When Christian researcher George Barna discovered that only 6% of the American population had a truly Biblical worldview, it was disturbing enough. Now he has gone one step further and evaluated the worldview of America’s Christians.
His new book is entitled, Raising Spiritual Champions: Nurturing Your Child’s Heart, Mind and Soul. He claims to have discovered millions of what could be considered uncommitted Christians. He lays the blame at their doorstep for this “catastrophic decline in biblical worldview in America.”
Barna measured the worldview of children to gauge the effectiveness of today’s parenting. His previous research had indicated that a person’s worldview would be mostly in place by the age of 13. So, he focused on teens and preteens to get an accurate view of the coming generation.
He found that only 36% of 13 and 14-year-olds agreed that God exists and is the all-knowing, all-powerful Creator of the universe. Evidence of an emerging worldview in preteens was only 1%.
Most parents agreed that it was their responsibility to build a robust worldview into their youngsters. But very few—only 2%—actually could articulate a truly biblical worldview themselves.
“A majority of the youngest teens (61%) either believe Jesus Christ sinned while He was on earth or hold open the possibility that He did,” Barna wrote. “Not even half (45%) believe that God created the universe. And an overwhelming majority believe that there are no absolute, objective truths.”
Barna emphasized the importance of the fact that 13 was a key age that parents should be considering. Their maximum effort and attention to bring their children along to a solid worldview should be focused from about 18 months to 13.
Barna said one of the traps that parents fall into is the temptation to outsource this effort. They look for others who they trust such as schoolteachers, children’s church leaders, sports coaches, or relatives. Since most of these also lack the ability to articulate a good worldview, this leads to a false confidence on the part of the parents.
When the child gets to university and his weak worldview comes under attack, it is too late in most cases. Other research has found that a very small percentage of people come to Christ after they reach adulthood. That is even worse today with the other overpowering worldviews to which our children are subjected.
The book concludes by listing seven cornerstones necessary for a solid biblical worldview. They range from “belief that there is one supreme being revealed by the Bible,” to understanding that success on earth only comes with consistent obedience to God.
Millions of the parents that Barna talks about have lived long enough to see their children enter the working world and watch them crumble in their biblical worldview. In the book of Daniel, chapter 12, he was told to seal up a book until the end of time. He was told that many would “run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.”
Today we see that proliferation of knowledge and it has been both good and bad.
Millions have come into the Kingdom of God because of the easy access to the knowledge of the gospel. On the other hand, billions have been deceived by the galloping spread of Satan’s lies.
This book is a huge wake-up call to Christian parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles. It appears that we have lost at least one and maybe two generations. Reclaiming them will take everything we’ve got. But if we do not do it, we will lose the next generation, also.
Many parents have written that a set of Chick tracts or comics have been a significant aid in shaping their children’s worldview.
Some Christians say:
“Why do you use gospel tracts? Gospel tracts don’t work.”
To those who won’t use tracts, we should say:
“Jesus said to go and teach and preach the gospel." (Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:15)
“But you didn’t do that. Instead, you used lifestyle evangelism for a generation. Look what’s happened. We’re in a pagan world, because you never actually told people the gospel, because you didn’t want to lose your friends. That’s because you made friends with the world. And the Bible says friendship with the world is being an enemy of God (James 4:4). And gospel tracts do work. Chick Publications has received thousands of testimonies of people saved from seeds planted with gospel tracts. So, you can go on not evangelizing, and we’ll keep on passing Chick tracts, because they get read, and they work.”
"A friend of mine was saved with the help of your tracts. I would give him a tract almost once a week and he would always be eager to take them. He finally came out to church and was saved there. Praise the Lord!"
"When I was a waitress, a man and his wife would leave a tract for me with a tip. Eventually, they asked me to join them on a Sunday for church and the rest is history. Praise the Lord, these people cared for my soul...a complete stranger."
"My dad gave me several Chick tracts to read when I was 17 years old. The images of heaven and hell that I read in Chick tracts stuck with me and are the reason I came to the Lord a short time later."