(CNSNews.com) - A California-based Christian marketing research company says non-Christians in the United States view evangelical Christians "somewhat more kindly than prostitutes, but with less affection than lesbians and lawyers."
According to George Barna, president of Barna Research Group, many non-Christians expressed negative impressions of evangelicals because they don't know who or what an evangelical is. Barna categorizes people as 'evangelical' based upon their answers to nine questions about faith issues.
When determining if a Christian is truly an evangelical, the Barna Research Group (BRG) considers whether a person meets the criteria for being born again; whether they say their faith is very important in their life; and whether they believe they have a personal responsibility to share their religious beliefs about Christ with non-Christians.
What is an evangelical? Iain Murray has also found this a hard thing to define. He claims that too many apostates have taken on this title and the doctrines of grace have been defamed through association with "Charismatics and Arminians". T. A. McMahon (an ex Roman Catholic, but still Arminian) has written about the use of evangelical terms by RC's to sound like evangelicals, but they have a different meaning for each term used, in an article called "The "Evangelical" Seduction". He writes for "the Berean Call" found on the web at tbc.org or .com I call myself a Bible believing Christian so that tag is not connected with me. Liberalism has confused people as to what the gospel is saying and people are afraid of the unknown. The real issue for Christians is what God thinks of us. If we are faithful to Him, He will be faithful to us, but the world will always reject Christians and their message just as they did their Lord and Saviour. "25b If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household? 28And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." (Matthew 10); "17And ye shall be hated of all men for my nameâ€™s sake." (Luke 21) Those 22% who think favourably about evangelicals have not heard the gospel properly and been shown their sinfulness before a Holy God or else they would hate them as Jesus said in Luke 21.