Thursday 4 June 2009

Casual Christians

In a wide-ranging discussion about the state of faith in America, veteran researcher George Barna recently addressed questions raised by his new book, The Seven Faith Tribes: Who They Are, What They Believe, and Why They Matter. That book outlines seven diverse faith segments, profiling their lifestyles, religious beliefs and practices, values and life goals. The seven tribes include Casual Christians, Captive Christians, Mormons, Jews, Pantheists, Muslims and Skeptics. In this week’s Update we are providing the portion of that conversation regarding the largest – and potentially most powerful – tribe, the Casual Christians, a tribe that represents 66% of the adult population of the U.S.

Barna: Casual Christianity is faith in moderation. It allows them to feel religious without having to prioritize their faith. Christianity is a low-risk, predictable proposition for this tribe, providing a faith perspective that is not demanding. A Casual Christian can be all the things that they esteem: a nice human being, a family person, religious, an exemplary citizen, a reliable employee – and never have to publicly defend or represent difficult moral or social positions or even lose much sleep over their private choices as long as they mean well and generally do their best. From their perspective, their brand of faith practice is genuine, realistic and practical. To them, Casual Christianity is the best of all worlds; it encourages them to be a better person than if they had been irreligious, yet it is not a faith into which they feel compelled to heavily invest themselves.
Casual Christianity, because of its moral receptivity and pliability, generally eliminates spiritual backbone from moral discussions. And yet, Casual Christians would typically embrace the 20 shared values that all seven of the tribes adopt as part of their moral code.

Read > Barna article -casual-christians-and-the-future-of-america


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