What are some ways the Christian gospel is perceived in our culture?
Most youths consider Christianity as judgmental, enslaving and unnecessarily strict. The most common reason cited is the anti-gay aspect. In the present world, where there are more rights, privileges and freedom given to people than any other previous times, homo-sexuality is, among other previously considered unnatural deeds, legalized by the government. The legalization of homo-sexuality is spreading rapidly across countries globally. In a study conducted by the UnChristian revealed than out of a sample of 867 young people (404 non-Christians 305 active church goers), the vast majority of non-Christians (91%) asserted that Christianity painted an anti-gay picture. 83% of them said it was judgmental. The rest (9%) said it was hypocritical (Rios 32).
Other people think Christianity is a nuisance and evangelists considered as notorious noisemakers. They claim that by preaching against minor evils in society, Christians ignore reality and live in pretense (Nieves 17). According to LifeWay Research director Ed Stetzer, 72% of the people view Christians as self-righteous pretenders and church; a place full of hypocrites. However, most people (72%) believe Jesus makes a difference in people's lives.
2. What are some specific moral reasons people may reject the Christian gospel?
Jesus Christ (whose teachings Christianity is based on), commanded His followers to love all people equally whether friends, enemies or relatives. He went on to say that Christians should return love for hate and 'turn the other cheek.' To most people these commands are not fair and just but enhance intimidation and unnecessary suffering. These people feel that revenge and payback is inevitable to keep ones self-esteem and respect.
Divorce rates are not only highest in our society but also occur more among divorcees. The right to divorce is not allowed in Christianity (as preached by Jesus and the apostles), and such people reject the gospel as being inconsiderate and illogical.
3. What are some specific emotional reasons people may reject the Christian gospel?
Some people find emotional expressions especially by adults, a sign of weakness (Nieves). Such people are irritated by scenes of mature people in mixed audiences crying or shouting in public areas.
4. What are some specific intellectual reasons people may reject the Christian gospel?
Atheists are some of the people who reject the gospel by reasoning intellectually. They claim that there is too much drama about Christianity yet it is marred with inconsistencies and ambiguity.
The historians argue that Christianity is just like any other religious group and should not be treated as superior to the others. Since Christianity is not the oldest religion, it was likely copied and founded on beliefs and practices of an existing religion and, therefore, should not be relied upon.
5. What can Christians do to address these objections and better communicate the Christian gospel?
Christians should strive to live desirable and exemplary lives that will be imitated by the non-Christians. This life is possible with submitting to the teachings of Jesus and the Holy Spirit's power of transformation.
Christian leaders should create forums and sessions of discussion to address and clarify the misunderstandings that hinder the true impression and purpose of the gospel to the non-Christians. The awareness program can extend to providing more bibles and Christian material both in print and video and make it easily available such as on the Internet.
Priest, R. J., & Nieves, A. L. (2006). This Side of Heaven: Race, Ethnicity, and Christian Faith. Oxford: Oxford University Press, USA.
Rios, S. (2011). American Christian: Truth or myth?. Maitland, FL: Xulon Press.
Tseng, T., Nakka-Cammauf, V., & Institute for the Study of Asian American Christianity. (2009). Asian American Christianity reader. Castro Valley, Calif: Pacific Asian American & Canadian Christian Education Project and the Institute for the Study of Asian American Christianity.