I saw an interesting study today that claimed that 51% of Christians were actually acting more like Pharisees than Christ. It was based on a survey given to almost 800 people of a variety of Christian persuasions (practicing Catholic, practicing Protestant, notional (identifies as Christian but does not go to church), Evangelical, and born-again but non-Evangelical), and it asked them a series of 20 questions to assess their attitudes and actions, and gave them a score of "Pharisee-like" or "Christ-like". Here's what they found:
They did some interesting breakdowns here, and had some good documentation of their methods. My only qualm really, is how did they get the assessment questions?
Here they are:
listen to others to learn their story before telling them about my
recent years, I have influenced multiple people to consider
regularly choose to have meals with people with very different faith
or morals from me.
try to discover the needs of non-Christians rather than waiting for
them to come to me.
am personally spending time with non-believers to help them follow
see God-given value in every person, regardless of their past or
believe God is for everyone.
see God working in people’s lives, even when they are not
is more important to help people know God is for them than to make
sure they know they are sinners.
feel compassion for people who are not following God and doing
tell others the most important thing in my life is following God’s
don’t talk about my sins or struggles. That’s between me and
try to avoid spending time with people who are openly gay or
like to point out those who do not have the right theology or
prefer to serve people who attend my church rather than those
outside the church.
find it hard to be friends with people who seem to constantly do the
not my responsibility to help people who won’t help themselves.
feel grateful to be a Christian when I see other people’s failures
believe we should stand against those who are opposed to Christian
who follow God’s rules are better than those who do not.
Now I don't know how many of these statements most people would or would not agree with, but I thought a more interesting list could have been generated by asking various scholars in each of the surveyed denominations what their definitions were. Different people have different interpretations of things, and statements like "I find it hard to be friends with people who seem to constantly do the wrong things." seem pretty likely to mean different things to different people. I mean, I'm not friends with people who steal my stuff or are continuously mean to me. Is that self-righteous?