A while ago I promised to blog through the book Unchristian by David Kinnaman (see here for that post) and I’m finally getting round to it.
The first major challenge was that young people in the US perceived Christians as hypocritical and he backed it up with some frightening stats. Here are some of them from page 53, the percentages represent the views of born-again believers aged 23-41.
It is morally acceptable to:
Have sex outside of marriage 44%
Get drunk 35%
Look at porn 33%
Have an abortion 32%
Interestingly ‘born agains’ were LESS likely to recycle 68% compared to 79% but slightly more likely to help someone in need 53% versus 45%.
All in all the figures are shocking but I want to make one key observation. In the US it seems to me there is a huge number of ‘converts’ and a smaller number of disciples. So here in the UK 75% of our nation if asked would describe themselves as ‘Christian’ and put up worse stats than the ones above. But they wouldn’t have had the experience of church or ‘conversion’ that their peers in the US have had where a massive 80+% claimed to have some kind of conversion experience.
So here’s my tentative conclusion: calling people to follow Christ (and therefore include repentance as a necessary part to that following) is vastly different to asking people if they feel bad for some sin or other and putting up their hand. My own experience here in the UK backs this up. Last summer I took a group of young people to a Christian event called Newday and a number repented and probably only one of them is still actively following Christ 6 months later. In the US it seems they have a culture of conversion and not one of discipleship and I think we need to be on guard against that here.