Rachel Held Davis:
When asked by The Barna Group what words or phrases best describe Christianity, the top response among Americans ages 16-29 was “antihomosexual.” For a staggering 91 percent of non-Christians, this was the first word that came to their mind when asked about the Christian faith. The same was true for 80 percent of young churchgoers. (The next most common negative images? : “judgmental,” “hypocritical,” and “too involved in politics.”)
In the book that documents these findings, titled unChristian, David Kinnaman writes:
“The gay issue has become the ‘big one, the negative image most likely to be intertwined with Christianity’s reputation. It is also the dimensions that most clearly demonstrates the unchristian faith to young people today, surfacing in a spate of negative perceptions: judgmental, bigoted, sheltered, right-wingers, hypocritical, insincere, and uncaring. Outsiders say [Christian] hostility toward gays...has become virtually synonymous with the Christian faith.”
Later research, documented in Kinnaman’s You Lost Me, reveals that one of the top reasons 59 percent of young adults with a Christian background have left the church is because they perceive the church to be too exclusive, particularly regarding their LGBT friends. Eight million twenty-somethings have left the church, and this is one reason why.
Apparently this problem has now become so wide spread that it has inspired a cottage industry of books to address, and explain it.
I have been hearing about this exodus for years, and clearly it is only increasing. One has to wonder how much longer the more radical fringes of the Christian faith can hang onto their primitive fundamentalist point of view before they find themselves sitting in a church so empty that it looks more like a Mitt Romney campaign stop than a house of worship.
Speaking of fundamentalism, I wonder how thin the evangelical herd of sheep will be after this latest kerfuffle over same sex marriage?
Looks like it might be time for another revision of the Bible folks. Or at least for a more respectful interpretation of the one already available.