Frightening Trend Revealed in New Report about Children’s Belief in God

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James Lasher

A recent report from the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University raises alarms about the diminishing biblical worldview among pre-teens, suggesting that the American church is on the brink of Christian invisibility.

The research findings rely on responses from 400 pre-teens collected in December 2022, 600 parents of children younger than 13 gathered in January 2022, 600 pastors of Christian churches collected in February 2022, 400 teenagers gathered in November and December 2022 and a survey of 2,000 adults conducted in January 2023.

The comprehensive study compared the beliefs of children ages eight to 12 with parents, pastors, teenagers and adults, uncovering a disconcerting trend. Only 36% of preteens affirmed that “Jesus Christ is the only way to experience eternal salvation,” in stark contrast to 54% of children’s pastors.

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Shockingly, a mere 25% of pre-teens agreed that “the Bible is the true Word of God that should be a guide to knowing right from wrong,” while higher percentages of parents (44%) and children’s pastors (62%) expressed agreement.

The report also disclosed that less than half of pre-teens (21%), parents (28%) and children’s pastors (36%) believed in “absolute truths—things that are right and things that are wrong, that do not depend on feelings, preferences or circumstances.” Additionally, only 17% of pre-teens defined “real success in life” as “consistently obeying God,” a sentiment echoed by 19% of parents and 42% of children’s ministers.

The research further identified that just 26% of pre-teens consistently consult the Bible when determining right from wrong, while 21% believe turning to the Bible is the best way to distinguish right from wrong.

Cultural Research Center Director George Barna expressed deep concern, stating, “The worldview development of children is the existential challenge facing the American Church today.” The study revealed that a mere 2% of preteens hold a biblical worldview, a figure slightly higher at 12% among children’s pastors.

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Reacting to the findings, Barna emphasized the critical role of parents in shaping their child’s worldview, cautioning against the influence of external sources such as media, schools and peers. “The child’s worldview will inevitably develop. The critical questions are who will shape it and what four worldviews will be most forcefully and consistently proposed,” he warned.

In response to this crisis, it becomes crucial for Christians to raise our children according to a biblical worldview. The book of Proverbs 22:6 emphasizes the significance of early guidance, stating, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” This biblical wisdom details the responsibility of parents to instill a foundation grounded in God’s truth, ensuring that children grow up with a strong biblical worldview to navigate the complexities of life.

The decline in biblical perspectives among preteens highlights the urgency for intentional and prayerful efforts in fostering a generation deeply rooted in Christian principles, otherwise many will succumb to the deceptions of the devil.

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James Lasher is Staff Writer for Charisma Media.

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