Thursday, September 30, 2010

Why do we like to think the worst about ourselves?

What is it about American Christians that causes us to think the worst about ourselves?  Do we have some kind of innate inferiority complex that causes us to believe any statistic that comes down the pike if it expresses a negative view of Christianity?

Take a look at this piece in Christianity Today.  The author makes a valid point that the statistics we love to go around quoting are all negative statistics, and many of them are flat out misleading if not fabricated falsehoods. I remember sitting in a meeting watching a video of a prominent teen evangelist who was breathlessly telling us that only 4% of American kids will be Christians in the next generation.  I leaned over to the pastor sitting next to me and said "I know how to lie with statistics too" and we both smiled.  That number comes from an informal survey (read nonscientific) done by a seminary professor more than 10 years ago with a sample size of just over 200 people.  More on that here.   Yet people keep running around repeating it as if it were inscribed on stone tablets found found on Mt. Sinai.  It's wrong people!  Get over it!  Stop repeating the lie.!

Maybe Christians should try this form of therapy.

Let's try something new for a while.  Let's only say positive things about the church that are true.  Let's declare a fast from criticalness.  Let's speak positively about the Body of Christ, and see if it becomes more attractive to people.  How about that for a change.

I realize this will crimp the fundraising plans of many who make their living out of scaring Christians into thinking they are under siege.  But this too shall pass.  And the world may just be a better place afterward.

It's worth a shot, don't you think?