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A worldview is the lens, framework or grid through which you look at the world and every issue and aspect of life. In America, the two predominant worldviews are either a secular-humanist worldview or a biblical Christian worldview. Your worldview is the foundation of your ideas and values, and your ideas and values are the foundation of your conduct.
Since 1988, the Nehemiah Institute has given the PEERS test to thousands of teen-agers and adults in order to determine their worldview. The PEERS test determines an individual’s worldview in five key areas: politics, economics, education, religion and social issues. Results from each category are classified into one of four major worldview philosophies: Christian Theism, Moderate Christian, Secular Humanism and Socialism.
From 1988-2000, average scores of Christian school students dropped by 30.3 percent. Results of evangelical family students in public schools dropped 36.8 percent.
Christian students attending public schools now regularly score in the lower half of secular humanism, headed toward a socialistic worldview. Students in typical Christian schools score as a secular humanist. However, the average Christian-school student is just a few points away from having a moderate Christian worldview.
Based on projections using the decline rate from Christian students, the church will have lost her posterity to hard-core humanism between 2014-2018.
To be fair to America’s Christian students, these test results are really only reflecting the lack of a solid biblical worldview among today’s Christian adults.
Recently, a national leader of a religious broadcasting organization called for his group to be known for theological and spiritual issues rather than political/social issues. Such false thinking is what has caused the average “Christian” in America to sit on the sidelines while 4,000 unborn babies are killed each day because they do not view abortion as a spiritual issue but as a political issue.
When I asked this Christian leader if abortion was a spiritual issue, he answered by saying he viewed abortion as a moral and political issue. Are not all moral issues spiritual issues?
There are countless verses in the Bible that allow you to build a biblical worldview in the area of theology, psychology, sociology, philosophy, law, politics, biology, economics, history and ethics. Yet, many Christians continue to compartmentalize their worldview as spiritual/theological issues and political/cultural issues.
The majority of Christian adults and teens cannot articulate a biblical position on the lottery, abortion, private-property rights, animal rights, economics, the proper role of civil government, education, the welfare state, crime and punishment, drug abuse or euthanasia.
Christian students in our public schools and Christian students in our Christian schools are thinking like humanists and socialists, as documented by the 70-question PEERS test when they are asked to agree or disagree with such questions as:
- Educational programs must be supervised by the government to make sure that all students are treated fairly and have equal opportunity.
- People must be allowed to own their own property in order for a nation to grow in economic strength.
- The accumulation of wealth by individuals is necessary for a nation to be financially strong.
- The ideal government guarantees the citizens a minimum income, health insurance and housing.
- Individuals should be allowed to conduct life as they choose as long as it does not interfere with the lives of others.
- One of the most effective ways of curbing inflation, if not eliminating it all together, is imposing wage and price controls.
The church in America needs to awaken to the fact that too many of our children have been “taken captive” by secular and humanist thinking; one out of every two students from Christian homes is denying their faith before they graduate from college.
Such a statistic does not come as a surprise to the leaders of the Nehemiah Institute. From 1988 to 1996, out of the thousands of Christian students that took the PEERS test, 90 percent of them left high school either “at risk” or “easy prey,” because of their lack of a solid biblical worldview.
Colossians 2:8 says, “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophies, which depend on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.”
According to pollster George Barna:
- Less than 10 percent of American Christians actually posses a biblical worldview.
- Two out of three born-again believers assert there is no such thing as absolute moral truth.
- Only four out of 10 people are “absolutely committed” to the Christian faith.
Indeed, ideas do have consequences, and today we are reaping the consequences of a humanist worldview that is based on moral relativism that says there is no right or wrong, ethics are situational, the end justifies the means, all religions and ideas are equal; no one is to speak from a worldview based on moral absolutes.
Unfortunately, the desire to be non-judgmental and tolerant is now a growing problem among Christian students, thus causing them to reject biblical truth.
The 1994 Churched Youth Survey conducted by the Barna Research Group for the Josh McDowell Ministry revealed the following facts through a scientifically designed process that randomly selected youth groups from thousands of churches throughout the U.S. and Canada. Over 3,700 youth were extensively and confidentially surveyed. The participants were youth involved in church activities and who overwhelmingly identified their parents as loving and their family experience as positive. This survey reveals the same troubling data as does the national PEERS test results.
The Churched Youth Survey revealed the following:
- Only 44 percent asserted that humans are capable of grasping the meaning of truth.
- 57 percent could not even say that an objective standard of truth exists.
- 15 percent disagreed with the statement: “What is right for one person in a given situation might not be right for another person who encounters the same situation.”
- 85 percent are likely to reason “just because it’s wrong for you doesn’t mean it’s wrong for me.”
- Only 29 percent disagreed with the statement: “When it comes to matters of ethics, truth means different things to different people; no one can be absolutely positive they have the truth.”
- Only 38 percent disagreed with the statement: “Nothing can be known for certain except the things that you experience in your life.”
- 45 percent could not disagree with the statement: “Everything in life is negotiable.”
As I ponder the troubling statistics provided by the Nehemiah Institute, I am more determined than ever to labor to train my children in a comprehensive worldview so that they will never retreat from the truth of Christianity and thus have no regrets when entering eternity.