This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, November 2, 2022:
In the latest America's Values Study by the Cultural Research Center (CRC) at Arizona Christian University (ACU), nearly 4,000 american adults were asked: “Regardless of your religious faith, America's foundation for determining right and wrong should be (choose one): the Bible, what you feel in your heart, or majority rule.” Four out of ten chose “feelings,” while just 29 percent said the Bible. The other 29 percent said they'd just go along with what everyone else thinks is right and proper.
Two-thirds of the segment that identified itself as “SAGE Cons” — Spiritually Active, Governance Engaged conservative Christians — told the CRC that the Bible was their primary source for their moral foundation. Among those who attend “an evangelical church” the Bible is the firm foundation for just 62%, while for those attending a “mainline Protestant church,” the Bible drops to 36% as their arbiter of morality.
Among those who attend a Catholic church, 46 percent think it's “what you feel in your heart” that's determinative of what's right and wrong.
The nine moral values making up what the CRC calls “traditional American Values” are integrity, justice, kindness, non-discrimination, trustworthiness, freedom of expression, private property ownership, the opportunity for individual growth, and self-control.
Pollster George Barna, who heads up the study for ACU, lamented:
If you consider the list of factors that are gaining acceptance as “traditional moral values,” with the public unlikely to turn to churches or the Bible to define values such as integrity and justice, that responsibility is likely to fall on the shoulders of government.
Given how government leaders have been aggressively redefining other terms and concepts in recent years, recasting previously unthinkable behaviors as normative, one can barely imagine what our future moral code will look like with the government leading that redefinition process.
In other words, left to his own devices, mankind will shortly descend into a vast cultural wasteland ruled by a tyrannical government. Noted Barna, “Americans have become comfortable with the idea of being the arbiters of [their own] morality.” This is reflected in the current belief system being taught in public education: truth is relative to time, place, and circumstance; and one's “truth” will vary from another's, with each being equally acceptable.
Although more than 70 percent of those polled say they support those traditional moral values, that's misleading. Substantially less than half of them claim that “Biblical morality” is one of their core values. They are, wrote CRC president Len Munsil, “running on just the fumes” of the values expressed as absolute in the Bible. He added that “people are now more likely to take their moral cues from government laws and policies than from church teachings about Biblical principles.”
The CRC's vision for America's future is surprisingly hopeful:
America seems to be in a freefall — morally, politically, culturally — our founding values and the biblical worldview seemingly fading forever.
But at the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University, we believe there's hope — that cultural transformation is possible.
They're doing something about that “freefall”:
Our mission starts with educating ACU students with the biblical worldview, so they understand and live according to God's truth.
We believe the next generation, transformed and equipped, can influence every area of culture: business and education, government and politics, information and news media, science and technology, arts and entertainment, churches and families.
The school boasts a current enrollment of more than 900 students from 40 states and 25 countries, who are taking advantage of 18 academic programs encompassing more than 40 areas of study. It is ranked the No. 1 university in Arizona by College Consensus, and ranked a “Best College” by U.S. News & World Report.