New research from the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University found that preteens in America see contradictions in their parents’ worldview and their parents’ self-identified Christian beliefs.
The study showed that about 67 percent of parents of preteens claim to be Christian, but just 2 percent of those parents have a biblical worldview.
According to a press release sent to Christian Headlines, CRC found that just one-half of self-identified Christian parents accept the Bible as the “true and trustworthy words of God.”
Further, only one out of three preteen parents believe their eternal destiny is dependent on Jesus Christ.
CRC Director of Research Dr. George Barna said in a statement that he believes that in many cases, church studies and research on Christians have been relying too heavily on factors such as church attendance and participation.
“By emphasizing measures such as church attendance and participation in prayer and other activities, the emphasis is placed upon the amount rather than quality of spiritual activity, and on overt participation rather than core developmental efforts,” Barna said.
“In other words, the emphasis is placed upon breadth rather than depth. But even more significantly, the spiritual warning signs have been misinterpreted. By looking for glaring deficiencies in the lives of self-described Christians, leaders have ignored the importance of numerous, less noticeable deficiencies.”
Barna also said that preteens are likely to be “confused” by the contradictions they see in their parents, which could lead them away from true faith.
“Data shows that the disinterest and even disrespect many children show to their elders is partially a reaction to the lack of authenticity and integrity they experience in the presence of parents, teachers, pastors and other cultural leaders. Children sometimes feel compelled to ignore adults whose talk and walk are inconsistent,” he said.
Other findings in the study:
- 1 out of three preteen parents rely on the Bible as their primary source of moral guidance
- 31 percent of self-identified Christians who are raising children under 13 believe that life is sacred
- Three-quarters of preteen parents dismiss the existence of the Holy Spirit
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Klaus Vedfelt
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.