Barna and author Jack Alexander discover
a compromised view of mercy
July 17, 2018, Atlanta, GA—A recent nationwide study by Barna Group and author Jack Alexander concluded that 83% of Christians do NOT believe that mercy is their individual responsibility, but rather the responsibility of churches and non-profits. Yet, when surveyed, the pastors of churches overwhelmingly thought that the recipients of mercy should be the poor and victims in distress rather than people who have hurt us or society. By a factor of more than 5:1, pastors and Christians thought that those who are incarcerated and those who have wronged us personally were less deserving of their compassion.
“The foundation of Christianity is that we are all sinners in the eyes of God,” says Alexander. “As Christians, we should have a passion for showing mercy to these people, but the data in this study is not showing that.” Alexander goes on to say, “Even in Matthew 25: 40, Jesus identifies himself with a prisoner when he said, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ As Christians, we need to have an uncompromised view of who deserves mercy.”
Releasing on July 31, Alexander’s book, The God Impulse: The Power of Mercy in an Unmerciful World (Baker) reexamines scripture, discovering a pattern of God’s impulse towards us; one that offers mercy and healing at every turn – without sacrificing the truth and no matter the circumstance.
The full findings of the Barna-Alexander study on Mercy and Forgiveness will be released in March 2019 in a new book, providing a fuller picture of Christians’ and Protestant pastors’ perspectives and practices in these areas. Meanwhile, Alexander’s book provides a realistic assessment of where our churches and our society fall short in extending true biblical mercy, and how Christians can learn and practice God’s impulse to “see, go, do and endure.”
About Jack Alexander
Businessman, entrepreneur, theology student, and author, Jack Alexander, is the chairman of The Reimagine Group with a wealth of experience in a wide variety of businesses. A previous recipient of an Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur of the Year Award, he is a regular speaker, coach, and advisor. He and his wife, Lisa, live in Atlanta. They have three grown sons and five grandchildren.
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