To begin with, I was shocked when I read, “…the polling data point to widespread, blatant disobedience of clear biblical moral demands on the part of people who allegedly are evangelical, born again Christians” (Sider, 17). However, the further I got in the chapter, my astonishment subsided due to the familiarity of the statements and statistics I read.
For instance, I am acquainted with just as many Christians who have been divorced as non-Christians. I feel that this is closely related to all of the other sub-points that Sider has throughout the chapter. The fact that more women of the evangelical denomination are abused than other areas of the population could contribute to higher divorce rates. Many women I know that are divorce have done so due to physical abuse.
Similarly, the percentages of evangelicals, both traditional and non-traditional, that think adultery is fine could contribute to the higher divorce rate. Also, almost as many Christian males engage in some sort of pornographic activity than their counter parts. Other divorced friends I know have complained that their exes have either cheated on them, or were more interested in internet porn than in them. I also feel that adultery, pornography, and other sexual indiscretions in parents may lead to sexual indiscretions of children. Because of this, I was not surprised to read “…evangelical youth are only about 10 percent less likely to engage in premarital sex then non-evangelicals” (Sider, 23).
After all, most people model what they deem to be appropriate behavior. Children look to their parents for appropriate behavior; likewise, evangelicals look to their leaders for appropriate behavior. Therefore, evangelical communities are often lead astray by their leaders. If their leaders model greed, then they model greed. If the leaders were to live more simply, perhaps they would live more simply. If their leaders are racist, they tend to be racist. Why so many non-Christians have such a negative view of Christianity makes much more sense to me after reading the chapter.