Reading unChristian 3: Is this all one big misperception?

Thanks for the good discussion on all of this. Read the comments from the previous post, if you haven’t already.

Here’s the next big finding (in my opinion) from the book.

But first, a question that seemed to arise in the comments from the previous post:

Is the perception of Christians/Christianity as antihomosexual, judgmental, hypocritical, too involved in politics, out of touch with reality, old fashioned, insensitive to others, and boring mainly due to a misperception by non-Christian outsiders?

I think…maybe not…

The next big finding is that young Christians also characterize Christians/Christianity as antihomosexual, judgmental, hypocritical, too involved in politics, out of touch with reality, old fashioned, insensitive to others, and boring.

Read that again.

This isn’t just a matter of young non-Christians perceiving Christians/Christianity in a negative light. Many young Christians characterize Christians/Christianity in a similar way. Of course the numbers are not as overwhelming, but there is still a significant proportion of Christians who characterize Christians/Christianity as “unChristian.”

So what do we make of this? Is this really one big misperception? What do you all think?

(by the way, I’m not saying that misperception has nothing to do with any of this. And I’m certainly not saying that Christians and non-Christians don’t need to get together and get to know each other. I just find it very interesting that many young Christians see Christians/Christianity in the same negative light as non-Christian outsiders. I’m interested in what you all think about this.)

Others in the series:
Reading unChristian 1: Intro
Reading unChristian 2: How bad is it?

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3 Responses

  1. Lets take a poll- Who here thinks that generally speaking Christians tend to be “antihomosexual, judgmental, hypocritical, too involved in politics, out of touch with reality, old fashioned, insensitive to others, and boring”?

    I think people at large are this way, not just because of a religion. They are this way, and the religion justifies it. Replace the word “Christian” with “Muslim” and see what kind of response you’d get. Probably close to the same numbers, maybe even higher numbers. These characteristics, or at least the root of them, are basic human faults IMO, not just a problem with how Christianity is perceived or shown in the public eye. Also, the crazy ones are always the loudest, aren’t they?

  2. we have a serious issue right now in this nation. that issue is that many church kids have grown up in church. why is that so bad? because without the tangible presence of Jesus there uncovering sin and convicting people of righteousness…..everything is dead. all it is…is religion. something that looks extreme, stupid, loud and irrevelevant.

    that’s why group such as the barna group, teen mania ministries (founder of battle cry) and thecall are trying to do something about that point…showing kids that a life/church with Jesus is FAR different than religion.

  3. I too just finished the book this week. I am from Canada, and while I found that the political chapter does not suit our climate so well, the rest seems very fitting for here as well.

    I think we need to care about our image, because as Kinnaman pointed out – Christ was persecuted by an entirely different crowd (the righteous) and for entirely different reasons than we are today… “Of course, during His time on earth, Jesus experienced critism too. But the negative perceptions He inspired seem fundamentally different from what we deal with in America today. I imagine Jesus and His early followers were much more likely to be perceived as lunatics, radicals, rebels, and cultists than to be thought of as hypocritical.” pg 45.

    I am feeling more and more convicted about how little I differ from those outside the church – I have been forgiven much, and so ought to love much….

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