Although a majority of American adults identify as Christian, only six percent of Americans actually live out a biblical worldview, according to a shocking new study. Partially in response to this finding, the Family Research Council (FRC) is launching the Center for Biblical Worldview, directed by David Closson, in order to encourage Christians to live out their faith authentically. The Center will feature the work of veteran public opinion researcher George Barna and theologian Owen Strachan.
“Dutch theologian Abraham Kuyper once remarked that there is not one square inch over which Jesus Christ does not cry, ‘Mine!’ Kuyper’s point is that the lordship of Jesus extends to all aspects of reality and our lives,” Closson told PJ Media on Wednesday. “Unfortunately, this crucial insight has been largely forgotten today, even by many in our churches where we have a diminished understanding of Christ’s lordship.”
“But Paul is clear about the scope of Christ’s lordship; it includes everything. Colossians 1:16 says, ‘For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.’ This has implications how we think about our resources and material blessings,” Closson explained. “If all things exist and are sustained by Christ, they are His already.”
“I’m afraid we have lost the biblical concept of stewardship, which teaches that everything we have is a gift from God and is to be used for His glory,” the director lamented.
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In coordination with the launch of the Center for Biblical Worldview, FRC commissioned a survey of 1,000 American adults. The survey found that while 51 percent of adults claim to have a biblical worldview, only six percent of them actually answered worldview questions in a manner consistent with the Bible. Only nine percent of those who identified themselves as Christians answered the questions correctly.
Closson provided five of the key worldview questions to PJ Media.
Researchers asked, “Which of the following do you consider to be the best indicator of a successful life?” Respondents chose from these options (biblical answer in bold):
-Fulfilling our potential through the application of our intellect and the scientific method
-Consistent obedience to God
-Experiencing the highest possible levels of consciousness and unity with the universe
-Experiencing personal happiness or freedom
-Living a healthy and productive life, without economic oppression
-Being a good person
Only 29 percent of respondents chose “consistent obedience to God” over fulfilling one’s potential, experiencing personal happiness, being a good person, and other options.
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Researchers also asked, “Which of these statements best describes your view of the human condition?” The options included (biblical answer in bold):
-People were originally good but have become corrupted by society
-There is no such thing as a person being good or bad; people are who they are
-People are born into sin and can only be saved from its consequences by Jesus Christ
-People are neither good or bad when they are born, but everyone becomes one or the other according to their life choices
-Everyone is a divine creature engaged in the eternal pursuit of unity and a perfected consciousness.
Only 33 percent of respondents chose the biblical answer on the human condition.
Researchers also asked, “Which of these do you consider the personal accumulation of money and other forms of wealth to be?”
-A sign of God’s approval of your choices and behavior
-Resources meant to be utilized for your personal survival and pleasure
-Entrusted to you by God to manage for His purposes
-A result of what you have earned and deserve
-An example of how unfair society can be toward those who work hard but do not get ahead
-Outcomes that are random and disconnected from any universal purpose or plan.
About a quarter (26 percent) of respondents said wealth has been entrusted to them by God.
Pollsters also asked, “Which of these descriptions comes closest to what you believe about the Bible?”
-A widely read and influential text that has religious content but is not divinely inspired
-The actual, true word of God that should be taken literally, word for word
-Just one of the many holy books that provide religious teaching; it is neither more or less reliable than the sacred literature of other religious traditions
-The inspired word of God that has no errors, although some verses are meant to be symbolic rather than literal
-The inspired word of God but with some factual or historical error
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Researchers also asked, “Which one of these statements best describes what you believe will happen to you after you die?
-You will go to Heaven because you have worked hard to be a good enough person to earn that reward
-You will go to Heaven only because you confessed your sins and have accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior
-You will go to Heaven because God loves all people and will not let you perish
-You will probably go to Hell
-You will go to a place of purification before you can enter Heaven
-There is no life after death, physically or spiritually; you will simply cease to exit
-You will return to Earth as a different life form or different person
Nearly half (47 percent) of respondents chose the biblical answer about heaven, while another half (49 percent) accepted reincarnation as a possibility after they die.
Although about half (46 percent) of respondents said it is important for their faith to influence every dimension of their lives, many admitted that they do not integrate faith well into many aspects of life. Among those who say this is important, majorities claimed to have integrated faith into family life (56 percent), personal religious life (56 percent), and personal relationships (56 percent), but fewer claimed to have integrated faith into education (35 percent), politics and government (31 percent), business and marketplace activities (29 percent), and entertainment and news choices (27 percent).
Only 13 percent of respondents said they integrate their faith into their political, business, and entertainment life dimensions.
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This survey paints a terrifying picture of mismatch between claims to Christianity and a biblical worldview and the content of what Americans actually believe and how they live their lives. FRC’s Center for Biblical Worldview seeks to address these key issues. It lays out biblical principles for political engagement, human sexuality, pro-life engagement, and religious liberty. Christians seeking to integrate their faith into every aspect of their lives should check out this important resource. If this survey is any indication, many believers will be surprised by what they find.