Andrew Sullivan points to a new study which shows that Christianity is losing the younger generation.
The reason, according to the study?
When young people were asked to identify their impressions of Christianity, one of the common themes was "Christianity is changed from what it used to be" and "Christianity in today’s society no longer looks like Jesus." These comments were the most frequent unprompted images that young people called to mind…
The negative perceptions of Christianity are high among non-Christian youth:
Among young non-Christians, nine out of the top 12 perceptions were negative. Common negative perceptions include that present-day Christianity is judgmental (87%), hypocritical (85%), old-fashioned (78%), and too involved in politics (75%)…
But negative perceptions of Christianity exist in high numbers for Christian youth, too!
Half of young churchgoers said they perceive Christianity to be judgmental, hypocritical, and too political. One-third said it was old-fashioned and out of touch with reality.
It’s so bad, in fact, that being "unChristian" is considered by many young people to be a good thing. Being "unChristian" means you are unjudgmental, unhypocritical…
The study notes one emerging trend that has led to the general disgust among young people — the Christian obsession with homosexuality:
Interestingly, the study discovered a new image that has steadily grown in prominence over the last decade. Today, the most common perception is that present-day Christianity is "anti-homosexual." Overall, 91% of young non-Christians and 80% of young churchgoers say this phrase describes Christianity. As the research probed this perception, non-Christians and Christians explained that beyond their recognition that Christians oppose homosexuality, they believe that Christians show excessive contempt and unloving attitudes towards gays and lesbians.
Most Christians I know don’t show contempt for gays and lesbians. Certainly the gay Christians I know don’t!
But that perception is still quite real, because Christian leaders — the ones with the megaphones — do so ceaselessly harp on and on an on about homosexuality.
One of the most frequent criticisms of young Christians was that they believe the church has made homosexuality a "bigger sin" than anything else.
And, if one were to listen the Christian media, they indeed have. The Bible rarely mentions homosexuality, yet the handful of ambiguous passages where it comes up seem to be a fave of evangelicals.
Let me put it this way. The way Christian leaders pontificate about the "sin" of homosexuality, you would think it was one of the seven deadly sins. Yet, the Bible doesn’t consider it a deadly sin. When the Bible mentions homosexuality (which is rare, and assuming for argument’s sake that the translation actually mean "homosexuality"), it’s often within the same breath as the "sin" of eating pork, or planting two different crops side-by-side.
It’s no wonder that young people get turned off by the hatred spewed from the pulpits and TV ministries.
RELATED: Speaking of young Christians, I find this story very very sad. Poor girl.