'We are on the precipice of Christian invisibility'

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Studies have shown that for years, even decades, the number of those in America who believe and follow the Bible’s guide to a moral life has been dropping.

Now it’s reached a crisis, according to a new book, “Raising Spiritual Champions: Nurturing your child’s heart, mind and soul,” by George Barna.

He’s the director of the Cultural Research Center and a professor at Arizona Christian University. He’s also the author of dozens of books.

He now addressed the spiritual decline in America’s children.

“Children are intellectual and spiritual sponges in their preteen years. They are desperately trying to make sense of the world, their identity, their purpose and how to live a meaningful and satisfying life,” he said in an announcement about his new book.

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“Parents, in particular, have a duty to focus on and invest in the development of their child’s worldview, which is simply their decision-making filter for life. If parents do not fill that vacuum, other sources—such as the media, the schools, and even the child’s peers—will influence that worldview construction.

“The child’s worldview will inevitably develop. The critical questions are who will shape it and what worldviews will be most forcefully and consistently proposed.”

He cites results from the CRC’s research, including that among American preteens “only 60% have read even a part” of the Bible, and only half said it holds information about how to lead a good life.

“A mere one out of four (26%) consistently consult the Bible when trying to determine right from wrong,” he explained.

“Even fewer (21%) believe turning to the Bible is the best way to distinguish right from wrong.”

He noted only a “minority,” 46% of adults, endorse that, and “worse, only half as many young people 25% agree that the Bible is the true words of God and provides value as a guide for life.”

CRC reported, “While a robust 97% of 8- to 12-year-olds believe that there is an identifiable difference between right and wrong, a paltry one out of five (21%) believes that absolute moral truth exists. That is slightly less than the norm among adults (25%)—and indicative of the direction in which the nation is moving.

“One out of every three preteens (36%) believes that the means to eternal salvation is by confessing their sins and asking Jesus Christ to save them from the consequences of their sin. That is the same proportion as found among adults (35%). The fact that 8- to 12-year-olds display a higher likelihood of acknowledging Jesus Christ as the only means to eternal life than do teenagers (21%) raises the probability that the current percentage will decline as today’s adolescents age, unless there is a concerted effort to prevent such a drop.”

Barna explained, “If you follow the data, you learn that we have had a decreasing percentage of Americans embracing a biblical worldview since we started tracking this in the early 1990s. We have endured more than 30 years of consistent decline, with a very limited response by the church. The incidence of biblical worldview among adults has dropped to just 4%, and among parents of young children it’s just 2%. You cannot get much lower.”

He continued, “Because of the strong correlation between biblical worldview and genuine Christian discipleship, we are on the precipice of Christian invisibility in this nation unless we get serious about this crisis and invest heavily in fixing what’s broken. The worldview development of children is the existential challenge facing the American Church today.”

The book, Barna’s 60th, is based on two years of research with preteens, teenagers, parents, pastors and other adults.

CRC warned, “The foundational beliefs held by today’s 8- to 12-year-olds have them on track to abandon biblical Christianity in record numbers.”:

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