Most everyone is familiar with parrots’ ability to mimic or repeat what they’ve heard. With very limited reasoning skills and the lack any discernment or wisdom to scrutinize and counter what they have heard, they simply spend their lives just echoing what they have been exposed to. Sound familiar? It should, because with each succeeding generation, due to poor parenting, compromising pastors and a dysfunctional, liberal, agenda-driven education system, we have become a population of parrots.
There has been a steady decline in church attendance with each succeeding generation, and as a recent study from the Survey Center on American Life points out, poor parenting is one of the dominant factors.
“The parents of millennials and Generation Z did less to encourage regular participation in formal worship services and model religious behaviors in their children than had previous generations [my emphasis]. Many childhood religious activities that were once common, such as saying grace, have become more of the exception than the norm.
“For as long as we have been able to measure religious commitments, childhood religious experiences have strongly predicted adult religiosity. They still do. If someone had robust religious experiences growing up, they are likely to maintain those beliefs and practices into adulthood. Without robust religious experiences to draw on, Americans feel less connected to the traditions and beliefs of their parents’ faith.”
There is an old saying that states “you are what you eat,” which of course is devoid of any real literal truth, as I surely will not become a chocolate chip cookie or a bowl of ice cream. The more appropriate saying would be “you are what you think,” or Proverbs 23:7, “for as he thinks in his heart, so is he,” which demonstrates why poor parenting has played such a dominant role in derailing the truth train. Parents have abdicated their role as parents and have allowed the culture at large, or their children’s peers, to take precedence on influencing them. Understandably, as a result we now have generations of children growing up as spiritual anorexics and incapable of separating the wheat from the chaff due to their lack of basic biblical foundations of truth. As I pointed out in a prior column, parents’ role in raising their children is comparable to preparing them for athletics. It’s a daily endeavor, especially so as the culture at large increasingly slides deeper into the sewer.
Pastor John MacArthur points out in his book “The Truth War”:
“The most valuable lesson humanity ought to have learned from philosophy is that it is impossible to make sense of truth without acknowledging God as the necessary starting point.”
So, if exposure to scriptural truths is minimized or absent, due to the lack of it at home or in the church, one’s level of discernment is minimal, and separating yourself from culture at large becomes unattainable. The culture now dictates what one is to believe, so at this point the illusory truth effect becomes the dominant factor. In other words, most any fallacy or misconception can be made to appear to be valid if it is repeated often enough, especially if the opportunity to hear the contradictory facts are withheld, which is the norm in the public “education” process, as well as the media, and directly applies to such issues as global warming, abortion, evolution, homosexuality, gender identity issues, gun control, environmentalism, etc.
Considering the continuous bombardment of misinformation and junk science through most media outlets as well as academia, the lack of cognitive preparedness of most and spiritually anorexic, it is actually quite understandable why we are losing the truth war and parenting has become extremely difficult, especially for those who fail to take the time to prepare their children at home.
It is very disheartening to sit in church and hear your pastor nearly apologize, or approach with great trepidation, what he is about to cover, due to fear it may offend some in attendance, even though the passages are quite clear. Or, have your children enrolled in a church’s youth ministry or classes where they are not being prepared to withstand the tsunami of nonsense coming from the culture. Consider the 2022 worldview survey results administered to 1,000 of America’s pastors, conducted by the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University in 2022.
People have many expectations of pastors of Christian churches. One of those expectations is that pastors possess a philosophy of life that largely reflects biblical principles, a perspective commonly called a biblical worldview.
But a new nationwide survey among a representative sample of America’s Christian pastors shows that a large majority of those pastors do not possess a biblical worldview. In fact, just slightly more than a third (37%) have a biblical worldview and the majority – 62% – possess a hybrid worldview known as Syncretism – the blending of ideas and applications from a variety of holistic worldviews into a unique but inconsistent combination that represents their personal preferences.
The proportion varies by the pastoral position held. Among Senior Pastors, four out of 10 (41%) have a biblical worldview – the highest incidence among any of the five pastoral positions studied. Next highest was the 28% among Associate Pastors. Less than half as many Teaching Pastors (13%) and Children’s and Youth Pastors (12%) have a biblical worldview. The lowest level of biblical worldview was among Executive Pastors – only 4% have consistently biblical beliefs and behaviors.
The clear takeaway from this report is that even if one attends a local church, especially the youth ministries, he or she may still end up parroting the culture at large on various topics or philosophies due to the lack of solid biblical doctrine. From “The Truth War”: “Sound doctrine divides, confronts, separates, judges, convicts, reproves, rebukes, exhorts, and refutes error. None of these things is very highly esteemed in postmodern thought.”
A dysfunctional, liberal, agenda-driven education system
The term “higher education,” used to mean moving forward with a process that would provide you with a greater depth of your understanding in various fields of study, as well as developing your critical thinking skills. This is true to some degree, but there has been a major shift away from this process and a much heavier emphasis on brainwashing and indoctrination as opposed to education. Consider the comments by Pastor MacArthur regarding the state of higher education:
“There has been a massive, massive decline in commitment to one thing in particular, that is truth. Imagine an education led by people who do not accept universal, absolute, objective, truth. What kind of an education is that? It has no sense of God, no sense of right or wrong, has no morality, it has no sense of reality. It demands that everybody’s fantasies and non-reality be accepted as normal. There is no permanent, objective, absolute, truth. How could anybody expect that to advance them in a way that would enable them to make an impact on the world?”
Higher education should now come with a warning label: “Caution – this product may be toxic to you.”
In summary, due to the lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6), specifically knowledge of truth, our culture is being destroyed, people have become like mindless parrots, and we are on a path of self-destruction – unless parents, the church and each of use – not the government or the public education process – get properly equipped to sift through the quagmire of misinformation.
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This article was originally published by the WND News Center.