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The biggest threat to Christianity isn't what you think – Washington Times

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OPINION:
Christianity is unquestionably under assault in our relativistic, befuddled and rabidly flummoxed culture, with multiple forces increasingly placing intense pressure on the traditional beliefs that were once core to the American identity.
With so much disarray and furor dominating society and chipping away at faithful ethics, one might ponder the many powers at work to discern which is the biggest threat to the faith.
And there’s certainly no shortage of difficulties to choose from when we’re seeking to determine which demonical elements have the most deleterious impact on biblical truth.
The erosion of Judeo-Christian sexual ethics, the rise of socialist values, the ascension of progressive thought in church circles, and the increased prevalence of the “gospel of the self” are just a few of the injurious threats raging around us today.
But there’s one factor we often ignore — and our reluctance on some level to address it is understandable: Christianity is under attack from within.
Confronting this reality requires the difficult task of looking inward, examining our churches and Christian institutions, and acknowledging something truly uncomfortable. This “attack” from within the ranks of churches isn’t coming from progressive leaders or malevolent forces, though these facets certainly play a role in sowing confusion and eroding truth.
The biggest threat to Christianity right now is illiteracy, apathy and disregard of the basic facets of devotion to which faith calls us.
Don’t get me wrong: The outside forces targeting Christianity are alarming, in full force, and must be patently rejected to protect free speech and liberty.
But as Ecclesiastes 1:9 tells us, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”
Forces of evil, confoundedness and anger have always plagued humanity and have sought to snuff out the flames of Gospel truth for two millenniums. The issue I’m addressing, though, is a pattern we’re witlessly watching within the church that can no longer be ignored.
A few months back, renowned Christian researcher George Barna revealed in his “American Worldview Inventory” research that just 4% of Americans have a biblical worldview, down from an already embarrassing 6% in the previous research wave.
This means virtually no Americans understand the full scope of biblical truth. And the problems don’t end there. In a separate analysis, Mr. Barna found just 37% of American pastors hold to a biblical worldview. Yes, you read that correctly: Christian preachers.
In a world in which so many external pressures take aim at Christians, the fact that so few — including those leading Christian flocks — seem prepared and armed with a biblical worldview is undoubtedly the most alarming threat facing the faith today.
Mr. Barna told me why he believes these numbers — and worldview more generally — deeply matter.
“Every person makes decisions every moment of every day, and you have to make your choices based on something,” Mr. Barna said. “What we do to make sense of the world and who we are in it, how we’re going to behave, we create kind of a mental, emotional and spiritual filter that looks at every choice in light of who we think we are, how we think the world works, what we want to do in the world, and how we’re going to get there, etc.”
By all accounts, our worldview dictates how we process and understand almost every element of our existence. For the Christian, Scripture and God’s truth should be the guiding light, yet few people within the church seem to fully grasp this reality.
Thus, it’s time for Christians and the church more broadly to wake up from our stupor. The Bible tells believers to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17), that “all Scripture is God-breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16), and that we’re called to love God and love others, being fully guided by the Lord.
It’s clear that many Christians have abandoned these calls, allowing culture to infect our hearts rather than letting our hearts be transformed by building and embracing a biblical worldview.
Considering all we’re up against culturally, abdicating this responsibility is a tragedy.
More importantly, however, if we’re looking to protect our society, build a positive future for the next generation, and reach souls with eternal truth, seeing just 4 people in 100 hold a biblical worldview simply won’t cut it.
Introspection can often lead us down difficult paths, forcing us to confront unpalatable truths about ourselves and others. It’s often an unpleasant journey, yet an essential one if we wish to arrive at our intended destination.
It’s time for believers and churches to take a cold, hard look in the mirror and course-correct, because we’ve somehow become the biggest threat to our faith.
Fortunately, the fix is simple: Study your Bible, turn to God, live a Christian life and allow that overflow of spiritual goodness and abundance to equip us to finish the race well.
Billy Hallowell is a digital TV host and interviewer for Faithwire and CBN News and the co-host of CBN’s “Quick Start Podcast.” He is the author of four books.
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