A new survey found that Christian parents' views that contradict their faith are causing confusion among their children, who then turn away from Christianity.
A significant number of self-identified Chrisitan parents have beliefs that contradict the teachings of their faith, which raises concerns over whether they can raise children with authentic biblical teachings, a new survey found. On Tuesday, the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University released the third installment of their American Worldview Inventory, which provides "a detailed look at how the worldview of parents of preteens misses the mark."
The ACU's Cultural Research Center poll surveyed 600 parents of children younger than 13 in January and a subsequent survey of 1,000 parents of preteen children conducted in February. Respondents of the poll were categorized into two, namely all parents of preteens and self-identified Christian parents of preteens. Results showed that in most cases, the views and beliefs of self-identified Chrsitian parents of preteens do not differ dramatically from the views and beliefs of parents of preteens as a whole.
The survey showed that 24% of parents of preteens view the Bible as their "primary source of moral guidance," compared to 33% of self-identified Chrisitan parents. Meanwhile, 26% of parents with children younger than 13 reject "the belief that moral absolutes do not exist" and believe that "individuals determine truth for themselves." Almost one-fourth or 24% of self-identified Christian parents believe the same.
The survey also found that 29% of parents with preteen children believe that "the basis of truth is God, revealed through the Bible," compared to 38% of self-identified Christian parents who believed the same. Meanwhile, 35% of all parents of preteens and 38% of Christian parents of preteens "reject the claim that there is no objective moral Truth" and believe that it "is always personal and subjective."
According to the Christian Post, ACU's Cultural Research Center poll revealed that a little over half or 55% of self-identified Christian parents viewed the Bible as "the accurate words of God." Only 42% of parents overall share the same belief about the Bible.
When asked about lifestyle choices, just 10% of all preteens said that "accumulated wealth is entrusted to us by God to manage for His purposes." Additionally, 14% of self-identified Christian share that view of money. Meanwhile, 15% of preteen parents overall believe that "success is constant obedience to God," compared to 21% of self-identified Christian parents who think the same.
The poll also revealed that 27% of parents of preteens and 23% of self-identified Christian parents "do not accept the notion that having faith matters more than which faith." Also, 28% of the full sample of preteen parents and 37% of the subsample of Christian preteen parents believed that "purpose of life is to know, love, [and] serve God with all your heart, mind, strength, and soul."
Cultural Research Center Director of Research George Barna warned that parents' "scrambled philosophy of life" has an impact on the upbringing of children as it does not reflect authentic, biblical Christianity. He explained, "When children are exposed to teaching...that are contradictory, they naturally conclude that the Christian faith is inherently contradictory and therefore may not be what they are seeking as a life philosophy."
Barna reminded parents that it is their responsibility to ensure their children's "intentional and consistent development of a biblical worldview" and make sure they "grow up in relationship and with service to God."