Christian Stereotype Sanity Check

Relevant Magazine speaks to the issue of how Christians, and Christianity, are often marginalized by stereotypical views. Here are a few of those stereotypes with explanations from the article:
  • Christians are Republican: A 2008 Barna study found 51 percent of Republicans have spiritual beliefs that qualify them as “born again” Christians. Significantly fewer Democrats hold the same beliefs, but it’s still a pretty high amount: 38 percent.
  • Christianity is Mainly an American Thing: There are 2.18 billion Christians around the world. And only 11.3 percent of those live in the U.S.
  • Christians Think They’re Better Than Everyone Else / Are Hypocritical: According to a Barna Group study, 51 percent showed Pharisaical attitudes and actions while just 14 percent showed Christ-like attitudes and actions. 21 percent showed Christ-like attitudes but Pharisaical actions.
  • Christians Don’t Care About Science: A 2009 Pew survey of members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science found 33 percent of scientists believe in God and 18 percent more don’t believe in God but do believe in some sort of "higher power."
  • Christians Have The Same Divorce Rates As Those Outside the Church: A study in the Journal of Religion and Society found that Christians have a slightly lower divorce rate (37 percent) than non-Christians (44 percent). The rates varied between traditions and were significantly lower among those with frequent church attendance.
What I glean from the piece (read it in full here) is that many of us (I know this is true for me) have embraced these stereotypes and continue to proliferate them. Perhaps this article might help to educate and inform us a bit?


  1. Trouble is not everyone who says they are a Christian are in fact Christian. I believe that there are far less Christians than any poll shows and I think there are far more tares than we are willing to admit. I can sit in a garage all night long, but I won't wake up a Buick. Trouble is only God knows the heart, so all we can do is look to their fruit and their doctrine and trust God. It troubles me that so many people are misled by these statistics including those who say they are Christians.

    1. Thanks for that Gregg. While I agree with your take that not all who say they are Christians really are, my experience doesn't really conflict with the conclusions reached using the stats.

  2. All I can think about is that chart of how different denominations see each other;)

    1. Sad but true Alice. Denominations were usually created to separate themselves from other believers.


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