Saturday, July 16, 2005

Christianity and Divorce

A departure from choir news and a delving into hard facts of life.

A recent study by the Barna Research Group:
  • 11% of the adult population is currently divorced.
  • 25% of adults have had at least one divorce during their lifetime.
  • Divorce rates among conservative Christians were much higher than for other faith groups, and for Atheists and Agnostics.
George Barna, president and founder of Barna Research Group, commented: "While it may be alarming to discover that born again Christians are more likely than others to experience a divorce, that pattern has been in place for quite some time. Even more disturbing, perhaps, is that when those individuals experience a divorce many of them feel their community of faith provides rejection rather than support and healing. But the research also raises questions regarding the effectiveness of how churches minister to families. The ultimate responsibility for a marriage belongs to the husband and wife, but the high incidence of divorce within the Christian community challenges the idea that churches provide truly practical and life-changing support for marriages."

According to the Dallas Morning News, a Dallas TX newspaper, the national study "raised eyebrows, sowed confusion, [and] even brought on a little holy anger." This caused George Barna to write a letter to his supporters, saying that he is standing by his data, even though it is upsetting. He said that "We rarely find substantial differences" between the moral behavior of Christians and non-Christians. Barna Project Director Meg Flammang said: "We would love to be able to report that Christians are living very distinct lives and impacting the community, but ... in the area of divorce rates they continue to be the same." Both statements seem to be projecting the belief that conservative Christians, liberal Christians have the same divorce rate. This disagrees with their own data.

1 comment:

Charles said...

Somehow, this doesn't surprise me, not to start any fires...