It’s been said that children have more or less developed their worldview by the time they are 13 years old. That’s why it’s utterly vital that parents and churches tirelessly obey God’s command to be always speaking of the things of the Lord with their children, discipling them in the truth. But sadly, the vast majority of parents do not do this—and it shows in survey results.
The Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University recently released data from a survey of 400 children. This survey sought to examine “the prominence of belief in the ‘Seven Cornerstones of a Biblical Worldview’ among adolescents” (children ages 8–12). The seven cornerstones are the following:
- God exists and is the all-knowing, all-powerful, perfect Creator and ruler of the universe.
- As a sinner, the only solution to the consequences of sin is to acknowledge your sins, ask God to forgive you through Jesus Christ, and rely on Him to save you from those consequences.
- Sin is real, and significant; we are all sinners, by choice.
- Your most important reason for living is to do what God wants.
- You trust the Bible because it is completely true and personally relevant to your life.
- The Bible provides a complete and reliable understanding of right and wrong.
- Success is consistently doing what the Bible teaches.
The survey found that just 3% of children embraced all seven of these cornerstones. The majority only agreed with one or two, rejecting or stating they were unsure about the others. As the survey report states, “That does not bode well for adolescents building a stable foundation that will lead to a robust and biblical worldview.”
So what worldview are these children forming? Researcher George Barna says it’s a worldview of syncretism—the dominant worldview in the West today as people combine a little bit of this and a little bit of that into a religion of their own making. Barna says:
They are following in the footsteps of their parents, only 2% of whom have a biblical worldview, and 96% of whom are Syncretists. That mindset and lifestyle is modeled for their children every day and has become the comfortable default position among most adults, teens, and children who call themselves Christian.
Every person has a worldview. The question is whether it is the right worldview.
Every person has a worldview. The question is whether it is the right worldview. And the answer to that is this: “The only correct worldview is the one grounded on God’s Word.” Every other worldview is ultimately founded in man’s opinion (man’s word) and is therefore subjective and arbitrary. The only absolute worldview is the one that comes from God’s Word.
Parents, these survey results should be sobering. They should make you stop and consider what kind of priority teaching your children the things of the Lord has in your home. And that doesn’t just mean teaching children good morals from God’s Word so they do what is right. It means teaching them the theology and doctrine of God’s Word so they can look at the world through the right lens. It means teaching them the gospel so they understand what Jesus did for them and how they can be saved. It means always taking everything back to Scripture as the ultimate authority.
Yes, this is hard work, but it’s the task the Lord has called parents (and especially fathers!) to, and it has eternal consequences. Don’t delegate your children’s worldview training to the church, a Christian school, or the world. Open the Word of God with your children and teach them diligently so that they may proclaim the works of God to a generation yet unborn (Psalm 78).
If you are interested in resources designed to help you, as a parent, do just that, I encourage you to consider Truths for Toddlers, Mrs. C and Me, Answers Bible Curriculum for Homeschool (adaptable for non-homeschooling families too), The Answers Books for Kids, or any of our other wonderful resources.
And we are developing a curriculum for Christian schools, with K–2 already available. Twelve Stones Curriculum unashamedly stands on the accuracy and authority of Scripture, addresses current events in light of biblical principles, and integrates critical thinking skills, engaging activities, and flexible strategies within an easy-to-use format.
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This item was discussed Monday on Answers News with cohosts Patricia Engler, Rob Webb, and Dr. Gabriela Haynes. Answers News is our weekly news program filmed live before a studio audience here at the Creation Museum, broadcast on our Answers in Genesis YouTube channel, and posted to Answers TV. We also covered the following topics:
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This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.