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Barna: Biblical worldview held by only 4% of adults

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Everyone has a worldview, but few have one that is biblical.

That’s the conclusion of a national survey by Barna Research, which found that just 4 percent of American adults have a biblical worldview. Additionally, only 9 percent of those categorized as born-again Christians have a biblical worldview, Barna said.

The poll of 2,033 adults was conducted September through November.

“Worldview” is a term used to describe the belief system by which a person understands or makes decisions about the world.

One of the most prominent modern-day worldviews is postmodernism — a belief system that rejects the notion of absolute truth. This is often expressed in the statement, “That may be true for you but it’s not true for me.”

Not surprisingly, the Barna research found that adults without a biblical worldview and those with such a worldview had vastly different views of immoral and unethical behavior. For instance, those without a biblical worldview were:

— Around 100 times more likely to endorse abortion (46 percent of those without a biblical worldview believed it to be OK, compared to less than 1 percent of those with a biblical worldview).

— Around 80 times more likely to say exposure to pornography is morally acceptable (39 percent vs. less than one-half of 1 percent).

— 31 times more likely to believe living together before marriage is morally acceptable (62 percent vs. 2 percent).

— 15 times more likely to believe homosexual sex is acceptable (31 percent vs. 2 percent versus).

— 18 times more likely to endorse drunkenness (36 percent vs. 2 percent).

— 12 times more likely to accept profanity (37 percent vs. 3 percent).

— 11 times more likely to say adultery is OK (44 percent vs. 4 percent).

— 8 times more likely to gamble by purchasing lottery tickets.

“The primary reason that people do not act like Jesus is because they do not think like Jesus,” Barna said in a news release. “Behavior stems from what we think — our attitudes, beliefs, values and opinions.”

Barna’s definition of a biblical worldview included a belief that absolutes exist and a belief that the Bible defines them. Additionally, the definition stipulated a belief that: Christ lived a sinless life; God is the “all-powerful and all-knowing Creator of the universe and He stills rules it today”; salvation is by grace and not by works; Satan is a real being; Christians have a responsibility to witness; and the Bible is “accurate in all of its teachings.”

The research found that those who attended college were more likely to have a biblical worldview than those who did not (6 percent versus 2 percent). Married adults also were more likely to have such a worldview (5 percent for married people versus 2 percent for singles). Also, 10 percent of Republicans but only 2 percent of independents and 1 percent of Democrats had a biblical worldview.

Respondents were not asked if they considered themselves to be born again, but instead were asked a series of specific questions. Born-again believers were defined as those who “said they have made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ that is still important in their life today and who also indicated they believe that when they die they will go to heaven because they had confessed their sins and had accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior,” according to a news release.

    About the Author

  • Michael Foust