Study: Only 37% of American Pastors Have a Biblical Worldview

Pulpit Problems

by Ken Ham on May 30, 2022
Featured in Ken Ham Blog
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What is the dominant religion of pastors filling pulpits of “Christian” churches across the US? A new study from the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University found that a staggering 62% of pastors don’t have a biblical worldview. Instead, they have a worldview of syncretism—in other words, a little bit of this and a little bit of that, mixed together with Christianity.

The researchers described syncretism this way:

Their prevailing worldview is best described as Syncretism, the blending of ideas and applications from a variety of holistic worldviews into a unique but inconsistent combination that represents their personal preferences. More than six out of 10 pastors (62%) have a predominantly syncretistic worldview.
Rather than building their thinking on God’s Word, the majority of pastors are basing their beliefs on “personal preferences.”

Rather than building their thinking on God’s Word, the majority of pastors are basing their beliefs on “personal preferences.” In other words, it’s like I’ve been saying for years: many in the church, including its leaders, have set themselves up as the authority over God and his Word. It’s a devastating disease and it’s infecting both pulpits and pews!

The study asked the pastors (including senior, associate, teaching, children’s, youth, and executive pastors—more on that below) a series of 54 worldview-related questions and discovered these low percentages of those with a biblical worldview:

  • only 47% of the pastors have a biblical worldview regarding family and the value of life;
  • 44% concerning issues related to God, creation, and history (personally, I wonder if this number is actually much lower, depending on how specific the survey questions were regarding Genesis chapters 1-11, creation, and history”);
  • 43% in relation to personal faith practices;
  • 43% when it comes to matters of sin, salvation, and one's relationship with God;
  • 40% pertaining to human character and human nature;
  • and 40% when it comes to measures of lifestyle, personal behavior, and relationships.

It’s worth noting the breakdown in biblical worldview between different types of pastors. Among senior pastors 41% have a biblical worldview, while only 28% of associate pastors do. And only 13% of teaching pastors and 4% of executive pastors hold to a biblical worldview. Among children’s and youth pastors, the number is a minuscule 12%! As researcher George Barna pointed out,

A person's worldview primarily develops before the age of 13, then goes through a period of refinement during their teens and twenties.

From a worldview perspective, a church’s most important ministers are the children’s pastor and the youth pastor. Discovering that seven out of every eight of those pastors lack a biblical worldview helps to explain why so few people in the nation’s youngest generations are developing a heart and mind for biblical principles and ways of life, and why our society seems to have run wild over the last decade, in particular.”

This study’s results are extremely alarming for the future and health of the church. If pastors don’t possess a biblical worldview, they cannot pass it along, and individuals and families suffer from the lack of biblical shepherding and teaching.

If pastors don’t possess a biblical worldview, they cannot pass it along, and individuals and families suffer from the lack of biblical shepherding and teaching.

Sadly, I’m not shocked by the results of this study. Anyone who has heard me speak over the past few decades knows I’ve been calling the church to repent of compromise with the world’s thinking and get back to God’s Word. If we don’t take God’s Word as the ultimate and final authority, from its very first verse, compromise and syncretism are direct consequences. Truth becomes a “pick and choose” buffet instead of a commitment to God’s Word.

We need a new reformation in the church—a return to the authority of God’s Word from the very first verse. Pastors need to repent of compromise and get back to first believing and then teaching God’s Word accurately, instead of adding the world’s opinions into Scripture.

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)

Get More Answers on Answers News

I discussed this item today on Answers News with cohosts Dr. Kaia Kloster and Rob Webb. Answers News is our twice-weekly news program filmed live before a studio audience and broadcast on my Facebook page and the Answers in Genesis Facebook page. We also covered the following topics:

  • Life in an “RNA world”?
  • Do ants treat infected ants?
  • Is “misgendering” worth expulsion from elementary school?
  • And more!

Watch the entire episode of Answers News for May 30, 2022.

Be sure to join us each Monday and Wednesday at 2 p.m. (ET) on my Facebook page or the Answers in Genesis Facebook page for Answers News. You won’t want to miss this unique news program that gives science and culture news from a distinctly biblical and Christian perspective.

Thank You, Veterans and Active Military Personnel

Today is Memorial Day in the United States. On this day, we take time to remember those who have sacrificed their lives to protect the freedoms we enjoy in this country. It’s also a day when we offer a heartfelt “thank you” to those who are currently serving or who have.

If you have previously served or are in active service, from all of us at Answers in Genesis, the Ark Encounter, and the Creation Museum, thank you for your service to America and your sacrifice. We pray that God will continue to bless this nation with freedom and that the freedoms (particularly religious freedoms for Christians) that are under massive attack will be preserved.

Thanking US Veterans and Military Personnel with a Gift

As our “thank you” gift for the sacrifice veterans and military personnel have made and are making, we’re offering all US veterans and military personnel free admission to both the Ark Encounter and the Creation Museum today (May 30, 2022).

As our “thank you” gift for the sacrifice veterans and military personnel have made and are making, we’re offering all US veterans and military personnel free admission to both the Ark Encounter and the Creation Museum today.

If you can’t make it for this Memorial Day, please know that every day we offer active-duty members of the United States Armed Forces a 20% discount on the purchase of up to five general admission tickets (adult or senior) with a current military photo ID or military dependent ID. Retired members always receive a 20% discount off their tickets. So, when you purchase tickets, please be sure to let our guest services staff know your military status.

Visit ArkEncounter.com or CreationMuseum.org to plan your visit. To receive your free tickets this Memorial Day, simply show your current military photo ID, or if you’re a veteran, please let us know of your military status.

And don’t forget: children 10 and under are free for all of 2022! There’s no limit to how many children you can bring for free, though, of course, the children must be accompanied by at least one adult.

Don’t Miss the Bible Bee Summer Study

In addition to being a day of remembering and thanking those who had sacrificed for our freedom, Memorial Day is also often seen as the first day of summer. So if you’re ready to jump into summer, and are looking for something edifying to do together as a family, consider the Bible Bee Summer Study.

Involving both Bible study and memorization, you’ll love watching your children get into God’s Word and hide it in their hearts.

The National Bible Bee is more than just a competition of memorization of God’s Word—it’s a commitment and dedication to knowing, loving, and proclaiming God’s Word. That’s why they offer a study for four different age groups each summer. This year’s theme is “Redeemed,” and the study runs from June 6—August 11 (eight weeks). Involving both Bible study and memorization, you’ll love watching your children get into God’s Word and hide it in their hearts.

I love the Bible Bee and their love for God’s Word, and I encourage you to consider using their study with your children. Tomorrow (May 31) is the last day to register for the summer study, so don’t delay. Visit BibleBee.org to register your children and receive your study materials.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
Ken

This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.

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