Many surveys have reported how young people place a high degree of importance on walking the talk. They look for value in the life being lived more than the words being expressed. The Barna Group has comes out with reports from surveys that convey startling beliefs and actions among Christians in American today.
In a book, “UnChristian” by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons (Baker, 2007), they state six negative themes that are infusing young people’s perceptions of the modern Christian church: hypocrisy, treatment of outsiders as conversion targets, hatred of homosexuals, seclusion from the real world, over-politicization, and condemnation.
While interviewing young adults, Christians are known more for their political positions than their biblical beliefs. Furthermore, a striking number of young adults have shared that they have been treated unfairly and rudely by those whom they know profess a faith in Christ.
We seem to be living in a Christian culture that preaches tolerance in some circles, while straying away from Biblical truths. Others attempt to hide religious symbols like the cross in order not to offend. There are churches who attempt to be “seeker-sensitive” by conducting church services that blend in nicely with the world. At the other end of the spectrum, there are politically-active “evangelicals” who put on the gloves and enter the ring of politics, but to what end? Is a Christian’s purpose on earth to make our society better or to win souls for Christ? Do policies and laws make a Christian nation or does a heart serving Christ?
In our midst, we have a confused church attempting to define itself in a ever-changing world. The end result: a Christian church that increasingly doesn’t know what they believe and failing at being salt and light. A Christian’s light is being able to express itself through love and mercy – especially to those who do not profess faith in Christ.
I agree with the authors’ conclusion in their book that Christians need to return to the message of the Bible for not only the words to share, but to conduct their lives on a consistent basis. And, this is all made possible by the life of Christ living in them.