This latest report on a survey from the Barna Group opens with a chilling message (all emphases mine):
We live in a world of competing ideas and worldviews. In an increasingly globalized and interconnected world, Christians are more aware of (and influenced by) disparate views than ever. But just how much have other worldviews crept into Christians’ perspectives? Barna’s research shows that only 17 percent of Christians who consider their faith important and attend church regularly actually have a biblical worldview1.
This report should be required reading for anyone here who ever uses the phrases, "Christians say ...," "Christians believe ...," "Christians do ...," or "Christians are ..."
It goes on:
In partnership with Summit Ministries, Barna conducted a study among practicing Christians in America to gauge how much the tenets of other key worldviews—including new spirituality, secularism, postmodernism and Marxism—have influenced Christians’ beliefs about the way the world is and how it ought to be. Barna’s new research found strong agreement with ideas unique to nonbiblical worldviews among practicing Christians. This widespread influence upon Christian thinking is evident not only among competing worldviews, but even among competing religions; for example, nearly four in 10 (38%) practicing Christians are sympathetic to some Muslim teachings.
Amazing! These were self-professed, allegedly saved, churchgoing practicing Christians being polled!
Not surprisingly, millennials and gen-xers are much more likely to stray from biblical worldviews than elders and boomers. Men are more likely than women. City folks are more likely than rural folks. And "Americans of color" are more likely than whites to deny biblical authority, according to the report.
The takeaway from this survey is that in debates here it is dangerous to proffer "Christians" as having any kind of a shared worldview. Fact is that less than one-fifth of these surveyed self-called Christians even hold a biblical worldview.
Brooke Hempell, senior vice president of research for Barna, says:
“The challenge with competing worldviews is that there are fragments of similarities to some Christian teachings, and some may recognize and latch on to these ideas, not realizing they are distortions of biblical truths."
One thing to keep in mind is that even among those 17 percent of Christians who surveyed as holding to a biblical worldview and who might find themselves sitting in church pews during the rapture they might still find themselves sitting among friends and relatives while a relatively small number of empty seats will be apparent. Remember Jesus: "I never knew you."
My recommendation to those who post here on biblical issues is to copy this survey to their hard drives and refer to it often. Instead of saying, "Christians say ...," they should say, "11% of self-professed, practicing Christians say ..."
Finally, this is not a favorable report on the state of today's Christian churches.