Posted May 22, 2022 by Michael L. Brown

For many years, I have stated that a major reason America is so messed up is that much of the American Church is also messed up. And a major reason that so much of the American Church is messed up is that so many Christian leaders are also messed up. The domino effect is quite real.

Church leaders greatly influence their followers, for better or for worse. And since Christian believers are called to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world, if we are not fulfilling our moral and spiritual duties, this will have a deleterious effect on the nation.

And how, exactly, do Church leaders influence their followers? They do it by their message and by their example. If they are preaching rightly and living rightly, they will produce healthy congregants. If their preaching is unbiblical and their lifestyle is compromised, they will produce unhealthy congregants.

To be sure, America is not as influenced by the pulpit as it was in 1873, when Charles Finney preached that, “If the public press lacks moral discrimination… If the church is degenerate and worldly… If the world loses its interest in religion… If Satan rules in our halls of legislation… If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it.”

Yet with 70 percent of Americans still professing Christianity and with evangelical Christians alone making up roughly 25 percent of the population, the Christian leaders of the nation remain influential, for better or worse.

In that light, a recent Barna survey gives lots of cause for concern, especially when it comes to the message being preached by Christian leaders.

As reported by Decision magazine, “A new study from the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University (ACU), guided by popular pollster George Barna, has found that just 37% of Christian pastors in the United States have a Biblical worldview.”

Seriously? Just thirty-seven percent?

It would be bad enough if less than 4 in 10 believers held to a biblical worldview. But less than 4 in 10 pastors? How can this be?

In the words of Barna, “This is another strong piece of evidence that the culture is influencing the American church more than Christian churches are influencing the culture.”

Or, viewed from another angle, rather than Christian leaders equipping their people to swim against the tide of the culture, they too are being carried by the current of the age. And that, in turn, means that the light is not shining and the salt is not being salty.

It is a vicious cycle of moral and spiritual deterioration.

In short, when the doctors are spreading disease rather than curing disease, the populace is in big trouble.

Decision reports that, “The survey looked at eight different categories of belief and behavior, including family and the value of life; God, creation and history; personal faith practices; and sin, salvation and one’s relationship with God.”

Predictably, the heart of the problem can be traced back to beliefs about the Bible: “The survey found that the category with the lowest percentage of pastors holding a Biblical worldview is the one related to beliefs and behaviors about the Bible, truth and morality.”

No surprise here!

And what do we make of the finding that just 4 percent of executive pastors (this is not a typo) hold to a biblical worldview? Just 4 percent? And how much influence do executive pastors have in the staffing of churches and in many of the practical decisions the church makes?

As for the larger population (not just professing Christians), the survey found that “just 2% of the parents of preteens” held to a biblical worldview, along with “men (2%), women (4%), whites (4%), blacks (2%), Hispanics (less than one-half of one percent), and less than one-half of 1% among those who identify as LGBTQ.”

But this, too, should not surprise us, seeing that, in 2009, Barna reported that, “Even among born again adults, the statistics [concerning Americans with a biblical worldview] have remained flat: 18% in 1995, 22% in 2000, 21% in 2005, and 19% today.”

As I wrote in 2017, “We have believed that we should blend in and not rock the boat, showing the non-believers around us that we’re no different than they are. But while it’s important to be contributing members of the society, and while we’re called to be peacemakers not troublemakers, we are also called to swim against the tide and go against the grain. We are called to show the world a better way

“Sadly, many Christian leaders have put more emphasis on discovering what’s trending in society than learning what’s on God’s heart. In their quest to become relevant, they have become irrelevant.”

To be sure, there are many healthy leaders and healthy congregations in America. And there are always questions about the precise accuracy of polls and the nature of the questions that are asked.

But without a doubt, when we see so much moral and spiritual confusion in the larger society, it reflects the moral and spiritual confusion found in many churches. And that, in turn, reflects the confused and compromised message emanating from “Christian” leaders around America.

May God bring a true revival to His people, starting with Christian leaders across the land. May the awakening begin with us!

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Really now posted a comment · Jun 01, 2022
So you make the VERY honest statement of ‘ALL Christians fail to perfectly live up to the standard the Bible teaches. I must emphasize the world "ALL". NO Christian has ever been perfectly Christ-like’. Thank you. I couldn’t agree more. But despite this, you seem fully support a guy like Mikey brown in his horrific crusade against members of the LGBTQ community?? Mikey has heaps of hate ‘material’ outlining the contradiction of the term ‘gay christian’ for example. On one hand you are saying we are all in the same boat - as humans - yet seem to be in full support of Mikey and others who are strongly saying otherwise?? If we are all in this together, why the incessant fascination with picking on certain people??
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Severiano David posted a comment · May 30, 2022
@ Really Now. It is misguided to conclude that the church is made up almost entirely of hypocrites. One surely may concede that all of us who name the name of Jesus Christ remain sinners even after our sin is forgiven. That is, even though we are saved from sins’ eternal penalty (Romans 5:1; 6:23), we are yet to be saved and delivered from the presence of sin in our lives (1 John 1:8-9), including the sin of hypocrisy. Through our living faith in the Lord Jesus, we continually overcome sin’s power until we are finally delivered (1 John 5:4-5). ALL Christians fail to perfectly live up to the standard the Bible teaches. I must emphasize the world "ALL". NO Christian has ever been perfectly Christ-like. However, there are many Christians who are genuinely seeking to live the Christian life and are relying more and more on the Holy Spirit to convict, change, and empower them. There have been multitudes of Christians who have lived their lives free from scandal. No Christian is perfect, but making a mistake and failing to reach perfection in this life is not the same thing as being a hypocrite as you and Swkh310 would like to suggest.
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Really now posted a comment · May 29, 2022
The best thing EVER is that in time….and it won’t be a lot of time, far less than 37% of Christian pastors in the United States will state that they have a ‘Biblical worldview’. And despite what Mikey and his rabid followers will say….this is a GOOD AND HOPEFUL thing!! It is EASY to read the bible as a ‘rule book’ or ‘constitution’….what is hard is to be in the grey areas and fully admit that life is hard, and that ‘we can’t be certain of ANYTHING’.
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Really now posted a comment · May 28, 2022
C’mon OT. While you are saying allll the right things that you’ve been programmed to say, we both know that Christians ‘sin’ as much as ANY OTHER PERSON. They are just better at (a). covering it up, or (b). making the insane claim that they’ve learned to master or ‘reject’ it. Just be honest, ok?? You aren’t fooling anyone.
OT posted a comment · May 28, 2022
Paul spoke to what claims lgbtq have made that the act Homosexuality is not a sin Theologically, antinomianism is the belief that there are no moral laws God expects Christians to obey. Romans 6:1–2 (ESV) 6 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it. Christians reject sin as a result of salvation! Jesus will set the captive free! The chains are broken!
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Really now posted a comment · May 27, 2022
Whenever you hear the term ‘biblical worldview’ it is simply referring to justified hatred of members of the LGBTQ community. That’s all it refers to, and thank GOD the numbers are so low. Moving in the right direction I say! It takes zero skill to take the bible literally, and divide and exclude. It takes tremendous empathy, intelligence, and compassion, however, to see beyond the black and white and embrace diversity and inclusion of ALL.
OT posted a comment · May 23, 2022
Predators should be stopped where ever they are on the streets or in the church especially lgbtq predators in the schools.
OT posted a comment · May 23, 2022
Of course that is exactly what a self proclaimed progressive Christian’s would see and focus on to distract from all the other progressive liberal nonsense going on in DC and across the country. The level of white washed sin (Assimilating into the Dominant Culture) is incredible!
Swkh310 posted a comment · May 23, 2022
"Southern Baptist" used to conjure up an image of a group of decent people, perhaps a bit backwards, but still generous and helpful to those in need. Now? In my mind I see rampaging cross-wearing, gun-waving zealots with signs in their yards supporting criminal politicians and seditionists while claiming to be 'saved' as they fantasize about a Civil War II. Christian decency is much diminished.
czarpaul posted a comment · May 22, 2022
Mat 5:13 - Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men God is throwing OUT the savourless salt. Whoa unto America. Especially because the salt without savour can't tell it has lost it's savour and the little bit of salt with savour either overestimates the amount of salt with savour or somehow believes you can REsavour salt! In ancient Israel Jesus condemned the Pharisees for not discerning the time of their visitation even though they could discern the weather. It seems we too can not discern the times despite being able to discern the weather. "A storm is coming a black and terrible storm...." The sky has grown dark but too many leaders are too blind to see it.
OT posted a comment · May 22, 2022
Swkh310 says “ ANY source) would need to be cited.” To convince him -perhaps if you yourself consumed credible sources other than CNN who has demonstrated bias in their News reporting “fake news” … Skwh310 you lend credibility … IT’S NOT NECESSARY … just sayin!
Swkh310 posted a comment · May 22, 2022
Why on earth should I lend credibility to anything published in "Decision", a mouthpiece for the multi-millionaire "pastor," Franklin Graham? If the substance of this article is to be taken seriously, a far more reliable source (or -- for that matter -- ANY source) would need to be cited.