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Thread: Onward Christian soldiers

  1. #31
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    Originally posted by kate:
    -. And obviously, a lot of people do live out their lives blamelessly without having ever having heard of Christian teachings.
    Surprisingly Few Adults Outside of Christianity Have Positive Views of Christians

    December 3, 2002



    (Ventura, CA) - One reason why evangelical churches across the nation are not growing is due to the image that non-Christian adults have of evangelical individuals. In a nationwide survey released by the Barna Research Group of Ventura, California among a representative sample of people who do not consider themselves to be Christian, the image of "evangelicals" rated tenth out of eleven groups evaluated, beating out only prostitutes. The non-Christian population was not as dismissive of all Christians or religious people, however, as ministers and "born again Christians" were among the three highest-rated segments evaluated.

    Impressions Count

    Adults who do not consider themselves to be Christian were asked to provide their impressions of eleven groups. The only group that received a "favorable" opinion from a majority of the non-Christian individuals was "military officers." Fifty-six percent had favorable opinions of the group and just 6% had an unfavorable opinion. (The remainder was somewhere in-between or did not have an opinion of the group.) Higher positive scores were awarded this group by men (64% held favorable impressions), people 55 or older (67% favorable), whites (62%) and college graduates (65%).

    Just less than half - 44% - said they have favorable opinions of ministers, with only 9% having a negative opinion of the group. Born again Christians ranked third, with one-third (32%) saying they had a favorable impression of the group, and half as many (17%) indicating an unfavorable impression.

    Among the remaining eight groups, half had a higher positive than negative image and two had a predominantly negative image. The segments whose image tended to be more favorable than unfavorable included Democrats (32% favorable, 12% unfavorable), real estate agents (30% positive, 11% negative), movie and television performers (25% positive, 14% negative), and lawyers (24% positive and 18% negative). Republicans (23% favorable, 22% unfavorable) and evangelicals (22% favorable, 23% unfavorable) were the only groups whose image was equally positive and negative. Groups with a predominantly negative image were lesbians (23% positive, 30% negative) and prostitutes (5% favorable, 55% unfavorable).

    In terms of the actual positive and negative percentages awarded to different groups, the study points out that less than half of the non-Christian public has a favorable impression of any of the three religious groups evaluated. Just 44% have positive views of clergy, only one-third (32%) have a positive impression of born again Christians and just one-fifth (22%) have a positive view of evangelicals.


    Learn more about the book Re-churching the Unchurched

    Views Vary by Demographics

    Different slices of the non-Christian population possess divergent views of such groups. For instance, non-Christian men were more likely than non-Christian women to have a positive view of military officers (64% vs. 47%, respectively), while non-Christian women had substantially more positive impressions of born again Christians (38% vs. 27% among men), lesbians (31% vs. 15% of the non-Christian males), and lawyers (33% compared to 17% of the men).

    Age impacts people's perspectives, too. Non-Christian Baby Busters - those aged 19 to 37 - were nearly three times more likely to have a favorable impression of lesbians than were older non-Christian adults, and were also more likely to have a positive view of movie and TV stars (32% compared to 18% among people 38 or older). They were less likely than their elders to have a favorable impression of evangelicals (18% vs. 25%, respectively). Busters were twice as likely to have a positive impression of born again Christians (35%) as they were to hold a favorable view of evangelicals (18%).

    White non-Christians were twice as likely as non-white non-Christians to have a favorable opinion of Republicans (28% vs. 15%).

    Non-Christian college graduates give their approval more sparingly than do less highly educated non-Christians. College graduates gave comparatively lower favorability ratings to born again Christians, ministers, evangelicals, lawyers and media stars.

    Language and Sources Considered

    The survey data suggest that people form impressions of others on the basis of one-dimensional images created and communicated by the mass media. "Our studies show that many of the people who have negative impressions of evangelicals do not know what or who an evangelical is," commented George Barna, whose firm conducted the research. "People's impressions of others are often driven by incomplete, inaccurate or out-of-context information conveyed under the guise of objectivity when, in fact, there is a point-of-view being advanced by the information source. Too often, we develop mental images of others without knowing those people."

    Barna said he hopes people will reflect on these findings and examine their own perceptions of people who may be different from themselves. "During the holiday season millions of people slip into churches they do not usually attend, or give money to charities, or talk and sing about peace and goodwill. While we are in a more ponderous, generous and forgiving mood we may also consider people groups about whom we have developed a negative or unflattering impression, and examine the basis of those attitudes. We find that when people examine the foundation of their impressions and then talk to a few people from the groups of which they have a low opinion, they discover that those people are not so bad after all. There may be some differences of opinion, but the negative impressions that result in animosity and division often dissipate if we dig beneath the surface of our attitudes."

    The research also reveals the power of language. "Somehow, 'born again Christians' have a more favorable image than do 'evangelicals,' although few adults are able to identify any substantive differences between those two groups," noted Barna. "This is most likely a result of the thrashing that evangelicals receive in the media. It seems that millions of non-Christians have negative impressions of evangelicals, even though they cannot define what an evangelical is, accurately identify the perspectives of the group, or identify even a handful of people they know personally who are evangelicals. There appears to be a lot of religious divisiveness in America based on caricatures and myths rather than on the basis of true ideological or theological differences."

    Research Methodology

    The data described in this report are based on a national telephone survey among a random sample of 1002 adults (age 18 or older) living within the 48 continental states conducted in May of 2002. Among that sample were 270 adults who indicated that they do not considered themselves to be Christian. The maximum margin of sampling error associated with the sub-sample of non-Christians is ±6.2 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. (There are other types of error besides sampling error that may also be present in surveys.) All of the interviews were conducted from the Barna Research Group telephone interviewing facility in Ventura, CA. The distribution of the survey respondents coincided with the geographic dispersion of the U.S. adult population according to Census Bureau estimates. Multiple callbacks were used to increase the probability of including a reliable sample of adults.

    The Barna Research Group, Ltd. is an independent marketing research company located in southern California. Since 1984 it has been studying cultural trends related to values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors. This research was funded solely by Barna Research as part of its regular tracking of the social, religious and political state of the nation and its churches.

    If you would like to receive a bi-weekly update on the latest research findings from the Barna Research Group, you may subscribe to this free service by typing your e-mail address in the field above located at the top of this page on the left-hand side.


    Question: Is your impression of people in this group generally favorable, generally unfavorable, or somewhere in-between?
    Favorable In-Between Unfavorable Don't Know
    Military officers 56% 32% 6% 6%
    ministers 44 40 9 7
    Born again Christians 32 41 17 10
    Democrats 32 47 12 9
    Real estate agents 30 51 11 8
    Movie and TV performers 25 54 14 7
    Lawyers 24 53 18 5
    Republicans 23 47 22 8
    Lesbians 23 38 30 11
    Evangelicals 22 33 23 22
    Prostitutes 5 29 55 11










    Copyright Disclaimer All the information contained on the barna.org website is copyrighted by the Barna Research Group, Ltd., 5528 Everglades Street, Ventura, CA 93003. No portion of this website (articles, graphs, charts, reviews, pictures, video clips, quotes, statistics, etc.) may be reproduced, retransmitted, disseminated, sold, distributed, published, edited, altered, changed, broadcast, circulated, or commercially exploited without the prior written permission from Barna Research Group, LTD.

    Rom 3:22-24
    There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
    (from New International Version)

    The Bible doesn't agree with you

  2. #32
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    Originally posted by kate:
    -. And obviously, a lot of people do live out their lives blamelessly without having ever having heard of Christian teachings.
    Rom 3:22-24
    There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
    (from New International Version)

    The Bible doesn't agree with you.]

  3. #33
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    [QUOTE]Originally posted by Cris:

    Originally posted by Cris:
    [...
    can someone clean this mess up, one edit replicated itself.

  4. #34
    Originally posted by larwatson:

    "Erm. That wasn't proselytization. That was terrorism."

    Ahhhh yes, that's what you call it in your culture and my culture . . . not theirs.
    I thought the object of proselytizing was conversion. As I see it, the 9/11 hijackers were out to kill people, not convert them.

    ____________________________

    "By the same token I could tell you that I "care" enough about you to express my _sincere belief_ that believing in imaginary deities is detrimental to your psychological well-being because I am concerned for your mental stability - which I would never do, because that would put me on the same level as the obnoxious pushy proselytizer - but wouldn't you find that even a tad paternalistic?"

    No actually I would find what you just stated as offensive. You would have done just did what you constantly accuse Christians of . . . personalizing it. You think I'm nuts for beleiving in an imaginary diety . . . concern for my mental stability if you will.
    As could your your so-called "concern" for my hypothetical afterlife be considered equally offensive. I was merely extending your rationale to its rather absurd extreme. In each case the proselytizer is presuming that he/she *knows* better than the other person what is "good" for that other person.

    A Christian (and not all do . . . I get this alright?) should always approach a non-believer with the thought that they are offering a gift to someone. Let's say that I just tried this great flavored water that has 100% vitamin C with no sugar (Ice Botanicals . . . great stuff).

    I want my friend Bob to try Ice Botanicals because I think he'll enjoy it and it will be good for him. So I hand a bottle to Bob for him to try. He says no thanks I'm not thirsty. A couple of days later I offer another bottle to Bob and he says once again, no thanks I'm not thirsty. Finally, on the third day I notice Bob is getting ready to crack open a Diet Coke. I call out to him, "Hey Bob, thirsty???" Bob is hot. He doesn't want to try this crap I'm trying to get him to drink, because if its good for him it just can't taste good. But Bob upon seeing that I was insistent finally breaks down and takes a drink of the Ice Botanical. "Heyyyyy, that's pretty good pally." Bob exclaims, "Got anymore?"

    Christians are trying to do the same when they tell you about Christ. They just want you to have the chance to experience what they have. Nothing more. Nothing less. Who knows. It just might be what you are looking for.
    You just don't get it do you?

    First of all, it's incredibly presumptuous to assume that I am "looking" for something. Simply because my personal philosophy does not include a belief in god (more on that later) does not make it an existential or spiritual vacuum, nor less valid for my own perspective than yours does for you.

    Second, how can you assume (again with the assumptions) that I haven't already tried the particular brand of religion you are pushing? Maybe I had an experience with Christianity in the past and it was not positive. Maybe I started out Christian and de-converted. You just don't know.

    Third, a "gift" (to use your analogy) should be offered once, but if the other person is not interested, leave it alone. If you repeatedly bring it up every time you see me, then it stops being a gift and starts being an imposition, and will eventually make you extremely unpopular around my house.

    ______________________

    "In other words, having an open and mutually respectful discussion of various points of view is fine. But once you get into "I'm right, you're wrong, and I'm only telling you for your own good", IMHO that crosses a line no matter which viewpoint - Christianity, Islam, or anti-religionism - is being espoused."

    You're right. This is why I said that at some point we'll have to agree to disagree unless one of us converts. You say you know there is no God. I know He exists. Not much in between the two. Does that mean either of us is wrong. In your mind I am wrong. In my mind you are wrong. That's life. But it doesn't mean that we can't still love and respect one another. As a Christian I am called to love all people.
    I never said "there's no god". I simply don't see the evidence to support the existence of one, let alone your variety of god above all others. But that's a semantic difference and I'm not going to debate that here. The point is that even tho we disagree on that aspect there is no reason it has to rear its ugly head in every single conversation.
    ___________________________

    "BTW, I don't know where you get the idea that as an atheist I am "contemptuous" of Christian beliefs. I thought the issue was about the messengers - and to some extent the M.O. - not necessarily with the message itself."

    My bad. From reading your posts they have been pretty scathing of ALL Christians in general. I apologize if that was not the case.
    It's not. Some of my best friends are Christians.

  5. #35
    Cris, I think your Reply button was temporarily hijacked by Satan.

  6. #36
    Senior Member kate's Avatar
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    Huh?

    Cris, the Bible doesn't agree with itself, a lot of the time.

    Turn the other cheek, OR
    An eye for an eye . . .

    So there's no need for it to "agree" with me. People I know who try to BE the gospel, as opposed to PREACHING it, have to make sense of Jesus however we can. Naturally, we fail most of the time.

  7. #37
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    Michaelm. Joshua

    "What it comes down to is that Jesus was either a liar, lunatic, or he was God. One of the three. I choose the latter."
    For the limited perspective of generalizing just 3 own whatevers for everyone and their flea.

    Personally I assume that he grew up watching fathers treating their firstborns as continuations of themselves in a way, special treatment, and he did grow up with a father like the others.
    I assume he was longing for having one.
    And believing into an illusion off-feeding longings seems not the same as intentionally lying to others, for example.


    "What other name has been worshiped, ridiculed, prayed to, cursed and remembered with the resurrection and birth date every year for the last 2000 years, but Jesus."

    So, what was the birth date? Stuff like the Church sticking it right after winter solstice aside, I heard assumptions that he was born in spring.
    In a (?)Planetarium/Observatorium they seemed of the opinion, the comet // "star" was there several years before the year 0.

    I forget, if 7 years, or what.
    So what was his birth date?


    ... Easter Greetings back. :-)


    Joshua:

    (Me before: If I told you, show me this person you call a god,
    you'd fail, because outside your illusions it does not exist.)

    And you still were not able to show me that God person, as with the illusion I predicted.


    "Acid, Jesus Christ was a real person." I did not doubt that Jehoshuvah, or whatever his unGreek name was, existed.

    I regard him as a remarkable healer, and have found yellow halo, here called Heiligenschein, in LSD magic considerations interesting at times.


    "Here is the difference in Christianity and other religions, every other religion you had a messanger bring the messege to the people from God."
    Actually with Germanic religion I wonder how many persons have contributed to it. And it includes with God(esse)s not that Christian attempt of trying to sort of swipe all Goddesses and Gods of humans so far of Earth, apart from the own believed into God, under the carpet.


    "Jesus (...) not only brought the message from God"
    So who saw that God there and actually speaking with him.

    "He came to show people (...) how to live there life."

    In other words, live from what others give you, don't plant, not spent years to care for old and young, etc.
    If all humans were to live like that, our kind might have starved and died out a long time ago.


    "We can't live up to the standards he set." If we all did, that seems like the expiry date nearly set for our kind.

    "That is why we need him" Whoever your we are, I don't need some dead guy from a couple of thousands of years ago.

    "and that is why he died for us." Outside such illusions, he didn't die for us, Romans decided to nail him on a cross, seeming to follow Yewish wishes in that.

    As anyone with some basics in med stuff knows, emergency circulation, whatever you call that, still supplies the heart, lungs and brain.

    Poking someone into the side and no blood coming, in no form qualifies in modern medicine as a sure death certificate replacement.

  8. #38
    Senior Member Josh's Avatar
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    Acid,

    I can only post for a second and I will get back to you later on the rest but I wanted to say one thing.

    Acid :
    So, what was the birth date? Stuff like the Church sticking it right after winter solstice aside, I heard assumptions that he was born in spring.
    In a (?)Planetarium/Observatorium they seemed of the opinion, the comet // "star" was there several years before the year 0.

    I forget, if 7 years, or what.
    So what was his birth date?
    WHO CARES?? I don't care if Jesus was born on March 10th, June 15th, or Dec.25th. Not having that information has no effect on my belief at all.

  9. #39
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    J.

    "WHO CARES?? I don't care if Jesus was born on March 10th, June 15th, or Dec.25th. Not having that information has no effect on my belief at all."

    Apart from what you do not care about,
    the part was to someone else.

    Who seemed to put it alike the date was known,
    which I in my ways questioned.

    No need to "shout" your desinterest in carings there at me like that,
    after I voiced my doubts in the correctness of someone else's statement.

    Were you not the one with Love, Love, Love? What makes you "shout" around after I question the correctness of the statement of someone?

    Apart from that is there not that US-American joke of a teacher asking a student:"What are ignorance and apathy?" "I don't know and I don't care."

    While Lording some human around, whom I do not recall to have aspired an aristocratic title when named,
    maybe in nearly alike trying to (?)proselytize here, you seem not the best example to yourself follow the as relevant by you declared teachings.


    Acid

  10. #40
    Senior Member Josh's Avatar
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    I'm sorry Acid. I'm just having a hard time understanding what your saying. I'll try to answer the best I can.


    Acid:
    Apart from what you do not care about,
    the part was to someone else.

    Who seemed to put it alike the date was known,
    which I in my ways questioned.
    I'm sorry if that question wasn't aimed at me.

    Acid:
    Were you not the one with Love, Love, Love? What makes you "shout" around after I question the correctness of the statement of someone
    Yes, Acid that was me saying Love, Love,Love. What makes me shout? I wasn't shouting then, but I do sometimes. Being a Christian doesn't make you perfect. But since becoming a follower of Christ I have become much more loving than I use to be.


    Acid:
    While Lording some human around, whom I do not recall to have aspired an aristocratic title when named,
    maybe in nearly alike trying to (?)proselytize here, you seem not the best example to yourself follow the as relevant by you declared teachings.
    I'm sorry but I don't know what this means.

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