New data from George Barna reveals that while 69% of American adults identify as “Christian,” only six percent actually have a biblical worldview. These findings, says Barna, show that Americans are not taking obedience to Jesus seriously—and the research should also lead us to be cautious when interpreting political data.
“Too often,” says George Barna, “it seems, people who are simply religious, or regular churchgoers, or perhaps people who want a certain reputation or image embrace the label ‘Christian,’ regardless of their spiritual life and intentions. ’Christian’ has become somewhat of a generic term rather than a name that reflects a deep commitment to passionately pursuing and being like Jesus Christ.”
George Barna’s Findings on American Christians
George Barna is the lead researcher at the Cultural Research Center (CRC) at Arizona Christian University. This report, the latest in CRC’s American Worldview Inventory 2021, was released Aug. 31 and categorizes people into five groups:
-Self-identified born-again Christians
-Self-identified evangelical Christians
-Theologically born-again Christians
“The differences in the belief and behavioral profiles of these groups are revealing,” says Barna, noting that the first striking aspect of the research is the “dramatic range” of beliefs that can fall under the label “Christian.”
Sixty-nine percent of American adults, or 176 million people, fall into the first group, which is simply Americans who identify as “Christians.” However, only nine percent of the people in this group actually have a biblical worldview.
People who call themselves Christians have a number of beliefs consistent with the Bible’s teachings, including God created the world and rules over it, God cares about our moral choices, and God gives people unique callings. However, self-identified Christians also have a number of beliefs that are inconsistent with the Bible’s teachings. Some of these are that all religions are equal, the Holy Spirit is not a personal being, and people can earn their way to heaven by being good.