October 5, 2007

No Part of the World

This is an interesting article in Time.

Christianity's Image Problem

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."

Churchgoers of the same age share several of the non-Christians' complaints about Christianity. For instance, 80% of the Christians polled picked "anti-homosexual" as a negative adjective describing Christianity today. And the view of 85% of non-Christians aged 16-29 that present day Christianity is "hypocritical — saying one thing doing another," was, in fact, shared by 52% of Christians of the same age. Fifty percent found their own faith "too involved in politics." Forty-four percent found it "confusing."

When both those who call themselves Christian and those who profess to belong to another faith reach similar conclusions, then yeah, I think you've got a bit of a problem. Of particular interest to me is the stat 75% found it too involved in politics. This did come from "outsiders," but when fifty percent of believers also agreed with this statement, attention should be paid.

Ideally, I think Christians should be entirely neutral when it comes to politics. This means neither running for public office or participating in the voting process. Certainly we should obey the laws, as Paul admonished in Romans chapter 13. However, since we have in a sense "cast our vote" for a superior form of government, we shouldn't be involved in this one.

We do not need to be forcing our beliefs, no matter how cherished, on other people.

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