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Few Christians in U.S. Hold Biblical Worldview

Young churchgoers most likely to subscribe to opposing belief systems

Influence Magazine on May 10, 2017

Only 17 percent of Christian adults in the U.S. who attend church regularly and consider their faith important hold a biblical worldview — and many are embracing belief systems that contradict the teachings of Scripture — a new Barna report reveals.

Thirteen percent of Christians believe a person’s life is valuable only if society regards it as valuable.

Barna defines a biblical worldview as “believing that absolute moral truth exists; the Bible is totally accurate in all of the principles it teaches; Satan is considered to be a real being or force, not merely symbolic; a person cannot earn their way into heaven by trying to be good or do good works; Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on earth; and God is the all-knowing, all-powerful creator of the world who still rules the universe today.” 

Among the significant findings, Barna reports that self-identifying Christians are gravitating toward the following worldviews:

• New spirituality. For instance, 28 percent of Christians polled say people of all faiths pray to the same god or spirit, regardless of the name they use to identify the spiritual being.

• Secularism. Thirteen percent of Christians believe a person’s life is valuable only if society regards it as valuable.

• Postmodernism. Nearly a quarter of Christians contend that what is right and wrong depends on an individual’s beliefs.

• Marxism. Fourteen percent say the government, not individuals, should control resources as needed to be sure everyone gets a share. 

Millennials and members of Generation X were up to eight times more likely to accept non-Christian worldviews than Boomers and Elders.

“This research really crystalizes what Barna has been tracking in our country as an ongoing shift away from Christianity as the basis for a shared worldview,” Brooke Hempell, senior vice president of research for Barna, says in the report. “We have observed and reported on increasing pluralism, relativism and moral decline among Americans and even in the Church. Nevertheless, it is striking how pervasive some of these beliefs are among people who are actively engaged in the Christian faith.”

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