Very Few Christians Have a Biblical Worldview
© 2016 Philip A Matthews
"Remember that there will be difficult times in the last days. People will be selfish, greedy, boastful, and conceited; they will be insulting, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, and irreligious; they will be unkind, merciless, slanderers, violent, and fierce; they will hate the good; they will be treacherous, reckless, and swollen with pride; they will love pleasure rather than God; they will hold to the outward form of our religion, but reject its real power. Keep away from such people
(2 Timothy 3:1-5 Good News Bible).
This is almost a perfect description of modern people today. "They love pleasure more than they love God. But perhaps the biggest shock in this passage is that, no matter how evil people become, they still claim a form of religion! So in the end, this becomes a description of religious people, including many "Christians, not just secular, non-Christian people. They "believe, but "their conduct belies the genuineness of their profession (Amplified). They claim to be "Christian, but "they refuse to let that ˜devotion' change the way they live (Easy-to-Read Version).
Most Christians do not live lives of submission to God. Probably the best supporting evidence for this assertion is found in George Barna's research of Christians' worldviews. In December, 2003, and again in 2009 (a few years ago, but things have definitely not gotten better!), he found that only 4 percent of all American adults have a biblical worldview as the basis for their attitudes, beliefs, values, opinions, and behavior.
More alarming was his finding that only 19 percent of born-again Christians have a biblical worldview! Breaking it down by religious classifications, he found these proportions of adults possessed a biblical worldview: Mainline Protestant churches (2%), non-denominational Protestant churches (13%), Pentecostal churches (10%), Baptist churches (8%), and Catholics (less than one-half of 1%). So obviously, this troubling condition seems to plague most churches to a very great degree!
Exactly what is a biblical worldview? According to Barna, a biblical worldview is defined to possess these eight critical beliefs that are clearly and indisputably taught by the Bible:
(1) Absolute moral truths exist, so right and wrong are not relative;
(2) Such truth is defined by the Bible;
(3) Jesus Christ lived a sinless life;
(4) The God of the Bible is the all-powerful and all-knowing Creator of the universe and He still rules it today;
(5) Salvation is a gift from God and cannot be earned;
(6) Satan is a real being, not merely a symbol of evil;
(7) Christians have the responsibility to share their faith in Christ with other people; and,
(8) The Bible is accurate in all of its teachings.
At first glance it would appear that few Christians would disagree with any of these critical beliefs, but finding Christians who firmly believe all eight of these foundational convictions is a rarity, as stated in the stats above.
Indeed, finding pastors who believe and teach their people all eight of these truths is not too common: Barna found that only 51 percent of Protestant pastors have a biblical worldview. By gender, 53 percent of male pastors have a biblical worldview, but only 15 percent of female pastors believe so. By ethnicity, 55 percent of white pastors and 30 percent of black pastors ascribe to a biblical worldview. See that separate report here. So if the leaders themselves don't ascribe to a biblical worldview, is there any wonder that their parishioners don't?
Instead, most Christians have a postmodern worldview, which believes that there is no such thing as absolute moral truth. Many do not use God's Word when making most of their daily decisions of life, but instead use a pragmatic approach in which the end justifies the means. That is, "If it works, let's do it. Whether or not it's morally right or biblically taught seldom seems to enter the picture.
For example, 70 percent of women who have had abortions call themselves "Christian, and 75 percent of that group say that their church had no influence at all in their decision to abort their babies! This is according to a November 2015 survey conducted by LifeWay Research, associated with the Southern Baptist Convention, and sponsored by the Care Net network of anti-abortion pregnancy centers.
Now this is how our worldview affects our submission to God and our behavior: A person's worldview determines his moral behavior. A person who does not have a biblical worldview will not submit to live his life in radical obedience to God's Word because he does not really believe or accept all of God's Word as true and absolute.
Thus, Barna found these contrasts in the behaviors of those who have a biblical worldview (first stat in each pair below) and those who do not have a biblical worldview (second stat in each pair). The biblical worldview-ers were:
(1) 31 times less likely to regard cohabitation as morally acceptable (2% vs. 62%);
(2) 18 times less likely to endorse drunkenness (2% vs. 36%);
(3) 15 times less likely to condone gay sex (2% vs. 31%);
(4) 11 times less likely to describe adultery as morally acceptable (4% vs. 44%) and 25 times less likely to have committed adultery in the last month (less than 1% vs. 12 ½%);
(5) 78 times less likely to approve of pornography (less than one-half of 1% vs. 39%);
(6) 12 times less likely to accept profanity (3% vs. 37%);
(7) 92 times less likely to endorse abortion (less than one-half of 1% vs. 46%); and
(8) 8 to 17 times less likely to buy lottery tickets or gamble.
(9) Also, biblical worldview-ers were twice as likely to have discussed spiritual matters with others recently and twice as likely to have fasted for religious reasons in the past month.
Obviously, Christians who hold to a biblical worldview possess radically different views on morality, hold greatly divergent religious beliefs closer to the true intent of the Bible, and demonstrate vastly different lifestyle choices and behavior. True submission to God requires a person to daily live his or her life from a biblical worldview. Knowingly refusing or neglecting to do so is only another form of spiritual rebellion, although most Christians don't consider themselves to be rebellious. But that is the state of Christianity in America today, and as Barna indicates elsewhere, the worldview status of Christians is not getting any better.
(1). Based on the spiritual signs Paul left in 2 Timothy 3:1-5, do you believe that we are in the "last days?
(2). What is your plan to avoid becoming one of these religious hypocrites who "have a form of religion but deny the power thereof Jesus predicted in Matthew 24:12 that in the last days "there will be so much more evil in the world that the love of MOST believers will grow cold (ERV). How will you keep that from happening to you?
(3). Do I use God's Word when making my daily decisions in Life?
Father God, as we see the day so quickly approaching, please protect our hearts from falling out of love with You and falling in love with this dying society. Help us to realize that, when we neglect to know Your Word or refuse to obey its principles, we open our lives up to be victimized by the many deceptions floating around in this world. Help us to know the Truth, believe the Truth, live by the Truth and be set free, as You promised, by the Truth. In Jesus' mighty name, Amen.