GLENDALE, AZ – The Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University has released the first of its Worldview Inventory Survey reports for 2021. “Release #01: America’s Dominant Worldview.”
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to calculate that 94% of Americans do not have a Biblical worldview.
While that statement alone should take our collective breaths away, it also begs the question, “What do they believe?” Because the answers are complex, this article will quote heavily from several published sources that have already addressed the issue in ways that are both eloquent and easily understood.
What do they believe?
The survey of 2,000 nationally representative adults sought to determine which of the seven predominant worldviews each respondent holds.
- Biblical (6) – The belief that the Bible is God’s revealed truth and is the standard for measuring all other supposed sources of truth.
- Secular Humanism (2) – The belief that mankind is part of some uncreated, ongoing system. Secular Humanism seeks self-improvement with reference to or reliance upon the God of the Bible. This worldview emerged from the 18th century period of Enlightenment. The Enlightenment had nearly the same influence on our founding fathers as did a Biblical worldview. Secular Humanism gave birth to the “Social Gospel” that still emphasizes charitable work without telling people of their need for salvation from sin.
- Postmodernism (1) – The belief that promotes doing your own thing, even to the extent of redefining terms like reality and truth. It ridicules all forms of institutionalized authority, e.g., political, patriarchal, and Biblical. Postmodernism is a natural precursor to the cancel culture movement and is a buttress of the concept of globalization.
- Moralistic Therapeutic Deism (1) – Many people who self-identify as Christians are actually best described as belonging to this group because they believe that:
- A god exists who created and ordered the world and watches over human life on earth.
- God wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and by most world religions.
- The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself.
- God does not need to be particularly involved in one’s life except when God is needed to resolve a problem.
- Good people go to heaven when they die.
- Nihilism (1) – Think of Friedrich Nietzsche. Nihilism is a radical form of skepticism based on the belief that all values are baseless and that nothing can be known or communicated.
- Marxism and Eastern Mysticism (1) were targets of the survey but, because neither had a representation greater than one-half of one percent, space does not allow us to explore them in-depth.
What do they really believe?
The numbers in parentheses after each worldview position represent the percent of Americans who adhere by definition to each position. If you add them together, you will quickly discover that a total of only 12%, based on their responses, fit neatly into any single worldview classification.
What do the other 88% believe?
Now we have arrived at the crux of the matter. The answer is more ominous than we might have expected.
- 94% of Americans reject a Biblical worldview.
- 88% of Americans cannot be defined by any one predominant worldview.
The key to unlocking this enigma is realizing that the 88% twisted, tainted, cut and paste, unrecognizable worldviews that are a blend of the commonly held views.
This condition is syncretism, “the mixing of Christianity with something else such that they become a different gospel. Syncretism can take place with a positive-thinking gospel, a nationalist emphasis, or emerging culture. Syncretism happens more than we might know.”
The CRC Worldview report unveils a truth about Christianity in the U.S. that has been difficult to explain since so many Americans who claim to be Christians actually “embrace points of view or actions that feel comfortable seem to be most convenient” rather than factual and true.
Syncretism may be a new vocabulary word for many readers. Learn it and beware of it lest it creeps into your personal worldview or into your church.
The mingling of any philosophy, religion, or doctrine that diminishes the sovereignty of God, the lordship of Jesus Christ, His death, burial, and resurrection, or suggests that there is any other way to access God the Father and eternal life than through Jesus must be recognized and rejected.
“For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book.” (Revelation 22:18)
How did we get here?
Dr. George Barna of the Cultural Research Center explained, “Americans are not directly taught about worldview as part of their education. Worldview in America develops by default. Very few schools have teaching that focuses on a person’s worldview. Very few adults know what a worldview is, much less what the worldview alternatives are, how they differ, and which one they possess.”
The CRC Worldview report unveils a truth about Christianity in the U.S. that has been difficult to explain since so many Americans who claim to be Christians actually “embrace points of view or actions that feel comfortable or seem to be most convenient” rather than factual and true.
Have we at long last reached a point where it should be evident that America is not a Christian country? Is it time to take off our blinders and accept the evidence of who we really are?
- The Cultural Research Center, Post-Truth America Stitches Together Patchwork Worldview of Conflicting Beliefs and Values; “Syncretism” Top Worldview Among U.S. Adults
- Christianity Today, Avoiding the Pitfalls of Syncretism
- Ligonier, Secular Humanism
- Got Questions, What is Moralistic Therapeutic Deism (MTD)?
- The Conversation, Explainer: what is postmodernism?
- Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Nihilism