A new study from Barna has found that most “practicing Christians” in America–defined as those who attend church regularly and say that their faith is important to them–hold to non-Christian worldviews. Or at least elements of those worldviews. Only 17% look at the world through a predominantly Biblical perspective.
Here is the breakdown:
61% hold to some elements of “New Spirituality,” that is, to New Age, Eastern, or Neo-Pagan beliefs (such as all religions being one; the karmic view that if we do good we receive good, and vice versa).
54% have postmodernist views, that truth and morality are relative. (Interestingly, the less educated hold to postmodernist ideas to a greater extent [31%] than the college educated [21%], despite the prominence of postmodernism in the university!)
36% hold to Marxist views, such as the evils of private property and the desirability of government control.
29% agree with secularism, on materialism and science.
Now the respondents had to agree with only one of several questions associated with each worldview, in order to count in that total. So the extent of their indoctrination with these various worldviews isn’t completely clear.
After the jump, start reading the report and go to the site for more details of the study and what these different categories mean, with the questions asked.
In partnership with Summit Ministries, Barna conducted a study among practicing Christians in America to gauge how much the tenets of other key worldviews—including new spirituality, secularism, postmodernism and Marxism—have influenced Christians’ beliefs about the way the world is and how it ought to be. Barna’s new research found strong agreement with ideas unique to nonbiblical worldviews among practicing Christians. This widespread influence upon Christian thinking is evident not only among competing worldviews, but even among competing religions; for example, nearly four in 10 (38%) practicing Christians are sympathetic to some Muslim teachings (an aspect of the study Barna will explore elsewhere).
Here are a few notable findings among practicing Christians:
- 61% agree with ideas rooted in New Spirituality.
- 54% resonate with postmodernist views.
- 36% accept ideas associated with Marxism.
- 29% believe ideas based on secularism.
Here is Barna’s definition of a Biblical worldview:
Barna defines “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.
These seem more like beliefs than a worldview, as such. How one views the world is not just intellectual convictions but assumptions about the nature of reality, human beings, the basis of right and wrong, the value of life, whether there is life after death, etc. A worldview is like the glasses we wear through which we look at the world.
But still. . . .
Illustration from Pixabay, CC0, Public Domain