How Do Unchurched Americans View Christianity?

ned flanders

By Audrey Barrick

In a portrait of the "unchurched" in America, a new study found that most are willing to hear what people have to say about Christianity but a majority also sees the church as a place full of hypocrites.

"A full 72 percent of the people interviewed said they think the church ‘is full of hypocrites,’" said LifeWay Research director Ed Stetzer. "At the same time, however, 71 percent of the respondents said they believe Jesus ‘makes a positive difference in a person’s life’ and 78 percent said they would ‘be willing to listen’ to someone who wanted to share what they believed about Christianity."

LifeWay Research studied 1,402 adults who were unchurched – those who had not attended a religious service at a church, synagogue or mosque in the previous six months – last spring and summer.

Many unchurched adults don't have a biblical understanding about God and Jesus, according to the survey.

Study results, released this week, showed that while 64 percent of the respondents think "the Christian religion is a relevant and viable religion for today," 72 percent of unchurched adults said they believe God, a higher or supreme being actually exists. Only 48 percent agree there is only one God as described in the Bible and 61 percent believe the God of the Bible is no different from the gods or spiritual being depicted.

"If you went back 100 years in North America, there would have been a consensus that God is the God in the Bible. We can't assume this any longer," said Stetzer. "We no longer have a home-field advantage as Christians in this culture."


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