Christians Challenged to be Salt and Light
In a recent survey released by Barna research, it was revealed that most Americans believe that Christianity has made positive contributions to American society. The top three contributions were service, evangelism, and morals.
Nineteen percent of all Americans indicated that Christians were concerned with serving the poor. Respondents were more likely to be under 25, African-American, or politically liberal.
Evangelism was named as a positive contribution by sixteen percent of all respondents. This was viewed as a positive contribution most often by Evangelicals and other Christians.
One out of seven respondents indicated that Christians help shape and protect the morals in America. These respondents identified themselves as “mostly conservative.”
Alarmingly, 25 percent of all Americans could not think of any positive contribution by Christians! In fact, the most common negative contribution of Christianity mentioned by respondents was violence or hatred in the name of Jesus. Attitudes of Christians toward gays, church involvement in politics, and sex abuse scandals were also named as negative contributions of Christians.
What does this research tell us? Christians have made some positive contributions to society, but the burden is heavily upon us to have a stronger, more positive influence on culture. If we want to influence culture in a positive way, we need to get rid of our biases, serve others out of love, and live morally pure. Instead of reflecting culture, we need to be shaping and defining culture. Jesus said in Matthew 5:13-14, that we are “the salt of the earth.” This means that we are called to engage culture by reflecting the purity, humility, and servanthood of Jesus.
What can you do to reflect the image of Jesus in your life?
Source: The Barna Group