Thursday, May 11, 2017

Barna: "61% Of American Christians Co-Mingling New Age Beliefs With Christian Beliefs"

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In a survey published Tuesday, the highly respected and trusted Barna Research is reporting that 61% of practicing Christians agree with at least some "New Spirituality" beliefs.

New Age, secularism, postmodernism and Marxism have affected the beliefs of American Christians, and how they see the world and the culture.

In fact, 30% of  "practicing Christians" believe we all pray to the same god or spirit, no matter what name they use for that spiritual being.

Your kids, age 18 to 29, are 8 times more vulnerable than other Christians.

Barna, in conjunction with Summit Ministries, has conducted a study among practicing Christians---practicing Christians who say they read the Bible, attend church regularly, and love the Lord---to gauge how much the tenets of other worldviews, or beliefs that are contradictory to biblical Christianity, affect what they believe as Christians.

Not only are Christians influenced by competing religious beliefs, but by secular beliefs as well.

Some Christians (38%) say they are sympathetic to some Muslim teachings.

Here are a few notable revelations regarding how Christians believe:

  • 61% agree with ideas rooted in New Spirituality.
  • 54% resonate with postmodernist views.
  • 36% accept ideas associated with Marxism.
  • 29% believe ideas based on secularism.

New Spirituality or New Age Thought

This is the most enticing. For instance, 28% of "practicing Christians" believe that "all people pray to the same god or spirit, no matter what name they use for that spiritual being."

They also believe (27%) that meaning and purpose "come from becoming one with all that is."
Barna found that 61% of "practicing Christians" embrace at least one or the ideas rooted in New Age.


For the most part "practicing Christians" reject so-called "scientism" and the Darwinian belief of evolution.

However, a larger number of Christians are more inclined to believe in materialism, i.e., "meaning and purpose come from working hard to earn as much as possible so you can make the most of life"---a view held by 20% of Christians.


Postmodernism advances the idea that there is no such thing as objectively. Ultimate reality is subject to its context. Relativism. Because our experiences are limited, we can only know what is true for us. No universal capital "T" truth.

23% of Christians strongly agree: "What is right or wrong depends on what an individual believes."
More than half---54%-- of practicing Christians embrace at least one postmodern belief.


Bernie Sanders came close to winning the Democrat Party nomination for president last year. Bernie ran on a strong socialist message tapping into the deep discontent with some of the realities of capitalism, particularly as it has been abused by some of our leaders in recent years.

Zero percent (0%) of Christians said they would vote for someone in the "communist party" and only 3% said they could vote for someone in the socialist party.

However, 11% said they strongly agreed that "private property encourages greed and envy"---a fundamental belief of socialism.

Among Millennials, 20% agreed that private property was bad.

So, what does all this mean?

The Barna team concludes with this summary:

“This research really crystalizes what Barna has been tracking in our country as an ongoing shift away from Christianity as the basis for a shared worldview. We have observed and reported on increasing pluralism, relativism and moral decline among Americans and even in the Church. Nevertheless, it is striking how pervasive some of these beliefs are among people who are actively engaged in the Christian faith,” Brooke Hempell, senior vice president of research for Barna, says.
“What stood out most to us was how stark the shift was between the Boomer and Gen-Xer generations,” Hempell remarks. “We expected Millennials to be most influenced by other worldviews, but the most dramatic increase in support for these ideals occurs with the generation before them. It’s no surprise, then, that the impact we see today in our social fabric is so pervasive, given that these ideas have been taking root for two generations.
“The challenge with competing worldviews is that there are fragments of similarities to some Christian teachings, and some may recognize and latch on to these ideas, not realizing they are distortions of biblical truths. The call for the Church, and its teachers and thinkers, is to help Christians dissect popular beliefs before allowing them to settle in their own ideology,” Hempell says. “Informed thinking is essential to developing and maintaining a healthy biblical worldview and faith as well as being able to have productive dialogue with those who espouse other beliefs.”

Be Informed. Be Discerning. Be Prayerful.