There’s a fascinating essay by the folks of the Barna Research Group that may come as a bit of a surprise to Christians: Surprisingly Few Adults Outside of Christianity Have Positive Views of Christians.
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.
The report goes into some detail with regards to how it all breaks down and will certainly be an eye-opener for some Christians. I must say that I’m not all that surprised that evangelicals are ranked only slightly better than prostitutes, though, as many Christians of other denominations themselves tend to have issues with that group.