The Lack of Biblical Worldviews Among American Pastors
By Ivyanne Nichols
So many Americans do not have a biblical worldview, but you would expect that a high percentage of pastors – who lead their churches in the teaching of the Scripture – would have a worldview that aligns with Scripture. This is not what Dr. George Barna found in a recent survey from the Cultural Research Center. Yesterday on Point of View Radio Talk Show, host Kerby Anderson said “Whether you look at Generation Y or Generation Z, there is a fair amount of biblical illiteracy, and a very small percentage actually have a biblical worldview. The hope you would have is that if they are at least going to church, they would hear a biblical worldview and thus begin to apply it… What you’re going to find out is that a lot of those individuals in the pulpit aren’t necessarily teaching a biblical worldview, because they don’t have it themselves.”
Dr. Barna responded, “When we look at evangelical pastors, we are only talking about 51%…who have a biblical worldview. I think what’s so shocking and discouraging about that, of course, is that by definition, evangelical churches are the ones that are supposed to believe that the Bible is God’s true and reliable and relevant word for our lives. And so, if only half of those pastors really are buying into God’s word to the extent that they are going to be able to share that with people in the pews, then we’ve got real problems. As we can see, as we look at all the other denominational families and the numbers being lower in all of the others except for the non-denominational and independent churches. Those pastors are doing slightly better, but again, there is no denominational family where you’ve got at least three out of every five of their pastors who hold a biblical worldview.”
It is not surprising that some of the mainline Christian pastors have bowed to the culture, and let the whims of the culture define the beliefs of their congregation, but of the 1,000 pastors surveyed, only 37% had a biblical worldview. When the numbers are broken down by denomination, only the following percentages hold a biblical worldview:
- 57% of Non-Denominational/Independent pastors
- 51% of Evangelical Protestant pastors
- 37% of Charismatic Pentecostal pastors
- 32% of Mainline Protestant pastors
- 28% of Holiness pastors
- 9% of Traditionally Black Protestant pastors
- 6% of Roman Catholic pastors
The results were even more dramatic when viewed by size of congregation. In churches with an average of 250 adult members or less, 42% of the pastors had a biblical worldview, compared to only 15% of pastors in churches of over 250 adult members.
According to the Cultural Research Center, this survey was “conducted in February and March of 2022 among a nationally representative sample of 1,000 Christian pastors. The survey sample utilized denominational and geographic quotas to replicate the incidence of churches on those attributes.” The survey that was sent out was “based on 54 worldview-related questions that measure both beliefs and behavior within eight categories of worldview application.” These categories were 1) Purpose and Calling, 2) Family and Value of Life, 3) God, Creation, and History, 4) Faith Practices, 5) Sin, Salvation, and God Relationship, 6) Human Character and Nature, 7) Lifestyle, Behavior, and Relationships, and finally, 8) Bible, Truth, and Morals.
The Bible is the God-breathed, inerrant Word of God, capable through the Holy Spirit of transforming change in the hearts and lives of those who seek God’s wisdom through it and seek to align their lives to His Word and follow Him. It is tragic that so few of those who are supposed to be shepherding God’s sheep have views and lifestyles that line up with it well. At Point of View, we seek to restore Christ in the culture by helping others build a biblical worldview. Please stand with us and feel free to share the resources we provide with the great number of people who are hungry for God’s truth, which alone can transform their lives and the culture.
Read the full report from the Cultural Research Center here: https://www.arizonachristian.edu/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/AWVI2022_Release_06_Digital.pdf
To listen to Kerby’s interview with Dr. George Barna: https://pointofview.net/shows/wednesday-june-8-2022/