According to the latest release by American Worldview Inventory 2021, American adults differed on biblical and worldview issues despite saying they are professing Christians.
The survey conducted in February 2021 by the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University found that most American adults (69 percent) are "self-identified Christians."
While they hold to the basic tenets of the faith, it is also worth noting that self-identified Christians hold to some beliefs that contradict the Bible, such as believing that people are basically good (72 percent) and that there's no absolute truth (52 percent).
Additionally, 58 percent of self-identified Christians believe that the Holy Spirit is not a real, living being, 64 percent say all faiths are of equal value and 57 percent believe in karma.
The AWVI 2021 also found that small minorities of "integrated disciples" also held to unbiblical beliefs, including the belief that people are good (52 percent) and that no absolute truth exists (25 percent).
The study defines integrated disciples as the group of Christians who actually possess a biblical worldview. The group is made up of just six percent of American adults.
Differences in a biblical worldview also affected how Christians handled various topics, such as social issues and politics.
Regarding social issues (i.e., gay marriage, abortion, etc.), just over four-in-ten self-identified Christians held conservative views on the issues (42 percent), while 36 percent of Christians maintained a liberal viewpoint on social issues and 26 percent had moderate views.
Most self-integrated disciples, the survey found, were conservative on social issues (81 percent, with few who were either moderate (13 percent) or liberal (5 percent).
CRC lead researcher Dr. George Barna, who authored the survey, noted that the term "Christian" nowadays has become "somewhat of a generic term rather than a name that reflects a deep commitment to passionately pursuing and being like Jesus Christ."
In the Bible, Jesus Christ stressed that obedience is essential to true discipleship (John 8:31) instead of people following Him in name only (Matthew 7:21-23) lest they face judgment.
The survey, titled "What Does It Mean When People Say They Are 'Christian'?", is the sixth release of the AWVI 2021, an annual survey measuring biblical and competing worldviews in the U.S.
In February, a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults took part in the survey and answered questions regarding worldviews, beliefs and behaviors.
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Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.