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"Why Are Christians Living Just Like the Rest of the World?" Asks Evangelical Author and Activist Ron Sider!

Despite polls showing that 86 percent of Americans believe in God, surveys reveal that Christians are not living what they preach, says Ron Sider, author of The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience (Baker Books, February 2005). Sider examines the broken links between belief and practice for Christians—including sexual promiscuity, hedonism, materialism, racism, divorce, egotism, and physical abuse in marriage. Divorce rates and sexual promiscuity among evangelicals contradict a political pro-family stand, while a general moral failure contradicts evangelicals commitment to “moral values” compared to the rest of “corrupt culture.” Publishers Weekly calls Sider's criticisms “incisive and prophetic.”

(PRWEB) -- Despite polls showing that 86 percent of Americans believe in God, surveys reveal that Christians are not living what they preach, says Ron Sider, author of The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience (Baker Books, February 2005).

Sider, a best-selling author and evangelical social activist, asserts that “by their daily activity, most 'Christians' regularly commit treason. With their mouths they claim that Jesus is their Lord, but with their actions they demonstrate their allegiance to money, sex and personal self-fulfillment.”

This blistering critique isn't easy medicine to take, but it will offer rays of hope and a prophetic call to transformed living. Sider examines the broken links between belief and practice—including sexual promiscuity, hedonism, materialism, racism, divorce, egotism, and physical abuse in marriage—the list goes on. “Unless we face these questions with ruthless honesty, we can never hope to correct things,” Sider says. He urges a vision for transformed living.

Divorce and Sexual Promiscuity

Divorce rates and sexual promiscuity among Christians contradict a political pro-family stand, Sider reports. Studies reveal that 90 percent of all divorced born-again Christians divorced after they had accepted Christ. Nationally, 33 percent of all adults have lived with a member of the opposite sex without being married, compared to 25 percent for born-again Christians. Research shows that cohabitation, premarital sex, extramarital sex, and pornography are rampant problems among evangelicals.

On Racism

Polling data shows that 17 percent of evangelicals and 20 percent of Southern Baptists were among the most likely groups to object to black neighbors. Sider is sick of the racism and economic injustices among Christians, pointing not only to individual conversions, but also to social restructuring to drive change. “Christian congregations today should be far ahead instead of lagging behind the rest of society in the struggle against racism,” Sider says.

Economic Justice

On sharing and financial accountability, Sider calls Christians to show compassion for the poor all the time, not just reactions to natural disasters. American Christians live in the richest nation on earth and enjoy an average household income of $42,409—while 1.2 billion of the world's poorest people try to survive on just one dollar a day. “If American Christians simply gave a tithe rather than the current one-quarter of a tithe, there would be enough private Christian dollars to provide basic health care and education to all the poor of the earth. And we would still have an extra $60–70 billion left over for evangelism around the world,” Sider says.

Hope for the Future

Statistics reveal a spiritually hungry nation, with 80 percent of all born-again Christians saying a deep commitment to faith in their future is important. Sider calls for accountability and community for all Christians—including dethroning materialism, joining small groups, increasing giving, mission trips, prayer, and obedience. “If vital Christian faith is to survive, we must understand the depth of the crisis, discover why it has happened, and develop obedient, faithful correctives … This book will renew evangelical resolve to live what they preach,” Sider says. Ronald J. Sider is president of Evangelicals for Social Action (ESA) and professor of theology, holistic ministry, and public policy at Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Sider is the best-selling author of over twenty-five books, including Just Generosity and Churches That Make a Difference.

Baker Books has a vision for building up the body of Christ at every level with books that are relevant, intelligent, and engaging. Visit us online at www.bakerbooks.com .


 

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