Researcher George Barna told Christians in Leesburg, Virginia, on Thursday that the United States is in the middle of a "worldview crisis" that affects every other problem confronting the nation today.
Barna is a senior research fellow at the Family Research Council's Center for Biblical Worldview and the director of Arizona Christian University's Cultural Research Center. He cited recent data indicating that just 6% of American people have a biblical worldview, despite 51% believing they do. The Cultural Research Center, which did the survey, concluded that 94% of Americans do not have a biblical worldview.
Christian Headlines quoted him as saying, "A lot of people are walking around America today, self-deceived, about their worldview."
While delivering a speech at the Family Research Council's Pray Vote Stand Summit, Barna stressed that America's worldview problem is the "root crisis" of every other political, economic, social, and cultural catastrophe that the country is now experiencing.
According to Barna's research, the worldview problem has spread to the church, with just 21% of evangelicals holding to a biblical worldview.
In part, this is because evangelical churches in the United States no longer teach the Bible as frequently or thoroughly as they formerly did, according to Barna.
"Syncretism" is the most popular worldview in the United States right now, according to Barna, since it includes "picking and choosing" aspects from other worldviews. Consequently, American worldviews are often polarized and diametrically opposed. In fact, according to the Cultural Research Center of Arizona Christian University, 88% of American people practice syncretism.
Barna claims that the majority of Americans are unaware that they have a conflicting worldview.
"We are a superficial nation," he said. "We're more interested in doing than in thinking. And so consequently, we're always looking for the next thing that we need to be accomplishing, the next place we need to go, the next person we need to meet - without sitting down and reflecting on what really matters: What do I really believe?"
For other issues to be resolved, Barna said that the crisis in American worldview has to be resolved first.
"If we don't solve that crisis, trust me, we are not going to solve any of those other issues," he said.
Moving away from the deteriorating Christian worldview in the United States, Barna urged the audience to maintain a righteous attitude in the face of all the evil around them.
"Go home with this," he said. "God so loved the world. God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. I choose to love. I choose to pray for those that Jesus said, 'pray for those who despitefully use you. Bless those who curse you. Love your enemies.'"
He emphasized, however, that he is not suggesting that Christians should abstain from activities such as joining committees or be involved in several causes - anything necessary to preserve civilization. Only that, he said, they do it in the "right spirit."
Barna confessed that even though the top politicians are hated by the people, he tries hard to imagine in his mind that they would become Christians someday. However, he urged Christians at the conclusion of his speech to love truth as well as people.
"So, I want to challenge you tonight," he said. "...that you choose to love truth. To love, my brother, my sister. Choose to love."