A new study from the Cultural Research Centre at Arizona Christian University (ACU), guided by popular pollster George Barna, has found that just 37% of Christian pastors in the United States have a Biblical worldview.” Seriously? Just 37%? It would be bad enough if less than 4 in 10 believers held to a biblical worldview. But less than 4 in 10 pastors? How can this be? In the words of Barna, “This is another strong piece of evidence that the culture is influencing the American church more than Christian churches are influencing the culture.” Or, viewed from another angle, rather than Christian leaders equipping their people to swim against the tide of the culture, they too are being carried by the current of the age. And that, in turn, means that the light is not shining and the salt is not being salty. It is a vicious cycle of moral and spiritual deterioration.
“The survey found that the category with the lowest percentage of pastors holding a Biblical worldview is the one related to beliefs and behaviour about the Bible, truth, and morality.” No surprise here! And what do we make of the finding that just 4% of executive pastors (this is not a typo) hold to a biblical worldview? Just 4%? And how much influence do executive pastors have in the staffing of churches and in many of the practical decisions the church makes?
These statistics should not take Christians by surprise our Bible tells us that in the last days before Jesus returns many false prophets and teachers would arise and lead many astray.
“See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ (led by Christ),’ and they will lead many astray.” Matthew 24:4
“And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray.” Matthew 24:11
“For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand.” Matthew 24:24
“The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12
“But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.” 2 Timothy 3:1-5
These Barna statistics reveal the need for God to purify His church, as well these Scripture verses should show any discerning person that God has given us sufficient warning of what is ahead for Christians and unbelievers alike before He returns to put things right. Hopefully, for Christians, it is a wake-up call to start Living Eternal Now – Ready for Jesus Return.