Read a study by George Barna yesterday that said that many people could not think of anything that Christianity had done to help society.
"There was a young poet in Japan
Whose poetry no one could scan.
When told it was so,
He replied, "Yes, I know,
But I try to get as many words in the last line as I can."- Quoted by Ray Steadman
The most frequent response, however, was the inability to think of a single positive contribution made by Christians in recent years. One out of every four respondents (25%) said they could not recall anything of this nature. Skeptics (34%), unchurched adults (33%), and Independent voters (29%) were more likely than other people to fall into this response category.That's pretty awful, but even more people were upset at what they remembered that Christians had done.
When asked to identify what they thought were the negative contributions of Christians to American society in recent years, the most frequent response was violence or hatred incited in the name of Jesus Christ. One out of five Americans mentioned such vitriolic attitudes. This was most likely to be mentioned by people associated with non-Christian faiths (35%) and by evangelicals (31%).
So many words, brothers and sisters. So many words and not enough acts of loving kindness.
Three other responses generated similar levels of support. Thirteen percent said the opposition of Christians to gay marriage was the largest negative contribution. People 25 or younger were twice as likely as other Americans to mention this. Blacks (20%) and Skeptics (20%) also registered above-average levels of concern about that position.
37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment.39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
Matt 22:37-40 (NLT)
Matt 25:40 (NLT)
The only way we are going to reverse the attitudes and beliefs of those who do not see the church as beneficial is to live our theology out in bold witness to the new hearts that the Holy Spirit has given us. The gospel is good news to everyone. Let's work to get opportunities to tell it as we serve God through our love for the people He has placed around us.