A new study from the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University called the American Worldview Inventory 2022 found that just 51 percent of pastors of evangelical churches have a biblical worldview.
That number among pastors of non-denominational churches and independent churches was 57 percent. Among Charismatic/Pentecostal pastors, that number was 37 percent. Just 9 percent of traditionally Black Protestant pastors and 6 percent of Roman Catholic priests claimed to have a biblical worldview.
Some 78 percent of Southern Baptist church pastors said they have a biblical worldview, but overall, Baptist churches, in general, showed that just 48 percent of pastors held a biblical worldview.
In all, the study found that just 37 percent of Christian pastors across denominations have a biblical worldview.
“Pastors who possess a biblical worldview would be extremely unlikely to engage in or condone sexual abuse or other predatory behavior,” veteran researcher Dr. George Barna said in the study.
He said that the recent news of the SBC allegedly mishandling sexual abuse cases shows that a biblical worldview is important.
“In a church association that has more than 50,000 pastors, such as the Southern Baptist Convention, 400 abusive pastors is a fraction of the total. Yet, that relatively small proportion of the group has inflicted lifelong pain and suffering on the lives of hundreds of people, transforming the lives of their victims for the worse.
“Perhaps that underscores just how imperative it is that churches screen pastors and other leaders for worldview before hiring or promoting them.”
The study also found that about 41 percent of pastors of churches with 100 or fewer adults weekly are “Integrated Disciples,” meaning they possess a biblical worldview and integrate their beliefs into their daily lives.
In churches between 250 and 600 adults, only 14 percent were found to be Integrated Disciples. Finally, 15 percent of pastors of churches with more than 600 adults said the same.
“It is plausible to suggest that some of the popular churches attract people by teaching a cultural standard, rather than a biblical standard,” Barna said.
“There are obviously some great Bible-teaching churches and pastors among the nation’s largest congregations, but the data suggests it is more common to find pastors with a biblical worldview in smaller churches.”
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Pixelheadphoto
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.