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.
- Using religion to justify violence (Most of us haven't done this one)
- Refusing standard medical care for their children (such as vaccinations.)
- 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)
- Demonstrating outside an organization they consider immoral (abortion clinic protests)
- Preaching a religious message in a public place (street preaching)
- Attempting to convert others to their faith (sharing the gospel with others at work or school)
- Teaching their children that sexual relationships are morally wrong (Raising your kids to believe the Bible)
- Distributing religious material door-to-door (handing out Bibles or tracts)
- Praying out loud in public for a stranger
- Believing that sexual relationship between people of the same sex are morally wrong (a.k.a. Believing the Bible)
- 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!!