Yesterday I wrote a blog responding to this statement I wrote back in 2009. Here’s a second response.
The church has such a bad reputation that entire book, unChristian, was written about the churches bad rap in the United States. Most Christians who are attempting to connect with the lost feel a need to either justify or distance themselves from the actions of other believers. We’ve drifted so far from the early church that most churches are lucky if they have a neutral reputation in their community.
If you only trusted mass media, George Barna books, online comment sections, and many statistics which pastors use regularly, you’d think Christianity was on the verge of extinction and “Christian” was a bad word. Fortunately, it’s simply not true.
The author of the book unChristian works for the Barna Institute. Over the last 10 years, Barna has made it very clear that he doesn’t believe in the institutional church. Barna’s agenda has become painfully clear. So these days I’m skeptical of anything associated with Barna.
Barna knows how to get the responses he wants. Therefore, when you look at his work, it appears the church is on the verge of collapsing. When you look at sociologists statistics, evangelical church attendance has gone up a bit.
Setting aside any religious or political bias the media may have, the most prominent bias in the media is towards the sensational. They need viewers, and viewers want interesting news. Hypocrisy generates news. Consistent integrity doesn’t. A headline about the collapse of the church catches your eye. A headline about the slight growth of the church is boring.
This leads to an inherent bias towards presenting more stories about failure and demise than success.