Glendale, AZ — The results of the presidential election were not a surprise to Dr. George Barna. The writing, the longtime professor, bestselling author and cultural researcher, says, was on the wall. Or, more specifically, in the results of the American Worldview Inventory —the groundbreaking research project conducted earlier this year by Barna and the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University to determine where Americans stood in regards to their worldview and how it is impacting and changing culture.
Previously, Barna reported a startling decline in the number of Americans who adhered to the biblical worldview of previous generations, even going so far as to forecast (see the report here) that the U.S. was headed in the direction of dominantly liberal policies and ideology. Another report identified respect for others, interest in faith and enthusiasm for America as the three values in which the country's youngest generation differ most radically from their elders.
The pending presidency of liberal Democrat Joe Biden is confirmation that Barna's research was right on target.
A plan is required, he says, if America is not to be lost. Though multifaceted, it starts—and ends—he believes, with the Church.
"Any effective transformational strategy regarding the prevailing national worldview will include dramatic changes in media usage, political engagement, and educational content. Those areas are among the strongest influences on worldview,” the Arizona Christian University professor explained. “Government, through its laws and policies, codify and communicate the acceptable national moral code. Schools bombard children with life principles that form a cohesive way of understanding and responding to the world. So combined, if the moral and behavioral standards and expectations conveyed by media, government and schools stray from biblical principles, it is difficult to counteract that exposure through other experiences and relationships. That burden will fall on the shoulders of parents and churches, who are responsible for crafting those standards in the first place.”
The elimination of the biblical worldview as the cornerstone of our society, Barna claims, will not simply alter a few life patterns to which we have grown accustomed, but will radically transform every aspect of American life, from family experiences and religious activity, business operations, classroom content, and the legal code. Abandoning even seemingly benign biblical worldview principles—such as the Golden Rule or the admonitions to not lie, cheat or steal—will, he believes, "hasten the moral and communal demise of this once-great nation."
Worldview turnaround may be possible, he says, but it won’t be quick.
“Churches must help parents to understand that their highest priority in life is to raise devoted, integrated disciples of Christ. In order for them to do that, churches must help parents to develop the tools required to instill biblical thinking and behavioral choices in the minds and hearts of their children. Adults need to recognize their ability to influence others by modeling what Jesus called for in His disciples: consistently obeying His teaching, loving each other, and producing spiritual fruit in every way possible.”
“We did not lose our moral and spiritual foundations overnight ... and we certainly won’t restore them overnight, either. It's a monumental challenge. But, it can be done.”
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* What are the five most critical areas of worldview growth potential among Americans?
* Which moral foundations most desperately need restoration and how?
* What is an 'integrated disciple of Christ'?
* Was Donald Trump the last republican president? What the troubling worldview trends, numbers say
The American Worldview Inventory 2020 (AWVI) is based on 51 worldview-related questions drawn from eight categories of worldview application, measuring both beliefs and behavior and was conducted in January, among a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults.