Shifting Beliefs: How America’s Discontent Reflects a Departure from Traditional Values

A new study suggests a direct link between America’s general dissatisfaction and a move away from traditional biblical values. George Barna, a prominent Christian researcher, spearheaded this study, which highlights a dramatic shift in the nation’s moral compass.

Released on April 23, the 2024 American Worldview Inventory report showcases a startling disconnect between the nation’s professed beliefs and those aligned with Christian teachings. According to the findings, 4 percent of the population adheres strictly to a biblical worldview, including only 6 percent of self-identified Christians.

This significant departure from biblical principles is not limited to non-religious sectors of society. It spans much of the American populace, revealing a broader transformation in foundational beliefs.

Barna, the research director at the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University, correlates the widespread dissatisfaction with the country’s direction to these changing belief systems. He asserts that the social issues plaguing the nation stem from an evolving set of values that diverge from its historical roots.

The survey sheds light on various beliefs that deviate from traditional biblical views:

  • Nearly half of the respondents (46 percent) believe that morality results from one’s choices throughout life.
  • Over a third (35 percent) rely on personal intuition and emotions to discern right from wrong.
  • A significant portion (31 percent) attributes spiritual qualities to nature, such as animals and natural elements.
  • About a quarter (26 percent) are uncertain about the existence of any higher power.

Moreover, the study highlights that the typical American blends an average of nine different worldviews, leading to a syncretic belief system. This eclectic mix indicates that many Americans are likely unaware that their personal beliefs are borrowed from various philosophical sources.

The study’s results, which involved 2,000 adults, underscore a national trend toward philosophical diversity, which may contribute to the country’s overall dissatisfaction and social challenges.

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