- - Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The American Culture and Faith Institute (George Barna) released data last week from a recent survey of conservative Christians, conducted to discover what “external influences” shaped them the most.

Peoples’ lives are affected by many external influences. It’s not something that most people think about, yet our thoughts and behaviors are often inspired, guided, created, or limited by the impact of people, organizations, movements, and other cultural shapers. American society today is a reflection of the cumulative effect of thousands of influences on our 324 million citizens.

But which ones influence us the most? And which ones do we want to have the most – and least – influence on the nature and direction of the country?

…Given the strong Christian commitment of this group of respondents, it is not surprising to find that the top three personal influences cited by SAGE Cons are the Bible (estimated to have “a lot of influence” on their decisions and perspectives by 98%), religious teaching (92%), and the values taught to them by their parents (77%).

A second series of entities were said to have “a lot of influence” by about one-third of the segment. Those influences included family members (listed by 33%); courts and judges (33%); and government laws and regulations (30%).

Somewhere between one out of 10 and two out of ten respondents identified significant influences such as books (18%); the policies implemented by businesses (18%); conversations with friends (17%); schools (12%); and the behavior and choices of their friends (10%).

Several entities were designated as having “a lot of influence” by very few of the Christian conservatives. Those included the news media (7%); the Pope (4%); current music (3%); entertainment media (2%); art (1%); advertising (1%); and sports stars (listed by less than one-half of one percent).

 

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