15 Dec What’s up with Religion
The religious environment is changing is the conclusion of the Barna Group Research as they announce their “Six Megathemes Emerging in 2010.” An analysis of 5,000 interviews conducted over the last year showed some trends that reflect some concerns regarding the status and strength of religion—particular for those who claim the title of Christian.
1. Biblical literacy is declining and accurate theological understanding is suffering as well.
2. Christians are becoming more insular, associating primarily with members of their faith or congregation. There is increasing reticence to have “faith-oriented” conversations with acquaintances.
3. Priorities are geared away from spiritual concerns. Spiritual beliefs and attitudes are becoming more superficial taking a backseat to day-to-day physical and temporal needs.
4. Active community service is increasing, but it is based on perceptions of what is socially acceptable and inspired by contemporary “justice” themes. The commitment to serve, however, is quite shallow and probably not sustainable.
5. A new understanding of “tolerance” is overshadowing a correct understanding of gospel principles. Christians are becoming “tolerant of a vast array of morally and spiritually dubious behaviors and philosophies,” all in the name of an incorrect understanding of what it means to be “non-judgmental.”
6. Faults of the Christian church are focused on rather than Christianity’s contribution to life and society as a whole. “The Christian Church is in desperate need of a more positive and accessible image,” state the report.
The report also offers suggestions and ways to move towards improvement of the problems identified.
This is an important work that has implications for all religions. To read more on Barna’s Six Emerging Megathemes, go here.