Which Culturally Unbiblical Philosophies are Seducing Most American Christians?
GLENDALE, AZ (ANS) — The American public flaunts its free will in many ways, not the least of which is by embracing a number of seductive—but decidedly unbiblical—beliefs as part of their worldview.
Among the more than five dozen beliefs and behaviors measured in recent surveys, the most egregious departures from biblical teaching relate to faith selection, personal behavior, decision-making, the human condition and life outcomes.
According to new data from the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University’s American Worldview Inventory 2021 (AWVI 2021), the most prevalent “seductively-unbiblical ideas” embraced by American adults include:
** the spiritually inclusive idea that “having faith matters more than what type of faith you have”
** the belief that all faiths are of equal value
** belief in “karma,” the idea rooted in Eastern religions that you ‘get what you give’
** the dismissal of absolute truth
** commitment to personal, subjective morality
** the idea that people are “basically good”
** the idea that success is determined by happiness, comfort, goodness, or fulfilled potential
** belief that sexual relations apart from marriage are morally acceptable
** the rejection of the notion that people are inherently sinful
** the conclusion that the purpose of accumulated personal wealth is unrelated to God’s purposes
Surprisingly, the data revealed that even the 6% of adults who have a biblical worldview harbor many of these counter-biblical ideas as part of their personal philosophy of life.
According to Dr. George Barna, who directed and analyzed the data, these most seductive unbiblical perspectives share a common thread. Barna says that even among Americans maintaining a biblical worldview, ‘doctrinal disconnects’ are running rampant.
“So many of these perspectives are about control,” Barna, a longtime researcher and author, explained.
“Whether we are taking charge of our destiny, our spirituality, boundaries dictated by truth, moral behaviors, or wealth management strategies, Americans are largely driven by a need to have control of every aspect of their lives.
“Biblical Christianity threatens that self-interest by requiring us to deliver control of our lives to God,” he continued.
“It is clear from the research that most individuals—even a large majority of those who consider themselves to be Christian, and who participate in Christian activities—are unwilling to surrender the reins of their life to a God whom they do not personally know, understand, or trust.”
The American Worldview Inventory (AWVI) is an annual survey that evaluates the worldview of the U.S. adult population (age 18 and over). Begun as an annual tracking study in 2020, the assessment is based on several dozen worldview-related questions drawn from eight categories of worldview application, measuring both beliefs and behavior.
AWVI 2021 is the first-ever national survey of biblical and competing worldviews. It was undertaken in February 2021 among a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults, providing an estimated maximum sampling error of approximately plus or minus 2 percentage points, based on the 95% confidence interval. Additional levels of indeterminable error may occur in surveys based upon non-sampling activity.
The Cultural Research Center (CRC) at Arizona Christian University is located on the school’s campus in Glendale, Arizona, in the Phoenix metropolitan area. CRC conducts nationwide research studies to understand the intersection of faith and culture and shares that information with organizations dedicated to transforming American culture with biblical truth. Like ACU, CRC embraces the Christian faith, as described in the Bible, but remains non-denominational and non-partisan. Access to past surveys conducted by CRC, as well as additional information about the Cultural Research Center, is available at www.culturalresearchcenter.com. Further information about Arizona Christian University is available at www.arizonachristian.edu.
For the full report, visit: https://www.arizonachristian.edu/culturalresearchcenter/research
The author of this story, Michael Ireland, is a self-supported media missionary with ANS. Click here to support him as a missionary journalist.