I have not yet read in full The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life’s global report on the Evangelicals, collected mostly among the Lausanne participants of the Third Congress held in Cape Town last October, and among others who could not participate, but filled the questionnaire on-line. I am nervous about the findings!
This report, published in June 2011, shows some features of “the dynamism, complexity and maturity of global evangelicalism,” Doug Birdsall enthusiastically shared. The executive summary report is on this link:
In one of the segments of the research that I was most interested in, named “What are the Major Threats to Evangelicals?” I learned that 82% Europeans see the influence of secularism as a major threat. This percentage in the ME and North Africa is 37%! It is notable, however, that one-third of the surveyed leaders think that evangelical leaders are leading a lavish lifestyle (30%), which I count for money. In this group we may put consumerism and material goods (67%). Another 26% – or they may be the same as the above ones, believe that evangelical leaders are violating sexual morals, which is obviously a sexual sin. Again, 30% of evangelical leaders are seeing theological divisions among evangelicals as a major threat. I read this as a power struggle. So, again we have the three sins originating in the very early days of human kind – sex, power and money.
I am so glad the Pew Forum did not perform the same research among the Europeans alone. The picture might be rather grim, gray or black entirely.
When I try to count how many organizations exist today that fight against the persecution of Christians, against governmental restrictions on religion and judicial pressures, etc. – from the denominational groups who hide themselves behind some NGO names, to the Council of Europe and the Supreme Court of Europe, I cannot do otherwise but to contemplate how much more similar organizations and advocates the evangelical leaders would need to get fighting their lust for power, sex or money.
And what do you think?