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Are Christians Really Hypocrites? Barna Researchers Examine Actions, Attitudes

Barna survey suggests that overcoming self-righteous tendencies is difficult for Christians–regardless of denomination or demographics. (Infographic)

A new report from Barna Group indicates that most of today's Christians are more like the Pharisees than Jesus.

Barna surveyed 718 self-identified Christians from a variety of denominations to find what extent their actions and attitudes line up with Jesus's. Researchers found only 1 in 7 Christians manages to hold Christ-like beliefs and also act in Christ-like ways. Yet, 1 in 2 Christians tends "to have attitudes and actions that are characterized by self-righteousness." (See the full infographic at the bottom of this post.)

"This research may help to explain how evangelicals are often targeted for claims of hypocrisy; the unique ‘sin' of evangelicals tends to be doing the ‘right' thing but with improper motives," says Barna Group president David Kinnaman.

However, it's important to note that "Pharisaical" does not necessarily mean "hypocritical." In a recent blog post, Scot McKnight cautions against misusing the term "Pharisee," which should be used "only for those who through the abuse ...

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