Trusting God More Than Statistics

Candice Watters has written an article that looks at a Barna poll that shows that there are more unmarried men than unmarried women who are identified as born again Christians. She conlcudes from this that “Never-married Christian women don’t outnumber never-married Christian men.” However as I said in a previous post, those who identify as born again Christians are not the same as those who actually are Christians. There is a general impression that there are more single women than men in churches and I have much greater confidence in that than the Barna statistic.

Fortunately as Watters says in her post, it doesn’t matter anyway if her conclusion is false. The way I wish to put it is that God is not bound by probability and if he desires for somebody to be married, then they will be married (and he will continue to be faithful in the meantime). This is a good illustration of one danger regarding statistics, that we might believe them more than we believe God. The probability of Gideon’s small army being sucessful against the Midianites was small, but Gideon believed God and God clearly brought about their defeat through him.

As Prov 16:33 says, The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD. If our odds look bad, whether those odds relate to our chances of marriage, or the probability of avoiding divorce, or the likelihood of illness or something else, remember that the outcome is from our good God and trust in Him.

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3 Comments on “Trusting God More Than Statistics”

  1. gortexgrrl Says:

    Thank you for your confidence in the general impression that there are more unmarried women than men, even though I wish it were otherwise. I thought I was going nuts as this one got turned upside down last week, and it seems like no one on that blog had any regard for anecdotal evidence. As much as I appreciate her intention to find hope for single women, Watters’ article was awfully hasty (and I told her so!), because it was based on her own application of census data on Barna’s existing survey numbers (which itself DID NOT report any surplus of men in any area of its gender study– except clergy– and it looked at many variables that indicate commitment to the faith).

    As much as God is sovereign, I do think it matters whether or not we present false conclusions, because people can end up misled. And I do think that Watters geniuinely sought the truth on this issue, and rightly disposed of the 11-13 million single Christian man shortage. But to claim that Christian men are in surplus, well, let’s just pray that she gets the straight goods from Barna himself, and that no matter what the truth is, it always sets us free.

  2. elnwood Says:

    As far as anecdotal evidence goes, I will say that in the church circles that I interact in, there is a large shortage of single and never married Christian women. In general, it seems that the more conservative the church and/or denomination, the fewer women there are.

    Anecdotal evidence only goes so far. Anecdotal evidence can’t tell you whether Mickey Mantle or Willie Mays was a better hitter. That is why statistics are important.

  3. gortexgrrl Says:

    Thank you, elnwood, for your ancedotal evidence.


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