A vast majority of Americans claim Christianity as their faith; but what is their real commitment? George Barna has THE ANSWER
Who’s Most Committed?
A demographic analysis of the eight measures of commitment showed highly consistent trends in relation to gender, age, region, ethnicity and faith subgroups.
Women were more likely than men to express a higher level of commitment to the Christian faith for all eight of the factors studied. On average, women were 36% more likely to register commitment regarding the factor in question. A majority of women expressed commitment in relation to six of the eight factors; in comparison, a majority of men noted personal investment in their faith in relation to just three of the eight measures.
Adults who were 40 or younger – i.e., those in the Baby Bust or Mosaic generations – were less likely than older adults to indicate commitment to their faith in relation to each of the eight measures. In addition, the survey found that the older a person was, the more likely they were to be committed to the Christian faith in connection with six out of the eight measures tested.
Residents of the South were the most likely to express significant commitment on seven of the eight measures. Adults residing in the Northeast and West were the lowest on the commitment scale for seven of the eight measures.
Blacks emerged as the ethnic group most likely to be committed to Christianity. They had the highest score of any of the four major ethnic groups in relation to seven of the eight measures tested. On average, Blacks were 39% more likely to register commitment than were whites, and 53% more likely than Hispanics. Asians were lowest on the commitment continuum in relation to seven of the eight measures. In fact, there was only one measure for which a majority of Asians exhibited commitment: 52% said their religious faith is very important to them, lagging the 68% among whites, 72% among Hispanics, and 89% among African-Americans.
George Barna, whose company conducted the research, believes that the findings reveal several insights about America’s faith. “For starters, it appears that most Americans like the security and the identity of the label ‘Christian’ but resist the biblical responsibilities that are associated with that identification. For most Americans, being a Christian is more about image than action. Further,” he continued, “researchers and those who use research data must be careful how they portray people’s spiritual commitment. Such descriptions are greatly affected by the way in which commitment is measured.”
Not surprisingly in the USA, people who call themselves “Christians” talk-the-talk but do NOT walk-the-talk. In other words a lot of us like Christianity without commitment. I suspect that doesn’t really work.