GLENDALE, AZ – The Cultural Research Center (CRC) at Arizona Christian University has released the fourth in its series of reports examining Americans relative to our current biblical worldviews. As with each preceding report and the reports released in 2020, the data is consistent, but the truths revealed are disappointing.
The following chart can help to visualize the significant changes in four primary spiritual indicators and the percentage of theologically defined born-again Americans who ascribed to those beliefs in 1991 and in 2021. (This differs from those who self-define as Christians.) The changes over the past 30 years are both significant and disturbing.
The rate of decline for each indicator from 1991 to 2021 adds weight to the gravitas of the decline in biblical worldview in America.
- There has been a 47% decrease in Americans who hold an orthodox biblical view of God.
- There has been a 41% decrease in Americans who believe in the accuracy and truth of the Bible.
- There has been a 17% decline amongst Americans who believe that Jesus Christ is our only way to heaven.
- There has been a 50% decrease in Americans who possess a biblically correct worldview.
The deterioration of a biblical worldview in America is accompanied by a similar decline in the number of self-identified Christians. Thirty years ago, 90% of Americans self-identified as Christians. Today, only two-thirds of all Americans do.
The most recent decade has been marked by an increased “following for Eastern religious thought and practices.” Dr. George Barna, Director of Research for the Cultural Research Center, suggests that the catalyst for this change may be due to “greater access to information about Eastern beliefs and practices facilitated by new technologies.”
A quasi-Christianity has begun to emerge in which individuals decide which portions of selected religions they choose to embrace for themselves. This becomes apparent when the data revealed that 36% of all self-identified Christians in America now believe that reincarnation may be “a real possibility.” That rationalization seems to go hand-in-hand with an overwhelming rejection of the existence of Hell. Only 2% of respondents believe that they might experience Hell after death. It is possible that, for them, believing in reincarnation eases their anxieties over the reality of eternal punishment for rejecting the God of the Bible and the fact that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and that no one can come to the Father, except through Him. (See John 14)
Barna warns that “We are faced with a . . . population that is breaking the established patterns; they do not embrace many of the core beliefs and behaviors that characterized those who came before them. . . . This new America we see emerging is radically different—demographically, politically, relationally and spiritually.”
He correctly concludes that “The United States has become one of the largest and most important mission fields in the world.”
Source: Cultural Research Center, Release #4: The National Religious Realignment: Identifying Dramatic Changes in Long-Term Faith Commitments