unChristian part 1

The title of this post is very original I know… thanks to Jeremy Copeland for it, he is after all the man.

unChristian

I’ve been reading unChristian… I’m going very slow I want to soak in ever word and it’s amazing I have to say. If your a pastor or not you should read it. If you give any flip about what the 16-29 year olds think about Christianity both inside and outside the church you should read it. Why should you care what this age group thinks? Because they are defining what the future of Christianity is going to be.

Sounds painful don’t it?

On to the book…

Some basic stats that are eye popping among Americans ages 16-29 (from page 34), 91% of outsiders think the church is antihomosexual compared to 80% of church goers. Judgmental? 87% of outsiders compared to 52% of church goers. Are we hypocritical? 85% of outsiders think so as compared to 47% of church goers.

This makes me step back for a minute. Looking at the Christians we can see that a lot of them have some major issues with “modern Christianity” as Kinnaman put it. They don’t think the church reflects what Jesus taught and it makes me wonder if we have become the Pharisees Jesus challenged. People in this age group are “mentally and emotionally disengaging from Christianity.”

Hypocritical. This chapter (3) has one think that really hit home for me (I realize I’m doing a lot of quoting over discussing but It’s because my thoughts are best represented with Kinnaman’s words)

“most of the lifestyle activities of born-again Christians were statistically equivalent to those of non-born-agains… No difference.”

Im glad this is out in the open… really. I truly feel convicted about how Christians play the role of perfect. We are not. this is proof, thank God we are like everyone else. I have a desire to worship God not “play church” and we are very much of this mentality.

I was talking with a friend yesterday at church and we both thought it was ironic how we come and act like everything is fine and great and we have no hardship or problems, we didn’t contemplate suicide this week or skip on our bills because we are addicted to gambling, or sacrificed our standards to get ahead. We had the happy go lucky Christian week. It just makes me think you know? What if we spoke truth?

What’s your take?

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~ by Dan Browne on September 29, 2008.

5 Responses to “unChristian part 1”

  1. I am 22 years old. I grew up in church, but haven’t regularly attended church for five years. I’m not at all surprised by the statistics from Unchristian. Many of my coworkers and classmates want nothing to do with church, and sadly, I can’t blame them.

    Why would they want to? What sort of treatment do sinners and outcasts get from the church? What happens when a prostitute walks in past Sister So-and-So’s husband? What happens when a young man with a red mohawk, black clothes, blasphemous tattoos and too many piercings sits in the pew behind you and your children? How do we react when a homeless alcoholic or drug addict (who can’t possibly be expected to tithe, and smells bad besides) sits next to us on the pew? What sort of welcome would a homosexual couple expect to receive from us?

    The church is often the last place that hurting, desperate misfits and outcasts want to go. We snub them. With good intentions and saccharine smiles, we tell them how sinful they are. We look down on them. We try to force them to “convert”. At least, that’s the message that we are sending to the world. The world doesn’t see Jesus living and breathing in us. They see Ned Flanders.

    We all assume we are the good seed that fell to the ground and prospered, when we are in fact the seed that was choked out by weeds or thorns. The American church is lukewarm. We have lost our fire and our passion. Where is Jesus in the church? Where is Jesus in our lives? Why would the world want what we think we have, when we are no different from the world?

  2. Good reply Sparrow! I would agree with you 100% I think the church (specifically here in the states) is really failing to meet the common needs of people. I know of some churches where the above people you mentioned would be welcome without a second thought and I also know of many more churches where they would not. I honestly think you should pick up this book if your a reader you would enjoy it, I personally hate it when people sugar coat life and what is reality. We need to stop living in a bubble. You might also want to check out the link in the right hand column for Relevant Magazine, it’s a great read for us 20 somethings. I said it has been eye opening so far, but I mean that more for others then me. None of it surprises me much at all, it’s a lot of stuff that a few pastors have been saying and trying to change over the last few years.

  3. Sparrow, I’m curious why you haven’t been to church in five years. Is it for the same reasons you mention above, or something else? Here’s kind of a weird question – if you were designing a church from scratch, what would it look like? I’d love to hear your perspective.

    Good work Dan! Nice post.

  4. I’ve heard a lot of positive things about this book. Maybe I’ll read it after I finish reading “Simple Church.”

    We sure miss you guys down here in South Carolina, but I’m glad y’all are doing well.

  5. I have found the book to be extremely truthful and helpful.
    It has been a blessing to my ministry as I have been able to reach out to those who are seeking better. I think it matters what the world thinks of us as believers. We as believers should be concerned. If we are not then something is definatley wrong with us spiritually! I am looking forward to the next post.

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