A poll comparing the moral and religious views of young adults in their 20s and 30s with the views of adults over 40 shows that the young adults are abandoning the biblical faith of their elders at an alarming rate, according to the Barna Group.
In terms of morals, adults in their 20s and 30s were at least twice as likely as their elders to have:
- had a sexual encounter outside of marriage
- used illegal drugs
- gotten drunk
- used profanity in public
- taken revenge
- physically fought or physically abused someone
- viewed sexually explicit videos
- said mean things behind someone’s back
The Barna poll also found that young adults are 10 times more likely than older adults to download or trade music online illegally.
The difference between young adults and older adults didn’t occur only in the realm of moral behavior. Differences also appeared in what the two groups believed.
For example, young adults were more likely than older adults to reject the concept of absolute truth. They were also significantly less likely to believe, as their elders do, that human beings should determine what is right and wrong morally by examining God’s principles. Also, young adults were twice as likely as older adults to believe ethics and morality are based on “what is right for the person.”
Finally, even young Christian adults were more likely than older adults to accept same-sex marriage and premarital sex.
“These poll results should be a grave concern to all serious Christians everywhere,” Dr. Ted Baehr, founder and publisher of MOVIEGUIDE: A Biblical Guide to Movies and Entertainment, told WND. Baehr’s organization documents how the entertainment media plays a significant role in leading children and young adults away from a Christian worldview.
“The mass media control the culture that elects the politicians and influences young Christians,” said Baehr. “Instead of putting their money into building new buildings and trying to influence politicians and voters in political campaigns, Christians should put their money into redeeming the values of the mass media and evangelizing the world with a Christ-centered, biblical worldview.”
And Barna Group Vice President David Kinnaman suggested, “It seems entirely possible that current events such as the Mark Foley scandal, instances of abuse by clergy, and the sexually oriented school shootings of recent months are not mere aberrations, but symptoms of a sexually unrestrained society.
“It is important for churches to understand the natural skepticism of [young adults] as well as their desire for spiritual and conversational depth,” he added. “Young adults do not want to hear on-the-stage monologues about moral regulations.”