In a recent study conducted by the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University, alarming statistics have emerged concerning the adherence of adolescents to the core beliefs of a biblical worldview. The study focused on 400 children aged between 8 and 12, providing a snapshot of the prevailing perspectives among the next generation.
The research, featured in CRC Director of Research George Barna's acclaimed book "Raising Spiritual Champions: Nurturing Your Child's Heart, Mind, and Soul," revealed that merely 3% of the respondents fully believe the seven cornerstones of a biblical worldview. A biblical worldview is defined as a lens through which individuals experience, interpret, and respond to reality based on biblical perspectives.
The Majority, 69% of adolescents acknowledged that “God exists and is the all-knowing, all-powerful, perfect Creator and ruler of the universe.” In comparison, only 36% agreed that “as a sinner, the only solution to the consequences of sin is to acknowledge your sins, ask. God to forgive you through Jesus Christ, and rely on Him to save you from those consequences.”
Additionally, 35% of the respondents believed that “Sin is real, and significant; we are all sinners, by choice,” with 27% thinking that “Your most important reason for living is to do what God wants.”
While 25% of them surveyed that “You trust the Bible because it is completely true and personally relevant to your life,” 21% disclosed that “the Bible provides a complete and reliable understanding of right and wrong.” Merely 17% agreed that “Success is consistently doing what the Bible teaches.”
Just 3% of adolescents embrace all seven cornerstone beliefs in terms of a biblical worldview.
The Cultural Research Center stated that “most of today’s adolescents (58%) believe just two or fewer of the seven cornerstones.”
The research also explored beliefs about the afterlife, revealing that 96% of the children were familiar with concepts of Heaven with 79% actually believing it to be a real place. Similarly, 96% were aware of Hell, and 73% of those considered it a real existence.
Moreover, 67% of the children believed that one's destination after death depended on their life choices and beliefs about Jesus Christ. However, this belief waned among 12-year-olds, with only 15% expressing uncertainty, compared to 30% among 8 to 11-year-olds.
While 61% anticipated going to Heaven, a small minority (2%) feared ending up in Hell—an additional 20% held differing views on the afterlife, 17% remained unsure.
In response to the findings, George Barna emphasized the crucial role influencers play in shaping the spiritual perspectives of young people. He urged parents, grandparents, pastors, teachers, coaches and other mentors to prioritize instilling biblical principles through consistent teaching, discussion and modeling.
Regarding Syncretism, Barna addressed, “America’s children are in the process of adopting Syncretism as their dominant worldview. They are following in the footsteps of their parents, only 2% of whom have a biblical worldview, and 96% of whom are Syncretists.”