By Jen Wooldridge
SOBERING REPORT ON MILLENNIALS IN AMERICA
A report from researcher George Barna includes sobering findings regarding what millennials in America believe. “This is the generation that is currently raising the next generation and is massively influential in which direction the nation will head,” says Ken Ham.1 An article about the report by The Christian Post2 stated that:
Only 28% believe the Bible is the Word of God.
56% reject the existence of absolute truth.
Almost one-half of young adults prefer socialism to capitalism.
A foundation of absolute truth has been replaced by relativism, with feelings and friends forming one’s worldview.
A scant 4% of millennials hold to a biblical worldview regarding God, life, and morality.
The overwhelming majority reject the concept of an all-knowing, all-powerful Creator and do not accept the biblical/historical view of scripture, sin, and salvation.
Being “born again” doesn’t result from repentance and faith in Christ’s sacrificial, substitutionary death and resurrection but refers to being a good person, doing good deeds to merit one’s salvation.
Three out of four believe all religious faiths are of equal value.
9 of 10 are syncretists picking a mixture of beliefs from different religions so as not to appear “intolerant.”
A high percentage identify themselves as “DON’TS,” meaning they don’t know or even care if God exists.
1. Ken Ham, “American Millennials—What Do They Believe?,” Answers in Genesis, March 14, 2022, https://answersingenesis.org/culture/american-millennials-what-they-believe.
2. Larry Tomczak, “Barna’s millennial report is shocking, but God brings hope,” The Christian Post, February 25, 2022, https://christianpost.com/voices/barnas-millennial-report-is-shocking-but-god-brings-hope.html.
EVANGELICAL CHURCHGOERS WANT MORE IN-DEPTH TEACHING
“Virtually no evangelical churchgoers wish their church would lighten up a little on [in-depth teaching], but three out of ten would like more of it,” according to a survey of evangelical churchgoers in America.1 “Younger evangelicals are the ones most likely to want more in-depth teaching from their churches. Evangelicals under 40 are twice as likely as their seniors (39% to 20%) to want more substance from the pulpit,” writes Kate Shellnut for Christianity Today.2
1. “Satisfaction with Church,” Grey Matter Research and Consulting, January 7, 2022, https://greymatterresearch.com/satisfaction-with-church.
2. Kate Shellnut, “9 in 10 Evangelicals Don’t Think Sermons Are Too Long,” Christianity Today, January 17, 2022, https://christianitytoday.com/news/2022/january/evangelical-sermon-length-church-satisfaction-pandemic-surv.html.
SHOCKING RESEARCH SHOWS A LACK OF BIBLICAL WORLDVIEW AMONG AMERICAN PASTORS
New research conducted by the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University on the percentage of American pastors that hold to a biblical worldview reveals shockingly low numbers. Dr. Tracy Munsil, Executive Director of the CRC, shares, “Just slightly more than a third (37%) possess a biblical worldview, and the majority—62%—hold a hybrid worldview known as Syncretism.”1
In the report, Dr. George Barna shares that only four out of 10 (41%) have a biblical worldview among Senior Pastors.2 Barna writes that the “next highest was the 28% among Associate Pastors. Less than half as many Teaching Pastors (13%) and Children’s and Youth Pastors (12%) have a biblical worldview. The lowest level of biblical worldview was among Executive Pastors—only 4% have consistently biblical beliefs and behaviors.”
1. Dr. Tracy F. Munsil, “New Study Shows Shocking Lack of Biblical Worldview Among American Pastors,” Arizona Christian University, May 12, 2022, https://arizonachristian.edu/2022/05/12/shocking-lack-of-biblical-worldview-among-american-pastors.
2. Dr. George Barna, “Release #5: Shocking Results Concerning the Worldview of Christian Pastors,” Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University, May 10, 2022, https://arizonachristian.edu/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/AWVI2022_Release05_Digital.pdf.
SUICIDE ON DEMAND FOR MENTAL ILLNESS COMING SOON TO CANADA
A broader group of people are eligible to receive medical assistance in dying (MAID) according to changes in legislation in 2021. According to the website of the government of Canada, the program is soon set to expand even further: “After March 17, 2023, people with a mental illness as their sole underlying medical condition will have access to MAID if they meet all of the eligibility requirements.”1 A physician or nurse practitioner “directly administers a substance that causes death.” Also available is the new self-administered option in which a physician or nurse practitioner “provides or prescribes a drug that the eligible person takes themselves, in order to bring about their own death.”
Though he argues for the self-administered option to be more widely used, medical ethics professor Daryl Pullman expresses concern about including those with mental illness in MAID: “We’re medicalizing suicide in Canada, effectively, so that people who, for whatever reason, judge their life to be unacceptable they can, under this legislation, get medical assistance in ending their life, and that’s a little bit disturbing.”2
Dr. John Maher, a Canadian psychiatrist specializing in the treatment of severe mental illness, writes of his convictions: “Holding a gun to your head, sticking a needle in your arm, or holding a poison pill and a glass of water in my hands for you to take, are all morally equivalent actions. And don’t tell me your desire to die changes the moral nature of my complicity. Your desire to die should call forth in me all possible action and means to keep you alive. Such have been the laws that require me to admit you into a hospital for your own safety. We can’t have it both ways: suicide prevention and facilitation are fundamentally incompatible moral and pragmatic positions.”3
Dr. Maher tells of one particularly troubling visit: “A 30-year-old patient with very treatable mental illness asked me to end her life. Her distraught parents came to the appointment with her because they were afraid that I might support her request and that they would be helpless to do anything about it. It’s horrific they have to worry that by going to a psychiatrist, their daughter might be killed by that very psychiatrist. That same patient said to me, ‘a doctor killing me is not suicide; it is totally different.’”
As someone who has struggled with treatment-resistant depression since childhood, I am deeply troubled over the message MAID sends to those suffering from debilitating mental illnesses. During depression episodes, the brain can often experience unwelcome thoughts of self-loathing, despair, and death. While fighting these destructive thoughts, sufferers in Canada will now have to carry the additional heavy burden of knowing they can legally opt to end their life with their doctor’s aid.
The Bible teaches that our lives are not our own. Intricately created with purpose by a loving God, our lives are worth living even when we must go through immense suffering. This unshakable, eternal hope can become clouded in bodies wracked with physical and psychological pain. We need to know and be reminded that God is faithful and that there is an eternal hope we can hold tightly to (Heb. 10:23). Let’s encourage others in their suffering while praying for and working toward legislation that supports every life.
1. “Medical assistance in dying,” The Government of Canada, accessed May 6, 2022, https://canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/medical-assistance-dying.html#a2.
2. Yvette d’Entremont, “Nova Scotians eligible for medical assistance in dying will soon have option to self-administer,” The Halifax Examiner, January 13, 2022, https://www.halifaxexaminer.ca/featured/nova-scotians-eligible-for-medical-assistance-in-dying-will-soon-have-option-to-self-administer.
3. Dr. John Maher, “Why legalizing medically assisted dying for people with mental illness is misguided,” CBC News, February 11, 2020, https://cbc.ca/news/opinion/opinion-assisted-dying-maid-legislation-mental-health-1.5452676.