Last week we took a look at the beliefs of many American adults. If those beliefs were disturbing for you well get ready for even more disturbances. Exploring the beliefs of our young adults, which further indicates where our country is heading, will be even more disturbing. Adults under the age of 25 – a group the medical community tells us is made up of individuals who are still in the process of completing their brain development – have been assaulted by all kinds of theories and theologies. These assaults contribute to their developing of personal worldview. In comparing these young adults with those who are 30 or older, there is not a single instance where the younger adults reflect a more Biblical orthodox position than do their elders. Here are some of the statistics applying to today’s young adults as compared to older adults :
* 29% less likely to say that their religious faith is very important in their life
* 18% less likely to own a Bible
* 42% less likely to believe the Bible is accurate in all the principles it teaches
* 34% less likely to read the Bible during a typical week
* 59% more likely to never read the Bible
* 13% less likely to believe that the Bible is the Word of God
* 25% less likely to believe that God is the all-knowing, all-powerful Creator of the universe who still rules it today
* 23% more likely to believe that Jesus Christ sinned while on earth
* 44% less likely to have confessed their sins and accepted Christ as their Savior
[Kosmin and Keysar, “American Religious Identification Survey”]
When the beliefs of college students alone are considered, the picture is even more bleak. Less than half believe that God exists; three-quarters accept evolution and Darwinism rather than creationism and intelligent design [The Truth Project helps tremendously in explaining the faults with evolution]; one in five believe the Bible is a perfect guide to morality and is relevant to today’s world; and less than half believe that prayer is effective. [American Religious Freedom, “Survey Fact Sheet: Americans’ Views on Religious Freedom”, December 2, 2011, www.religiousfreedom.org/research/detail/survey-fact-sheet-americans-views-on-religious-freedom]
Historically, we can expect these views to change over the next decade or two – but not by very much. The bad news is that the changes will probably not move them in a direction that will increase the vitality of the Christian faith in America. This then will be the challenge that churches and Christians will face in the coming years…and are already faced with. Prayer and Christian example are major weapons in this fight against evil. As Christians we are all ‘soldiers in this fight’.
Next week we will start to take a look at the historical perspective on American beliefs. It is rather comprehensive and may…more than likely…take more than a week to cover.
– Bob Munsey