According to new findings from the Cultural Research Center (CRC) at Arizona Christian University, Americans are embracing seductive, unbiblical beliefs as part of their worldview.
In the fifth release of the American Worldview Inventory 2021, which examines biblical and competing worldviews, the CRC provided a list of the "Top 10 Most Seductive Unbiblical Ideas" embraced by American adults.
The list is provided as follows:
- the spiritually inclusive idea that "having faith matters more than what faith you have";
- all religious faiths are of equal value;
- belief in "karma"
- there is no absolute truth;
- commitment to personal, subjective morality;
- the idea that people are "basically good";
- success is determined by happiness, comfort, goodness, or fulfilled potential;
- sexual relations apart from marriage are morally acceptable;
- rejection of the notion that people are inherently sinful;
- and the conclusion that the purpose of accumulated personal wealth is unrelated to God's purposes.
The research, which also revealed that only 6 percent of Americans hold a biblical worldview, notes that even those within that group embrace some of these worldviews. The beliefs provided were categorized into five sections — faith selection, personal behavior, decision-making, the human condition, and life outcomes.
Regarding faith selection, 62 percent of Americans believe that "having faith matters more than what faith you have," while the same percentage maintains that "all religious faiths are of equal value." One surprising find in the research was that 42 percent of individuals who have a biblical worldview also believe that having a form of belief is better than having none, even if that belief isn't Christianity itself.
Nearly six out of 10 adults (57 percent) acknowledged their belief in karma, the idea rooted in Eastern religions that "you get what you give" when it comes to personal behavior. Additionally, 33 percent of people with a biblical worldview also embrace this concept.
Also on the topic of personal behavior, the AWVI 2021 found that 68 percent of adults believe premarital sex is morally acceptable, with a concurring 2 percent from adults possessing a biblical worldview.
In relation to decision-making, 67 percent of Americans contend there is no absolute truth, with 58 percent saying that moral truth is left up to the individual. Furthermore, seven out of 10 adults (70 percent) trust in their feelings, experiences, or the council of family and friends to determine what is right and wrong.
On the other hand, 39 percent of adults maintained the belief in the existence of objective truth, and relatively 31 percent of respondents view the Bible as their moral source of guidance.
When it comes to the human condition, 69 percent of Americans believe that people are basically good, while only 25 percent believe in the biblical doctrine of original sin, which states that all of humanity was born in sin and needs salvation through Jesus Christ. Shockingly, a large percentage of Christians (44 percent) do not believe in original sin.
The research found that when it comes to life outcomes, beliefs between those who have a biblical worldview and those who don't are diametrically opposed. For example, 81 percent of respondents with a biblical worldview believe that the accumulation of wealth has been entrusted by God in advancing His purposes, whereas a mere 19 percent of adults reject that notion.
Adults with a biblical worldview universally agreed that success is determined by consistent obedience to God (98 percent), but only 21 percent of Americans overall agreed with this sentiment.
According to veteran researcher George Barna, who authored the survey, the aforementioned list of unbiblical beliefs center on the themes of control and experiencing pleasure, as people would rather live in accordance with their own desires instead of surrendering to God.
"Biblical Christianity is about giving God control, making choices that reflect His prescribed ways of life. That's hard for Americans to embrace," Barna said. "A faith that esteems brokenness, submission, surrender, sacrifice, and simplicity is in some ways antithetical to the American ideal. But that is the ultimate choice that every one of us has to make."
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Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.