New CRC Report Discusses America’s Moral Compass

PHOENIX – This week, the Cultural Research Center on the campus of Arizona Christian University released the fifth of its series of reports based on its American World View Inventory 2020 (AWVI 2020). The new update is titled “Perceptions of Truth.”

ACU President, Len Munsil, acknowledged the importance of the report’s subject matter, saying,

“We are created by God to live according to His unchanging moral standards. He created these boundaries for our good, and we ignore them at our peril. There’s no way as individuals, or as a nation, that we can live life well, that we can flourish, that we can live with hope, without God’s moral framework for our lives.”

The Cultural Research Center on the campus of Arizona Christian University released the 5th of its reports based on its American World View Inventory 2020.

The Issue

This portion of the CRC report focused on respondents’ agreement with the following statement:

Identifying moral truth is up to each individual; there are no moral absolutes that apply to every person all the time.

Based on the results, Dr. George Barna, noted researcher and Director of the CRC, concluded that “there is a substantial rejection of any absolute standard of morality in American culture.” The problem is rampant and is not limited to agnostics, atheists, and liberals. Fewer than half (48%) of self-professed, born-again Christians surveyed confessed to embracing God or the Bible as absolute truth.

The Absolute Truth

Ironically, amongst all Americans surveyed, there is a common acknowledgment that God is a source of truth. However, a majority of the people interviewed (58%) believe that there are other sources of truth. Therefore, those people do not believe that God is the absolute source of all moral truth for everyone all the time.

Aside from the demographic groups without a biblical worldview where the vast majority deny the existence of absolute moral truth, researchers were stunned to discover that among those who say they believe that the Bible is the Word of God and that it is true and reliable, are split nearly evenly as to accepting it as absolute.

The Source of Truth

The survey results are stunning, if not disheartening. The following lists the percentages from selected demographics who believe that God is the basis for truth:

  • 72% of Evangelicals
  • 70% of Pentecostals
  • 63% of Born-Again Christians
  • 43% of Catholics
  • 37% of Mainline Protestants

Although 15% of everyone surveyed believe that scientific proof is the basis of truth, 13% of Mainline Protestants and 12% of Catholics agreed. Having “an inner certainty” was a common response (16%) among all respondents. However, 11% of Pentecostals, 12% of Born-Again Christians, 17% of Mainline Protestants, and 20% of Catholics agreed.

What It Means

The numbers reported in each segment of the survey indicate a shrinking segment of Americans with a biblical worldview. This section reveals why that is happening. When people do not accept God and His Word as their absolute moral standard, every person does what is right in his own eyes, inviting the wrath of our God, who created us to glorify Him.

It also begs for an answer to Jesus’ question posed in Luke 18:8 – “But when the Son of Man returns, how many will he find on the earth who have faith?” (NLT)

Where is your moral compass pointed?


Read about previous CRC reports in Missions Box:

Barna Defines the Dilemma of Christianity in Digital Babylon

Survey Reveals America’s Greatest Existential Threat

Biblical Worldview in Decline Among Christians in America


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