When I was growing up, there was lots of talk about the new morality. And while it is true that the 1960s and 1970s ushered in a new morality, there is growing evidence that the most significant shift in moral attitudes is taking place right now.
A study by the Barna Group confirms what I have been seeing among young people. Put simply, the younger you are the more likely you are to have engaged in immoral behavior. The survey looks at the behavior of four age groups. Elders are those over the age of 62. Boomers are 44 to 62 years of age. Busters are 25-43, and Mosaics are 18-24.
If you look at any immoral or questionable behavior, the percentage of those participating in those behaviors increases as you move from old to young. This would include such behaviors as watching pornography, using profanity in public, gambling, illicit sexual encounters, and getting drunk.
George Barna says: “We are witnessing the development and acceptance of a new moral code in America.” He explains: “Mosaics have had little exposure to traditional moral teaching and limited accountability for such behavior. The moral code began to disintegrate when the generation before them—the Baby Busters—pushed the limits that had been challenged by their parents—the Baby Boomers.”
For years I have been saying that these two major shifts in morality took place for different reasons. When many baby boomers rejected traditional morality in the 1960s and 1970s they were doing it consciously. They knew they were crossing a line. But when the current generation engages in these behaviors, often they are not even aware they are crossing a line. Most of them don’t even know where the lines for traditional morality are.
This survey should be an encouragement to both parents and youth leaders to take the time to instruct the current generation in biblical morality.