BY CRC Staff
From the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University

The American public flaunts its free will in many ways, not the least of which is by embracing a number of seductive—but decidedly unbiblical beliefs—as part of their worldview.

According to new analysis of data from the American Worldview Inventory 2021 conducted by the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University, the “Top 10” most prevalent seductive unbiblical ideas embraced by American adults include:

  • the spiritually inclusive idea that “having faith matters more than what faith you have”;
  • all faiths are of equal value;
  • belief in the Eastern religious concept of “karma”;
  • the dismissal of absolute truth;
  • commitment to personal, subjective morality;
  • the idea that people are “basically good”;
  • success is determined by happiness, comfort, goodness, or fulfilled potential;
  • sexual relations apart from marriage are morally acceptable;
  • rejection of the notion that people are inherently sinful;
  • the idea the purpose of accumulated personal wealth is unrelated to God’s purposes.

The AWVI 2021 shows that even the 6% of adults who have a biblical worldview harbor many of these counter-biblical ideas as part of their personal philosophy of life.

According to CRC Director of Research George Barna, this dramatic shift in basic beliefs among American adults revolves around issues of control and trust.

“Whether we are taking charge of our destiny, our spirituality, boundaries dictated by truth, moral behaviors, or wealth management strategies, Americans are largely driven by a need to have control of every aspect of their lives,” Barna said.

“Biblical Christianity threatens that self-interest by requiring us to deliver control of our lives to God,” he said.

These powerful cultural ideas have also infiltrated the small remnant (6%) of Americans who still possess a biblical worldview. The AWVI 2021 findings show that among those with a biblical worldview:

  • 42% also accept the idea that having some type of faith matters more than which one.
  • one third (33%) embrace the concept of “Karma,” the idea rooted in Eastern religions that you ‘get what you give’.
  • 14% believe there is no absolute moral truth.
  • more than half (52%) believe human beings are basically good.

To their credit, only 4% of those with a biblical worldview say that premarital sex between unmarried people who love each other is morally acceptable, but nearly half of all theologically born-again individuals (43%) accept premarital sex as morally acceptable.

The AWVI 2021 also identified a shockingly large percentage of born-again Christians (44%) who do not accept the idea that people are born into sin, and a large majority (69%) embrace the notion that all people are basically good.

As the veteran researcher Barna explained,  “It is clear from the research that most individuals—even a large majority of those who consider themselves to be Christian and participate in Christian activities—are unwilling to surrender the reins of their life to a God whom they do not personally know, understand, or trust.”

The latest report from the American Worldview Inventory 2021 can be found here.