American culture is unraveling. Few would argue otherwise. Whether you stand on the right or left of the political divide, we all seem to agree on one thing: Something is desperately wrong.
The United States has become the divided states. “E pluribus unum” has become “ex uno plures.” Where we were once a diverse people coming together in common cause, we now seem to be a fractured country with no social and moral glue to hold us together.
A nation that, just yesterday, taught its progeny the value of axioms such as “give me liberty or give me death” now responds to a 99% survivable health “crisis” with “I fear death, so everyone should lose their liberty.”
We are self-refuting at every turn. Those who claim to be tolerant shout that they can’t tolerate everyone else’s intolerance. People waving banners of “love trumps hate” declare that they absolutely hate the people they view to be hateful. Teachers teach that there is no such thing as truth. Preachers preach that they know nothing can be known. Politicians swear to honor and defend a Constitution that they then disparage as an antiquated document of systemic racism, intersectionality and white privilege.
Feminists deny the biological fact of the female. Misogynists march with MeToo. Child advocates advocate for the right to kill children. Proponents of prenatal health are now apologists for perinatal death.
The world is upside down.
How did we get in this mess?
Dr. Len Munsil, President of Arizona Christian University, recently shared: “A large majority of American pastors do not possess a biblical worldview, according to the latest findings from the American Worldview Inventory 2022 conducted by the Cultural Research Center at ACU. In fact, just slightly more than a third (37%) have a biblical worldview, and the majority — 62% — embrace a hybrid worldview known as Syncretism.”
“Among Senior Pastors, [only] four of 10 (41%) have a biblical worldview. The next highest is 28% among Associate Pastors. Fewer than half as many Teaching Pastors (13%) and Children’s and Youth Pastors (12%) have a biblical worldview. Executive Pastors recorded the lowest level — only 4% have consistently biblical beliefs and behaviors.”
Dr. Munsil concludes, “Our research measured biblical understanding across eight key worldview categories, and found that for seven of the eight categories, a minority of pastors possess a biblical worldview. … The lowest of all is a category that might have been expected to top the list: beliefs and behaviors related to the Bible, truth, and morality (only 39% of pastors possess a biblical worldview in this area).”
Let those numbers sink in a bit. Only 41% of America’s senior pastors have a biblical worldview, and the numbers drop like a rock in water for the rest of the church staff. Associate pastors: 28%. Teaching pastors: 13%. Youth pastors: 12%. Executive pastors: 4%. And only 39% of all American pastors believe in the Bible’s definition of truth and morality.
And these numbers get even worse for parachurch organizations such as church-related colleges and universities.
When you see evangelical and Catholic pastors, priests and professors stumbling over themselves to embrace the Marxism of Black Lives Matter, the blatant racism of Ibram X. Kendi, and the elevation of class conflict and collective blame of critical race theory, you know these Christian leaders have elevated Marcuse over Moses and social justice over Jesus.
The inerrancy, authenticity and authority of the Bible, together with the corollary of self-evident truths grounded in natural law (i.e., the objectivity of God’s revelation to man), is now panned as racism and bigotry at your local church and your local Christian school. These people have been “worshiping the created rather than the Creator” for so long that they can’t think their way out of a paper bag any longer. They have “exchanged the truth of God for a lie,” and they truly have been “given over to a reprobate mind.” In the spirit of the original sin, they have declared themselves “to be as God” and in return, “he who sits in the heavens laughs! The Lord scoffs at them.”
It has been said that wolves in sheep’s clothing are dangerous, but wolves in shepherd’s clothing are downright deadly. America’s church leaders have become wolves disguised as shepherds. Our pastors and Christian faculty, who are supposed to be salt and light to a dying culture and dark world, are now little more than pallid milk toast to a nation in desperate need of the strong drink of the Gospel. Christ himself said he would spit such a people from his mouth.
How did we get here? Look no further than your local church and Christian school. There is about a 60% chance that the guy standing behind the pulpit and podium is a “shepherd” with blood dripping from some very sharp teeth.
• Everett Piper (dreverettpiper.com, @dreverettpiper), a columnist for The Washington Times, is a former university president and radio host. He is the author of “Not a Daycare: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth” (Regnery).