The Decline of a Biblical Worldview in the Pulpit and Pew

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by: Jeff Poppinga

06/03/2022

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Recently, I read a disturbing statistic about pastors of Christian churches in America. Dr. George Barna writes, "A new nationwide survey among a representative sample of America's Christian pastors shows that a large majority of those pastors do not possess a biblical worldview. In fact, just slightly more than a third (37%) have a biblical worldview and the majority (62%) possess a hybrid worldview known as Syncretism." Syncretism is the mixing of ideas from two or more different religions to come up with a new religion.

In another release, Barna breaks it down according to denominations. A little over half of Evangelical Protestant pastors (51%) hold to a biblical worldview. Catholics have the lowest percentage of pastors (6%) holding to a biblical worldview.

What is a biblical worldview? How does Barna define a biblical worldview? In another article Barna gives a definition, "For the purposes of the research, a biblical worldview was defined as believing that absolute moral truths exist; that such truth is defined by the Bible; and firm belief in six specific religious views. Those views were that Jesus Christ lived a sinless life; God is the all-powerful and all-knowing Creator of the universe and He stills rules it today; salvation is a gift from God and cannot be earned; Satan is real; a Christian has a responsibility to share their faith in Christ with other people; and the Bible is accurate in all of its teachings."

Do you believe that absolute truth exists and that such truth is defined by the Bible? Do you believe that Jesus is the sinless Son of God sent to rescue us from our sin? Do you believe that God is the all-powerful and all-knowing Creator of the universe who still rules it today? Do you believe that salvation is a free gift from God that cannot be earned? Do you believe that Satan is real? Do you believe Christians have a responsibility to share their faith with others, escpecially the lost? Do you believe the Bible is accurate in all of its teaching?

The statistics for pastors is disturbing but what about the statistics of those who are Christians but not in pastoral ministry? Barna did research in 2020 and found this, "Among the 180 million adults who say they are Christian, less than one out of 10 (9%) has a biblical worldview. “Born again” Christians are one-third of the population (33%). These people were not identified as such by self-identification, but by claiming to be Christian and to believe that they will experience Heaven after they die solely because they have confessed their sins and accepted Jesus Christ as their savior. Although this group is often described as the “backbone” of the Christian Church, less than one out of five of them had a biblical worldview (19%) – a figure that was low but triple the national average (6%)."

I know these statistics can be a little mind numbing and your eyes may glaze over as you read them but this is deadly serious. We must continue to devote ourselves to the apostles' teaching (God's Word, the Bible), and the fellowship (church family), to the breaking of bread (sharing everyday life with church family) and the prayers (sharing life with God our Father) (see Acts 2:42).

Grace and Peace,

PJ

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Recently, I read a disturbing statistic about pastors of Christian churches in America. Dr. George Barna writes, "A new nationwide survey among a representative sample of America's Christian pastors shows that a large majority of those pastors do not possess a biblical worldview. In fact, just slightly more than a third (37%) have a biblical worldview and the majority (62%) possess a hybrid worldview known as Syncretism." Syncretism is the mixing of ideas from two or more different religions to come up with a new religion.

In another release, Barna breaks it down according to denominations. A little over half of Evangelical Protestant pastors (51%) hold to a biblical worldview. Catholics have the lowest percentage of pastors (6%) holding to a biblical worldview.

What is a biblical worldview? How does Barna define a biblical worldview? In another article Barna gives a definition, "For the purposes of the research, a biblical worldview was defined as believing that absolute moral truths exist; that such truth is defined by the Bible; and firm belief in six specific religious views. Those views were that Jesus Christ lived a sinless life; God is the all-powerful and all-knowing Creator of the universe and He stills rules it today; salvation is a gift from God and cannot be earned; Satan is real; a Christian has a responsibility to share their faith in Christ with other people; and the Bible is accurate in all of its teachings."

Do you believe that absolute truth exists and that such truth is defined by the Bible? Do you believe that Jesus is the sinless Son of God sent to rescue us from our sin? Do you believe that God is the all-powerful and all-knowing Creator of the universe who still rules it today? Do you believe that salvation is a free gift from God that cannot be earned? Do you believe that Satan is real? Do you believe Christians have a responsibility to share their faith with others, escpecially the lost? Do you believe the Bible is accurate in all of its teaching?

The statistics for pastors is disturbing but what about the statistics of those who are Christians but not in pastoral ministry? Barna did research in 2020 and found this, "Among the 180 million adults who say they are Christian, less than one out of 10 (9%) has a biblical worldview. “Born again” Christians are one-third of the population (33%). These people were not identified as such by self-identification, but by claiming to be Christian and to believe that they will experience Heaven after they die solely because they have confessed their sins and accepted Jesus Christ as their savior. Although this group is often described as the “backbone” of the Christian Church, less than one out of five of them had a biblical worldview (19%) – a figure that was low but triple the national average (6%)."

I know these statistics can be a little mind numbing and your eyes may glaze over as you read them but this is deadly serious. We must continue to devote ourselves to the apostles' teaching (God's Word, the Bible), and the fellowship (church family), to the breaking of bread (sharing everyday life with church family) and the prayers (sharing life with God our Father) (see Acts 2:42).

Grace and Peace,

PJ

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