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, because of our sin, we all began as enemies of God,” says Alexander. “Yet, in the midst of that, God reached to us in love and mercy. It is our distinctive as Christians to extend love and mercy to those who have wronged us and our communities.” Alexander goes on to say, “In Matthew 25, Jesus identifies himself with six categories of people, including prisoners, 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.’ We need to have an uncompromised view of those who deserve mercy.”
Releasing on July 31, Alexander’s book, The God Impulse: The Power of Mercy in an Unmerciful World 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.
To schedule an interview with Jack Alexander, please contact Karen Campbell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 616-309-4390