A new survey by the Cultural Research Center found that 98 percent of Americans who support socialism reject the biblical worldview.
Veteran researcher George Barna oversaw the survey — titled “American Worldview Inventory 2020” — for the center, which is located at Arizona Christian University near Phoenix.
Barna noted in a news release that one message emerging from its results is that how people perceive life is on the ballot in November.
“The 2020 election is not about personalities, parties, or even politics. It is an election to determine the dominant worldview in America,” he said.
During his Republican nomination acceptance speech Thursday night, President Donald Trump accused Democratic nominee Joe Biden of being a “Trojan horse for socialism.”
Biden and his former rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, a self-described democratic socialist, have come together to form a unity policy plan.
Sanders told NBC News that Biden, if elected, could be the most progressive president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Barna explained in an interview with The Western Journal that in order to measure where Americans stand regarding a biblical worldview, the AWVI polled 2,000 adults, asking them 59 questions.
About half had to do with what people believe and half what people do.
“People do what they believe,” Barna said. “So if you tell me you believe something but you’re not willing to act on it, you don’t really believe it. So we’re looking for consistency between belief and behavior.”
The survey probed on topics including perspectives on God, Jesus, salvation, Satan, the Bible, truth, moral living and the value of being human.
Those answering 80 percent or more of the questions, in terms of both what they believe and do, in a way that was consistent with Scripture were deemed to have a biblical worldview.
Though approximately 70 percent of Americans identify as Christian, just 6 percent of those polled met the biblical worldview threshold in the AWVI survey.
Barna pointed out that most people incorporate multiple worldviews in their belief systems.
A predominant worldview in America is the premise that “Life is about me,” he said.
“And so when you look at the Democrats, for instance, I would say they’re leading the curve in moving toward the perspective that ‘Life is about me,'” Barna said.
“Republicans are not immune to that. Conservatives are not immune to that. They have elements of that in their worldview as well. It’s not as pronounced. It’s not as advanced, but it’s there because that’s kind of the American way of thinking about things, unfortunately, right now,” the researcher said.
Socialism plays directly into the me-centric, entitlement and/or grievance-based mentality.
The AWVI found that 98 percent of Americans who support socialism reject the biblical worldview.
Socialism is a “lazier approach to life,” Barna said.
“And so when somebody comes along and says, ‘You know what, we’ll take care of you. You just trust us, and we’re going to give you what you need to live the kind of life you want to live,’ people trust that without digging deep and finding out socialism hasn’t worked anywhere,” he said.
“We do find that younger people in America, particularly those under the age of 30, are most prone to saying they would prefer socialism,” Barna said.
Polling conducted last year found that 51 percent of millennials and 61 percent of Generation Z had a “positive reaction” to the word “socialism.”
In fact, socialism ranks higher than the free enterprise system among Gen Z respondents in the survey, with just 58 percent saying they have a positive reaction to the word “capitalism.”
A YouGov/Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation poll conducted in September 2019 found that 70 percent of millennials said they were either “extremely likely” or “somewhat likely” to vote for a socialist candidate.
Hadley Heath Manning — a millennial and policy director for the Independent Women’s Forum — said socialism tends to not have the same meaning to her generation as previous ones.
“For older Americans, who remember the USSR, socialism has that context,” she told The Western Journal earlier this year. “Younger Americans, on the other hand, relate socialism to a generous welfare state that provides education and health care.”
It is not surprising that Barna’s research revealed that in addition to having a more favorable view toward socialism, younger Americans also are less likely to hold a Bible-based understanding of life.
“Only 2 percent of millennials have a biblical worldview,” he said. “So if you look at each succeeding generation from older to younger, that number drops from generation to generation.
“Nine percent among the elders. Eight percent among boomers. Four percent among Gen X. Two percent among millennials. So we’re really losing ground.”
Jeff Meyers — president of Summit Ministries, an organization that focuses on training young people in a biblical worldview — contends the correlation between support for socialism and rejection of Bible teachings is understandable.
Karl Marx, who was an atheist, saw socialism as a means to transition to communism, Meyers told The Western Journal.
“He was an atheist because he was a materialist,” he said. “Karl Marx believed that only the material world exists. There’s no God. There’s no Jesus. There’s no Holy Spirit. There’s no heaven. There’s no hell. Only the material world exists.
“So it’s unsurprising that people who are socialists hold to that view and therefore exclude the very possibility that the spiritual world exists.
“It’s not like they argue against the spiritual world, it’s that they assume it doesn’t exist, and then they make all of their decisions based on that assumption.”
Meyers argued the free enterprise system better comports with the biblical worldview because people see themselves as having been made in the image of God with individual, creative talents.
“A believer is going to say, ‘If we bear God’s image and God is a thinking, creative God, then we could think and we can create.’ And it turns out that the Christian is right on this, that what creates wealth is what is in our minds,” he said.
Barna sees the “remnant” of those who hold a biblical worldview as the linchpin to turning the American culture around.
It involves a spiritual renewal in what have been called the Seven Mountains of cultural influence: family, arts and entertainment, education, business, media, religion and government.
There is no lack of resources in training people in the biblical worldview, Barna said.
“We’ve got to get people to focus on how important this is, why it’s important, and then the actual process may be the easiest part,” he said.
Summit Ministry’s “Understanding the Times: A Survey of Competing Worldviews,” co-authored by Meyers, is one primer on the subject.
Meyers, like Barna, believes there is no better predictor of the future of the country than the predominant worldview.
“People’s political reasoning is a lot more transparent than they realize,” he said.
“If you tell me what you believe about God, what you believe about reality and what you believe about how we decide what is right or wrong, I can predict with near certainty what your views are on the key issues and how you will vote.”
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