Who Is Teaching Our Children? New Report Shows Importance of a Biblical Worldview
By Movieguide® Staff
Goerge Barna’s Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University recently released data from their American Worldview Inventory 2022.
The data revealed the “the worldview dilemma of American parents,” and how a lack of a biblical worldview negatively affects their children’s spiritual well-being.
The survey asked 600 American parents with children younger than 13 worldview questions to assess how those worldviews are applied.
Of the 600 parents, 67% identified as Christians. However, only 4% said they held to a biblical worldview that keeps God’s word as the most “relevant and authoritative guide for life.”
“A parent’s primary responsibility is to prepare a child for the life God intends for that child,” Barna, the director of research at the Cultural Research Center, said. “A crucial element in nurturing is helping the child develop a biblical worldview — the filter that causes a person to make their choices in harmony with biblical teachings and principles.”
“The typical American parent is either fully unaware that there is a worldview development process, or they are aware that their child is developing a worldview, but they do not take responsibility for a role in the process,” he added. “Every parent teaches what they know and models what they believe. They can only give what they have, and what they have to give reflects their driving beliefs about life and spirituality.”
Movieguide® echoes Barna’s sentiment that media wisdom and discernment start with the parents.
“Shockingly few parents intentionally speak to their children about beliefs and behavior based upon a biblical worldview,” Barna said. “Perhaps the most powerful worldview lesson parents provide is through their own behavior, yet our studies consistently indicate that parental choices generally do not reflect biblical principles or an intentionally Christian approach to life.”
Aside from parents’ example to their children, the media’s influence on children is second to none for American families.
A gospel that only encourages converts to realize Christ’s victory in death is not the dynamic model presented in the New Testament. This is a “What’s in it for me?” message, of which the Church’s early martyrs had no part. Early Church converts were not martyred for “believing in Jesus” in their private thoughts but for challenging the secular anti-Christian authorities of their day (Matt. 7:21-23).
The chief reason why most Christians don’t think in worldview terms is because of the self-centered mentality of how one becomes a member of God’s kingdom.
Man’s redemption comes by grace through faith:
“By grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.”
– Eph. 2:8
Even so, Jesus identified the redeemed:
“For whoever does the will of My Father who is in Heaven, that person is My brother and sister and mother.”
– Matt. 12:50, CSB
Christians should be recognized by fruit being produced as witnesses of His love, joy and peace, not only declarations of faith. Each week, tens of thousands are acknowledged as converts into the Kingdom, yet instead of having any impact on society, one would think they are on an extended retreat. Meanwhile, the enemy is ransacking the camp. Anti-biblical philosophy abounds at all levels of government and all forms of entertainment, schools are failing everywhere, marriages and families are coming apart faster than new ones are being formed, immorality of the worst kind is being flaunted openly, and, horror of horrors, this immorality is even being sanctioned by certain so-called “Christian” groups and leaders.
A Lost Generation
Christian educators and parents are painfully aware that a high percentage of young people stop attending Church after leaving home. Many live in a manner highly displeasing to the Lord. One study of more than 3,500 incoming freshman who identified themselves as born again Christians found that between one-third and one-half said they no longer considered themselves as such by their senior year (decisions that defected!).
The Church was once the dominant force in our universities, producing scholarly statesmen who drafted state constitutions and created organizations to care for the less fortunate. Contrary to the Christian worldview at work 200 years ago, the agenda for today’s public square is being shaped by secular and anti-Christian forces. The Church’s job is mostly viewed as getting people ready for Heaven. Our youth, who are thinking more about living than dying, perceive the Church as lacking a desire to influence culture-shaping institutions such as the legislative assemblies and courts. They see churches without a Christian worldview.
Early Believers Turned the World Upside Down
When the Church held answered questions regarding spiritual matters such as creation, God’s relationship to man and man’s purpose with biblical answers, it held a position of respectability and wielded substantial influence. This was certainly the case with the first-century Church, whereby in Acts believers were said to have “turned the world upside down” (or better “right side up!”). The Church’s influence was dynamic until the fall of the Roman Empire in A.D. 476.
Further, the Christian Church wielded influence politically and economically, as well as spiritually, during the Reformation period under Luther and Calvin’s leadership, and (primarily through the teachings of Calvin) significantly impacted and shaped most of the Northern European countries, England and eventually America. Also, early in this century saloons and gambling halls closed for lack of business as a result of American evangelist Billy Sunday’s proclamation of the Gospel.
Many people in churches had little or no impact on the world from A.D. 1200 to about 1517, with the advent of the Protestant Reformation and the Catholic Counter-Reformation, when too many so-called “Christians” gave way to gross immorality, until the Gospel was once again held up as the standard of righteousness. A modern day example is the moral decline of young people beginning with the Supreme Court’s decision disallowing prayer in public schools in 1962. This trend continued in 1980 when the Supreme Court pulled the Ten Commandments from a school bulletin board in Kentucky, and thus from bulletin boards in public schools throughout the nation.
Without a comprehensive view of life, churches focus only on spiritual and eternal matters while social life deteriorates. As Francis Schaeffer noted so clearly:
“The basic problem of the Christians in this country in the last 80 years or so, in regard to society and in regard to government, is that they have seen things in bits and pieces instead of totals. They have very gradually become disturbed over permissiveness, pornography, the public schools, the breakdown of the family, and finally abortion. But, they have not seen this as a totality – each thing being a part, a symptom, of a much larger problem. They have failed to see that all of this has come about due to a shift in worldview – that is, through a fundamental change in the overall way people think and view the world and life as a whole.
In his book THE AMERICAN RELIGION, Yale scholar Harold Bloom analyzed the emergence of a post-Christian America in his book and noted that the god we worship is ourselves. Bloom states the real religion of America is Gnosticism, an elitist heresy that combines mystical Greek and oriental philosophies and claims that a person needed special knowledge to get to the highest heaven. Christianity posits that you need only faith, which is a gift from God, to believe in the factual knowledge that Jesus rose from the dead to receive salvation, which is also a gift from God.
This is why it’s essential to understand a Christian worldview.
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