Friday, March 11, 2016

Are Christians Extemists?

I hate to be a Debbie Doomsayer, but when I read a report recently of a poll put out by Barna asking people what activities they considered to denote religious extremism, I nearly fell out of my chair. This is an American Poll.  Read and then take the test yourself. You'll be surprised.

From the Barna Group:

Though it remains the nation’s most dominant religion, Christianity faces significant headwind in the court of public opinion. The decades-old trend that Christianity is irrelevant is increasingly giving way to the notion that Christianity is bad for society. … In sum, faith and religion and Christianity are viewed by millions of adults to be extremist.

1. Adults and especially non-believers are concerned about religious extremism.

In the wake of religiously motivated terrorism—like the recent incidents in San Bernardino and Paris—it is no wonder that a backlash against extremism is reaching a boiling point. Currently, a strong majority of adults believe “being religiously extreme is a threat to society.” Three-quarters of all Americans—and nine out of ten Americans with no faith affiliation—agree with this statement.

2. Nearly half of non-religious adults perceive Christianity to be extremist.

The perception that the Christian faith is extreme is now firmly entrenched among the nation’s non-Christians. A full forty-five percent of atheists, agnostics, and religiously unaffiliated in America agree with the statement “Christianity is extremist.” Almost as troubling is the fact that only 14 percent of atheists and agnostics strongly disagree that Christianity is extremist. The remaining four in ten (41%) disagree only somewhat. So even non-Christians who are reluctant to fully label Christianity as extremist, still harbor some hesitations and negative perceptions toward the religion.

3. The range of what constitutes extremism is broad, ranging from behaviors that are almost universally condemned to more narrowly defined extremism.

Here are the results of the Poll

Note: In the Widely Considered and Usually considered to be Extreme are the following. See if you've ever done any of them.

  1. Using religion to justify violence (Most of us haven't done this one)
  2. Refusing standard medical care for their children (such as vaccinations.)
  3. Refusing to serve someone because the customer’s lifestyle conflicts with their beliefs (Recent court case over a bakery refusing to make a cake for a gay wedding. Or a pastor refusing to marry a gay couple)
  4. Demonstrating outside an organization they consider immoral (abortion clinic protests)
  5. Preaching a religious message in a public place (street preaching)
  6. Attempting to convert others to their faith (sharing the gospel with others at work or school)
  7. Teaching their children that sexual relationships are morally wrong (Raising your kids to believe the Bible)
  8. Distributing religious material door-to-door (handing out Bibles or tracts)
  9. Praying out loud in public for a stranger 
  10. Believing that sexual relationship between people of the same sex are morally wrong (a.k.a. Believing the Bible)
  11. Protesting government policies that conflict with their religion (pro-family protesters)

Out of those 11 things, I've done 7, and I only haven't done the others because I haven't had the opportunity.  I guess I'm an extremist and considered dangerous by our culture.

How about you?

We Christians need to wake up! While the church has been sleeping, they're slowly stealing all our liberties, along with our right and freedom to worship who, when, where and how we want. I never thought I'd see the day that this happened in America, but mark my words, the day is coming when committed followers of Jesus Christ will be labeled fanatics and mentally off-balance and people who hold back society from progressing.  Jesus more than warned us that persecution would come, especially in the last days. It's already starting and the best thing you and I can do is be sure of our faith, stay in the Word, pray without ceasing, spend time with Jesus, and always be ready to give an answer for the hope that is within us.

On that happy note, have a Great weekend!!



  1. You're in good company, Marylu! :) Here's to all "extremists" around here! lol Yeah, I guess I'm mentally ill if I'm willing to save sex for marriage or if I don't condone homosexuality. *rolls eyes* These are sobering statistics indeed, but not surprising. Jesus said that the world would hate us because it hated Him first. So here's the proof. I agree with you, the time is coming when our professed faith will be put to a serious test. May God help us all to stand strong to receive what's been promised to those who shall endure till the end.

    1. Amen, Rose! Those who endure to the end win a crown of life!

  2. Fri Mar 11th,
    "Morning, MaryLu.
    Most interesting post today. Maybe not to be surprised by this fact -- that quite likely, some people in "my own family" think/believe I am an extremist ! Basically -- they would consider me: "old fashioned"; "living out of date in this present age"; "not in touch with reality"; "overly black OR white, with no grey areas (except for my hair)"; "strange -- for believing the Bible in its entirety to be the living and true Word of God"; "odd -- for not watching R-rated movies because of the language/cursing of God's Name, and the sexual content"; "a stick-in-the-mud -- for not "changing with the world and its views".
    What they don't understand: God does NOT change ... He is the same -- yesterday, today, and forever. Why would they think for one minute ... that just because the world is changing so rapidly out of control ... that God's point of views and teachings would just altar along with them ???
    Sin is sin is sin ! Perhaps, they want "justification" (from their own conscience) in doing things/or living life the way they want, without feeling the conviction of any wrong-doing.
    Definitely -- Countries, and the Leaders of the land ... are introducing "their own new way of thinking/viewing things" ... and we are basically trampled on, "if" we dare to share our faith/beliefs/values/morals, to stand up against it all.
    MaryLu ... sadly methinks, that the 'world' in general ... are already labeling us "fanatics, and mentally off-balance", and that we are trying to hold back society from "progression".
    Everything you ended with in today's blog .... Amen and Amen !!! ALWAYS be ready to give an answer for the hope that is within us !!! Indeed !!!
    Thanks so much for sharing yet another timely word in due season, MaryLu. Excellent post.
    You have a great weekend, too. (Hoping to go up to my sister's in Ingersoll on Sun, and possibly stay for the week.)
    Take care, and, God Bless, In Him, Brenda

    1. Indeed, Brenda. Old-fashioned.. a snob, a prude, too religious, etc.. I've been called all of those.. some by my own family. Hang tight there in Canada and keep strong and faithful, Brenda. We win in the end!

  3. Living on the East Coast where church goers are rare yet alone Christians, I can tell you people think we are "odd", "extreme" and "psycho" if we go to church regularly, homeschool our daughter, put limitations on our 12 year old daughter as to where she is and who she is with, and ( the real kicker) always wear skirts or dresses.

    We are to be separate from the world, and as the world accepts more and more evil and vi,e things...the gap becomes larger. Think back to just 100 years ago. Many times the only real obvious difference in a Christian and non Christian was church attendance. No more. God is our hope...and for all those blinded by the Great Deceiver, we pray that God will indwell their hearts and lives.

    1. You must been northeast coast. Such a shame that an area that was settled by Puritans for religious freedom has become so against God. Yes, I forgot homeschooling. They tried to outlaw that here in CA. It failed but I know they will try again. They want to brainwash our kids in school against God. Thanks for your comment and God Bless!

  4. Thank you MaryLu for this posting this morning. It is sad to think that Christians are thought of to be extremists . It is equally sad to know that these same people who are pointing fingers will look to their Christian friends for comfort and prayer when they are faced with sorrow. The saddest thing is -- our children and grandchildren are being taught this dislike of Christianity in the public school. We need God back in our country and in our schools . we need to be on the pathway that God has required us to be on. One with Him, close to Jesus, placing His word on our hearts, knowing Christ as our Lord and Savior, and if we are going to be accused of being an extremist of our belief, may we be the best extremists going. We know that each step we take - that Christ is with us , guiding our steps and whispering in our ears-- do not look to the left or the right, keep your eyes focused on me!! So my eyes are focused on Him- may He use me to help those who do not know Him.

    1. So true, Elsie! I've had atheist friends come to me for prayer when they are really struggling. I love your phrase, "may we be the best extremist going"! I've been labeled a Jesus freak by some. I always say. Absolutely!! I'm all in for my Savior. If that makes me a freak, I'm happy to be called that!
      The key as you said is to keep our eyes on Jesus. Never lose sight of His wonderful face. And maybe we can snag a few people from the grip of hell.

  5. Well Jesus was considered extreme in His day. So, if they want to call me that then I guess I'm flattered. After all, being Christ like is my goal. One step closer to victory! Lol. I know that God is working in my life to destroy my value for how people see me and build up my value for how He sees me. The best honor comes from Him. Thanks MaryLu. I LOVE you're books. Especially the pirate ones. In Christ, Chris

    1. So right, Chris! Jesus was very extreme! I, also, am trying to rid myself of any need for human approval and look only to God. It's a hard path, but the only way to go. Glad you like my pirates. ;-) Blessings