Dear Christian parents: you’re failing … miserably. The pervasive guilt I feel typing these words is insurmountable, yet we cannot keep denying our agonizing reality: Culture is engulfing us.
Survey after survey reveals the absolute moral insanity bubbling underneath the surfaces of our churches, Christian communities and, most disturbingly, our hearts.
Recent research conducted by George Barna and the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University yielded horrifying results, specifically for anyone claiming the Christian mantle.
Mr. Barna found 67% of parents of preteens today claim to be Christians, yet just 4% of these individuals hold what would be considered a “biblical worldview.” This means only a tiny fraction of those claiming to embrace biblical sentiments actually live out and authentically believe in what they claim to hold dear.
This crisis has two significant implications. The first is spiritual, and the second is societal. While the spiritual concerns might appeal only to Christians and peers who see the innumerable benefits of faith, the second should be of grave concern to anyone seeking a healthier populace.
On the spiritual front, our culture is crumbling by every measurable metric, with faith, morals, ethics and values evaporating at an alarming rate. Meanwhile, with just 4% of preteen Christian parents holding a biblical worldview, virtually no one appears prepared to guide kids in the right direction.
Yet the Bible provides an unequivocal mandate. Proverbs 22:6 (NIV) reads, “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”
But how can the 96% of self-professed Christians who have no solid biblical worldview send kids in any direction that even resembles rightfulness when they know very little about any of it?
Christians have, in most cases, admirably spent decades trying to carry the gospel to the culture, and somehow, under believers’ noses, the culture, instead, brought its hopeless, self-centric, diabolical creed to the church. And believers just let it happen.
Now, let’s discuss the societal implications. Even if you’re an atheist, you’d be remiss to ignore the remarkable data proving the power and importance of churchgoing and faith to individual and public health.
Study after study correlates faith allegiance with positive mental health outcomes. Regular churchgoers are more likely to report having healthy relationships, better emotional health and more satisfaction than their nonchurch-going counterparts.
The statistics are pretty remarkable, especially when so many are looking for the answers as suicides and overdose deaths abound. In this case, “following the science” would force atheists, secularists and other skeptics to admit that individuals and society-at-large are immeasurably better off when more people go to church and embrace faith.
If Christians hope to make any cultural impact, though, then the people shaping the next generation — the parents of preteens who say they’re Christian but hold no biblical worldview — must be courted, corrected and “started off in the path they should go.”
Now is the time to fix this problem. With Hollywood, media and universities continuing to push a secular agenda, the terrain isn’t going to get any easier. It’s time for every Christian to pause, reflect and look inward at our own houses.
Pick up a Bible, assess your perspective, question whether you’re allowing culture to cloud your spiritual lenses. After all, the fate of your children’s spiritual destiny — and our nation’s collective direction — depends on it.
• Billy Hallowell is a journalist, commentator and digital TV host who has covered thousands of faith and culture stories. He is the director of content and communications at Pure Flix, and previously served as the senior editor at Faithwire and the former faith and culture editor at TheBlaze.