Thoughts on Evangelical Christians:
Thoughts on Jesus Christ:
De-churched is defined by: attended worship services every few months or less often and regularly attended worship services as a child.
Un-churched is defined by: attended worship services every few months or less often and did not regularly attend worship services as a child.
For more information please check out theresurgencereport.com
I just finished reading the article “Who’s in charge of the Christian blogosphere?” by Tish Harrison Warren, an Anglican priest. Her article is bringing to focus the challenge that Christians have regarding the pursuit of truth and the balance with authority in the church. Specifically, she is dealing with the implications for women. Historically, there are many traditions that do not allow women to be in places of governance in the church, but with the onset of the internet blogging culture, many women have garnered a platform on par with many mega-churches. So the question arises, “where do these writers get their authority?”
This is a very difficult subject to tackle in this day and age, I would say especially for Millennials. For better or worse, there was once a day where hard denominational lines meant some consistency in teaching. It also meant that you had to go through certain academic and authority structures to get a platform. Not anymore. If you have access to the internet and a computer or microphone, you are able to put your message out online.
Throughout my research into why people are leaving the church, I have seen many conversations regarding why people think this is happening. Even more than that are people who are speaking freely about the ways in which church should go forward. The problem I see, like Tish pointed out, is that these speakers are speaking on their own accord and have no accountability for what they are saying. The gospel and the truths in the bible are no small matter. I believe there should be reverence and sober-mindedness when dealing with these issues. You are potentially messing with people’s salvation.
I understand that Pandora’s box has been opened and that there is no shutting it again. We will never go back to an age before the internet. I also understand that there are many authority structures that have gotten some important things wrong or have lost their way. It is in these cases I think that the internet is a wonderful tool. It provides the people with the opportunity to seek and communicate outside those structures. But that same freedom is also what makes the medium dangerous. I believe the best thing that we can hope for is that the people behind these computer screens have someone who has more life experience and theological experience that can be assisting them in their journey. Everyone needs people to reach out to for advice and to make sure we are heading in the right direction. This way isn’t going to be perfect, but I think it is the best we can hope for.
Be sure to check out Tish’s article at http://www.christianitytoday.com/women/2017/april/whos-in-charge-of-christian-blogosphere.html
A few posts ago I shared the top 5 objections that De-churched and Un-churched people had in regards to Christianity. Today I want to share with you the objections that Christians have against Christianity.
Of the group of people surveyed they asked those who still affiliate as Christian what their objections are. The answers are the same as when you categorize the questions by De-churched and Un-churched people. I would like to share with you the following objections that those who still affiliate as Christians have regarding their own faith. Some of these you may find surprising.
Top 5 Objections to Christianity by Christians:
Other Objections to Christianity by Christians:
These are the questions and concerns that those who consider themselves Christians and have historically been involved in the church. For the church going forward I think we need to take these concerns to heart and start teaching and communicating about these topics from the pulpit. The society at large is very comfortable teaching people what it believes and why it believes that. I am not so sure the church does as good of a job. If we want to stay relevant to young people, the church needs to be able to address the questions and doubts they have regarding Christianity.
For more information check out theresurgencereport.com