“Christian” youth (and adults) are Biblical idiots

Oh Praise HimTwo recent surveys again confirm what we already know: the current Biblical illiteracy in the church.

A recent Barna Group study found that less than one-half of 1 percent of Americans aged 18-23 have a “biblical worldview.” Researcher George Barna defines “biblical worldview” as belief in the following: (1) absolute moral truth; (2) the Bible is completely accurate in all of the principles it teaches; (3) Satan is a real being or force; (4) a person cannot earn their way into Heaven by trying to be good; (5) Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on earth; and (6) God is the all-knowing, all-powerful creator and ruler of the world.

George Barna suggests that Christian youth and adults (only 9 percent) are Biblical idiots because their “parents are not focused on guiding their children to have a biblical worldview” because they do not have it themselves. He also noted that this study also confirms that not only parents, but Christian churches, schools and parachurch ministries are doing a miserable job in Christian education.


What are our church youth getting fed? Simply, junk such as fun and games, delirious, frenzied, ecstatic, mind-numbing noise as “praise and worship,” and moralistic, therapeutic homilies as “sermons.”

Another research, this time by the 2008 American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS), reveals that the percentage of Americans claiming they have no religion jumped from 8.2 percent in 1990, to 14.2 percent in 2001, and to 15 percent today. And this is not just an American phenomenon; it’s the same in the Philippines, and most probably, in all the world.

Parents, continue feeding your children junk by taking them to your delirious “worship” services, and see God’s word to Hosea fulfilled right before your very eyes:

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children (Hos 4:6).

Speaking of the Jews, Paul also warns us:

For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness (Rom 10:2-3, emphasis added).

How are we to submit to God’s righteousness when we are ignorant what God’s righteousness means and what it means to be righteous before God? It’s not surprising then to find that there is no difference between the behavior of the “churched” compared to that of the “unchurched.”

Study after study show that evangelical churches with their “seeker-sensitive” worship and programs are producing Christless “Christians.” Even Bill Hybels of Willow Creek megachurch admits that their programs failed to produce disciples of Christ. Why then do churches continue to stubbornly and blindly stick to a failed church-growth model? Because they see their churches as successful because of big numbers, and not as failures because of their illiterate, amoral flock. If it’s big, God must be blessing it.

The evangelical church today: blind leaders leading their blind flock to the cliff of destruction.

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8 thoughts on ““Christian” youth (and adults) are Biblical idiots”

  1. George, I agree that the Barna definition of “Biblical worldview” is deficient. But even when evangelicals are evaluated based on this deficient definition, they are found extremely lacking.

  2. I question the validity of the six-point biblical worldview that this survey presupposes. These six points constitute a particular tradition of interpretation that is by no means representative of Christianity as a whole, even Reformed thought. Additionally a “biblical worldview” presupposes that it is in fact the Bible alone that should define the Christian life. Instead I would offer God in Jesus Christ as the center of one’s worldview and would hasten to remind readers that there was a church with the Spirit before there was a New Testament. To base a worldview on the Bible is in fact to dethrone God and replace God with human conceptions of the Divine, effectively committing idolatry with the Bible as the new golden calf – bibliolatry.

  3. Thanks, Adrian. It is distressing to see this, but God’s grace and mercy still work, until our Lord returns. I hope you also read The Internet Monk’s article and my own comments about it.

  4. I would like to point out one little thing, I have attended a large church in Indiana that had used the form of Willow Creek.  It’s true that when the leadership of Willow Creek surveyed their own people they found that their congregation was not growing deeper even though they had a large number.  But I was very encouraged to learn that instead of looking the other way the leadership decided that major changes were going to be made.  I don’t know what changes Willow Creek made specifically, but the church in Indiana made major changes to their structure and their method.  They truely have a heart to reach the “lost” and I think that we should be in prayer for those leaders.  They have such a large scope of influence and have a heart to teach the word of God… I would love it if we could lift our church leaders up in prayer…that God would show them where they need to change and how to teach His people.  Thank you Nolie for making sure that we are aware of this MAJOR problem… let us not look the other way but strive to make a difference!

  5. Sold Out, I'm not saying that all evangelical churches are functional Biblical illiterates. And New Age and Emergent churches are still very, very few compared to evangelicals. However, we can see from the fruits of evangelicals – in people who call themselves "born again" believers but can't show anything for it – that the churches are not teaching much, or that the people are not paying attention, or both.

  6. Sold out for Christ

    I don't think it is correct to say that all evangelicals are blind leading the blind just like what Paul said for as long as Christ is preached he rejoices in that (Philippians 1:18). However, there is a difference because not all evangelicals are New Age and Emergent churches who are usually the source of these because they divert from what is true and do not consider the bible as inerrant and infallible or if they do they still want to twist so they can scratch people's itching ears. I believe that God will work on the lives of His people just like what He did to me – He is the only one who can plant and uproot. If you are truly seeking, hungry and thirsty, and like a father to His children, God will definitely hear/answer. This is what relationship with our God is. He is not a distant force who is not mindful but a loving and merciful one.

  7. As a child, my family took me to church twice each Sunday. Except for very small children in the nursery, children sat in on the services including the sermon. I had to go to catechism weekly. Although I didn't like it much at the time, the teaching had an effect over time and I did my profession of faith in my mid teens. If there is no teaching of the gospel, and no knowledge of doctrine, how can a young person be expected to know what it is to be a Christian.

  8. Sold Out, I'm not saying that all evangelical churches are functional Biblical illiterates. And New Age and Emergent churches are still very, very few compared to evangelicals. However, we can see from the fruits of evangelicals – in people who call themselves "born again" believers but can't show anything for it – that the churches are not teaching much, or that the people are not paying attention, or both.

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