Sunday, January 16, 2005

229 Barna's top stories of 2004

Reflecting on the more than 10,000 interviews his firm completed during 2004, George Barna identified the most encouraging outcomes, the most surprising findings, the most disappointing revelations, and the most significant challenges in the article "Annual Review of Significant Religious Findings Offers Encouragement and Challenges," at Barna Research, December 21, 2004.

I was certain surprised by two of his selections:

“Mel Gibson’s movie, The Passion of the Christ, was a stunning film that generated hundreds of millions of dollars and attracted millions of viewers. However, despite its undeniable emotional and spiritual force, few people accepted Jesus Christ as their savior as a result of watching that movie; few changed any of their religious beliefs or practices as a result; and less than one-half of one percent of the audience said the movie motivated them to be more active in evangelism.”

Our church rented a large movie theater in a mall for three showings, and I'm sure it was intended as evangelism, not entertainment. Preaching to the choir, I suppose.

But this one was really a shocker.

“Two-thirds of all evangelicals support a constitutional amendment to establish Christianity as the official religion of the United States. Evangelicals are not alone in that desire, although they are the most prolific supporters. In total, one-third of all U.S. adults support the idea.”

What are they thinking? One-third of all adults? Have they never heard of the dead churches of Europe? Why would we want that here?

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