When asked what they considered “major” problems facing the US those “Alvin Americans” responded:
78% –Individual American’s personal debt
Listed as “moderate” concerns were:
60%- Illegal immigration
57% –Global warming
45% TV & movie content
About 1/3 listed homosexuality as a major problem
Evangelical Christians (Calvin Christians??) had an interestingly different list:
81%- Personal indebtedness
79%- TV & movie content
75%- Homosexual activists
75%- Gay & lesbian lifestyles
Global warming was a distant 33% compared to the 57% of the general population.
(Barna Update 1/21/08)
I have only really two comments about this and I’m not sure which is correct. Do the differences reflect a biblical prioritization of issues? If so, I wonder why poverty does not even register at all on the list of high (or even moderate) concerns for Evangelical Christians when it was such a big issue with Jesus. It is easy to say that “our” values are more biblically based and therefore different than “the world.” I am not sure that holds up to close examination, with the absence of poverty and the poor as just the first example.
The second observation (or question) is…what difference does it make that evangelical Christians’ values are so significantly different from those of the “average” American? Is it wrong for conservative Christians to speak to the concerns of the “average American”? Is that pandering? Is it false to address those concerns in an effort to share Christ with those outside the Church?
I guess I have more questions than answers.
All I know is that my personal preaching schedule hasn’t reflected much preaching about (material/financial) poverty, HIV/AIDS (at least in recent years) or global warming. I have spoken SOME (OK, a little) about illegal immigration (although not in terms that many of my church members thought well of…). Is that wrong?
Although I have tried in recent years to preach more exegetically, I don’t know that I have intentionally looked in the passages for principles that addressed these matters in the texts on which I preached.
Just kind of thinking out loud and wished I had done more to even LOOK for principles in the passages that addressed these concerns that Alvin American has.