A new study out by Lifeway Research – an arm of the Southern Baptist Convention – examined how the “unchurched” feel about Christians and about Jesus. Some of the results aren’t very surprising. For instance, 72% of those polled thought the church was full of hypocrites. Similarly, 79% thought that the church was more about organized religion than about loving God and loving people.
These aren’t surprising numbers from a poll of people who chose not to go to church. What would be more interesting is to see those questions asked of church goers.
There was, however, some very surprising stuff in the survey. Most notably these things:
– 78% of the “unchurched” said they would be interested in hearing more about Christianity from someone.
– When asked whether Christians they knew talked about their faith too much 71% disagreed.
These answers beg the question of whether Christians are talking about their faith enough. I would have guessed the answers to these questions would have been radically different based on both personal experience and conventional wisdom about Christians. The stereotype of evangelicals is that they are walking around ready to smack unsuspecting people left and right with their Bibles; that Christians live only to annoy their neighbors with their incessant evangelism.
All of this begs the question of whether Christians are embarrassed by Jesus.
Are Christians as willing and open to talk about Jesus as they are about their favorite sports team or political candidate or movie? Theologically speaking they obviously should be. But what this poll shows is that practically speaking they should be as well. People want to hear more about Jesus, not less. People are open to loving and honest discussions about Jesus.
What do you think about all of this?