I’ve started writing a book about Changing the Face of Christianity. I’ll post excerpts here as I go in order to get your feedback before the book is published.
In a previous book excerpt I listed some words that my last Christian audience shouted out in response to the word “Christian”. Here are some of the other words that have come up when polling people of all faiths and nationalities about the Christian stereotype:
Other words have come up in my research and some words come up more frequently than others. There is a very consistent trend, and that trend is the basis for this book.
Not surprisingly, the recurring stereotypical images that we have discerned are corroborated by others.
The Barna Group is a very well respected research organization focusing on faith-based and religious studies. A few years ago they conducted a study of people’s perceptions of Christianity. This research led to the publishing of a book titled “unChristian” by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons.
The research found that non-Christians believe Christians are in fact not very Christian
- Anti-Homosexual (homophobic)
- Too Political
The case for the current negative Christian stereotype is pretty solid. But a list of words isn’t enough to capture the real story. Allow me to paint a clearer picture of the problem by sharing some additional evidence.
There is an online dictionary called urbandictionary.com. This is NOT your grandmother’s dictionary. It’s not like your Oxford English Dictionary or your Webster’s Dictionary. UrbanDictionary.com is a “crowd sourced” dictionary.
That means that people like you and me can visit this site, look up definitions, and contribute your own definitions. The “crowd” then votes particular definitions up or votes particular definitions down. The best definitions rise to the top of the list.
And so, I visited urbandictionary.com and looked up the definition of Christianity. The results were sobering and very depressing. Brace yourself. Here are two of the highest rated definitions of “Christianity”:
- “A religion that would have made sense had it not been for the nature and character of its followers.”
- “A religion; practitioners trying to exhibit Christ-like characteristics. Sadly, many of them do not exhibit Christ-like characteristics, but rather the opposite. They sin knowingly and then criticize the rest of the world for not being Christian.”
When I read these definitions, I visualize a knife getting shoved into my belly and starting to turn. These words HURT. My heart weeps that we Christians have tarnished the image of our faith by behaving in such un-Christian ways.
Please share any comments or constructive feedback below. Thanks. It’s VERY APPRECIATED!
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