Does The American Church Have A Biblical Worldview – With Kerby Anderson: Does the majority of the Church have a biblical worldview? Would your pastor be shocked at the score on his “Biblical Worldview Survey”? How can we help the Church begin to think according to God’s Word? Has the Church confused tolerance with affirmation? What steps can you take to help restore the foundations of our faith and our Constitutional Republic? Tune in to hear Kerby Anderson reveal why it’s time for the Church to get back to the basics!

Air Date: 11/16/2021

Guest: Kerby Anderson

On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton


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Transcription note:  As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.

Faith and the Culture

Rick:

Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. This is WallBuilders Live. Thanks so much for joining us today. Also, join us online at our website wallbuilderslive.com. There’s just a lot of great information there. You can get some of our previous programs and you can also learn a little bit about us.

I’m Rick Green, former Texas legislator, and America’s Constitution coach. And I’m here with Tim Barton, he’s a national speaker and pastor and president of WallBuilders, also David Barton, he’s America’s premier historian and our founder at WallBuilders. So you can learn more about us at the website wallbuilderslive.com. 

Also, go over to wallbuilders.com, that’s our main website because there is a wealth of information, tools that will equip you, inspire you, things you can share with your pastor and others. Be sure to check out wallbuilders.com today.

Alright, David and Tim, we have Kerby Anderson joining us a little later in the program, frequent guests to WallBuilders Live, and host of Point of View radio. This Probe Ministries’ poll that was recently done where they dive into the worldview, and of course, we talk about this all the time with Barna and others, but some real challenges right now in terms of just a basic biblical worldview that is lacking, not in the world, but in the church.

David:

Yeah, it is lacking. And the Bible tells us we really need to know, as the scripture says, know the state of your flocks. In other words, you really need to know the condition of what’s around you and where you are, and what’s going on. And so this self-awareness and the church doesn’t have a whole lot of self-awareness right now. The church kind of lives in a bubble, and it’s not meeting much of the needs that the community needs met, but it’s out there doing its own thing, saying this is what the community needs. No, it’s really not. You need to get out of your church and go find out what’s out there in real life.

And most of the folks in the church are really not aware. They don’t talk to police officers and see what the communities need and what’s going on in areas. I’ve mentioned before Matt Teis, the church they have in Las Vegas, they adopted their community and crime went down 75% as a result. They got specifically involved is one of the most violent areas in Las Vegas. It is now turned around. It got the attention to the place. Very few churches are having that kind of impact. And they’re convinced that they’re doing a biblical thing.

Look, Jesus turned the world around. He turned it upside down. He changed lives everywhere he went. And we’re not seeing that kind of cultural impact from the church. And so we’re told in James that look, don’t be like somebody who looks in a mirror and sees that your hair is all messed up, and your face is dirty, and you say, oh, that’s me, and you turn around and walk away. You need to look at what you look like and make some changes, make some corrections, fix some things up.

And that’s what these worldview surveys can do. But it’s really kind of hard because I think most Christians assume they have a biblical worldview. I think if you asked most pastors, do you have a biblical worldview, they would say yes. But then if you were to get them to take the biblical worldview test, most of them would probably be shocked at how low their biblical worldview actually is.

Thinking Like Jesus?

Tim:

I think it’s true for a lot of Christians too. They would say, yeah, I have a biblical worldview. I think like Jesus. And really what they mean is that they believe that Jesus thinks like them, right, that they’ve made God in their image, instead of being transformed to the likeness of His Son, instead of being transformed by the renewing of their mind, they’ve been conformed to the patterns of this world.

And for so many of us, we don’t even recognize that we begin to think or act or behave like the world because we haven’t seen a standard or as you mentioned, like the mirror, right, where James says he that looks in a mirror and walks away and immediately forgets what kind of man he was, this notion that you should be able to look at yourself and go, oh, I should fix that, I shouldn’t walk away and forget the problems I just saw, I need to be able to analyze and evaluate.

And you’re right, the worldview surveys, these worldview tests can be very helpful if they can reveal where some of our deficiencies are, where you know what, I’m thinking a little bit too much like the world like this. Maybe I’ve watched a few too many TV shows, listen to a little bit too much this music. I need to get centered again on the Word of God. And by the way, I almost said I’ve listened to a little bit too much of the secular music.

I can point out, there’s a lot of Christian artists, who their songs have some really terrible biblical theology or theology contrary to the Bible. So I’m not just going to say if you listen to secular music, you might have a bad idea. No, there’s some Christian artists who have really bad theology in their songs. But the point is my theology shouldn’t even be shaped by Christian artists’ song, it should be shaped by the word of God.

And looking at some of the results from some of these Bible worldview surveys, it is very interesting and compelling to help us obviously be able to analyze where the culture is and where the nation is, and what are areas that we need to help focus on, and maybe even encourage pastors or maybe your pastor, say pastor, we need some help in these areas; we’re not thinking biblical in these areas. It really gives us a good evaluation, kind of like we talked about with maybe a doctor’s office that you need to go to the doctor, and you don’t need to be discouraged and certainly about what the doctor says. He’s going to give you an evaluation and based on that evaluation, then you can take decisive steps to resolve whatever the problems are that were discovered. And this is where a biblical worldview survey can help us identify where some of those problems are.

Rick:

Well, and this one was done by Probe Ministries and dives into, even basic questions like how do you get to heaven? You know, will all these other religions lead to heaven? And it’s really shocking the shallowness of our biblical worldview. But we’re not doing that just to depress people. We’re not talking about it just, we’re saying, hey, wake up, and let’s do a better job of this. So we’re going to talk about the solutions as well. Kerby Anderson, our special guest today. Stay with us, you’re listening to WallBuilders Live.

AMERICAN HISTORY

This is Tim Barton from WallBuilders with another moment from American history. The year after the American war for independence ended, we begin addressing the issue of Muslim terrorists in North Africa, who were attacking American ships and killing and enslaving American seamen. Congress dispatched John Adams and Thomas Jefferson to negotiate peace. And when they asked the Muslim ambassador the reason for the unprovoked attacks, he told them that it was written in their Quran that it was their right and duty to make war upon them whenever they can be found.

16 years of negotiations failed. And in 1801, America sent its military to crush the terrorists. When that war ended in 1805, the first American edition of the Quran was published urging Americans to read the Quran to see for themselves that this teachings were incompatible with the safety and peace of non-Muslims.

To see the first American Qur’an, and to get more information about America’s first war on Islamic terror, go to wallbuilders.com

Rick:

Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us today. Always good to have Kerby Anderson with us. You got to listen to him. By the way, if you’re not listening to Point of View radio talk, we encourage you to do so. Kerby, thanks for taking some time with our audience today.

Kerby:

Rick, looking forward to that, we’re going to talk about some difficult topics, but again, some applications that we can do to make a difference.

Rick:

That’s exactly right. I mean, if we don’t shine a light on it, if we don’t uncover the rot in the culture, that we can’t fix it, we can’t look at the things that God can use us to do to be salt and light, to make things better. And you guys have been looking deep into this question and finding that, wow, the biblical worldview of Christians is pretty shallow right now.

Kerby:

And again, back in 2010, we did one that looked just at that time working with the Barna Research Group at born-again evangelicals that we’re millennial 18-40. And so, that was perhaps the largest survey ever done of born-again millennials. And again, we already at that time identified that even individuals that might have been saved by the fact is they had to have said that they’d had a born again experience in the past that was still meaningful to them today, and they believe that they were saved by grace.

When you started asking other questions, Rick, about biblical orthodoxy, you had about a third that had a biblical worldview, and attend church on a regular basis. You had another third that attend church on a regular basis but don’t necessarily on one or more questions have a biblical worldview, and then another third didn’t have a biblical worldview and weren’t necessarily always going to church on a regular basis.

Well, we said 10 years later, we need to do a much more extensive survey. So we spent a lot of money, you know how that goes in 2020, looking at 18-55-year-olds, and didn’t just look at Christians, we looked at non-Christians, partially because we wanted to also begin to track what we call the unaffiliated. Oftentimes they get called the nuns, because when asked what their religious affiliation is, easily say nun, atheist, agnostic, or no preference. By the way, that group has almost tripled just in the 10 years when we’ve been survey this.

And back to the question you were asking, when we even look at the Christians, the individuals that have had a born again experience and compare them to, of course, other people that may be Protestant, but aren’t born again or Catholic or other religions, or of course, the so-called unaffiliated, we find that as we have suspected for some time, we have individuals that may be saved in their heart, but they’re not thinking biblically in their head. And of course, that’s one of the things you talk about so often on WallBuilders Live.

Rick:

No, you said it’s so well too: they saved in their heart, but they’re not thinking like a Christian, they’re not thinking biblically, so they’re not actually applying the biblical values to influence the world around them and be salt and light or their own lives, right. So you don’t get the benefit of doing things God’s way if you don’t have that biblical worldview. And when you did this 10 years later, better or worse?

Kerby:

Unfortunately, worse. Because you’ve heard sometimes, Rick, that people will say, look, we recognize that at the age of 18 or 19, a lot of young people take a break from church. They go on to the military. They go to college. They go into the business world. But the argument always was when they raise their kids, when they have kids, they say, well, maybe I need to go back to church. And so there would maybe be the idea that they would return back. Well, we can now document not only do they not come back, a lot of more of them have left.

You know, we’ve heard about this idea of de-conversions and things of that nature. So it is more significant. And so in some respects, the problem is worse. And when you recognize that we do have some very outstanding Christians, because Rick, right now as we’re talking, I’m sure some people say, well, I know some really good kids that are in the millennial generation, generation Y born after 1980, or even in Generation Z born after 1996, that’s true. And some of the best and the brightest, and some of the most dedicated are still there.

But the mass of individuals, even those that may be attend church on a fairly regular basis still have some kind of, if you will, deficit in terms of their worldview. And so that’s why I think it’s really important for people to listen to WallBuilders Live, why people really need to get back to some of the basics. And of course, one of the obvious application points is that we can’t hold young Christians of this emerging generation responsible for things they haven’t been taught. And I think it’s about time in light of the research to say just like we have spring training, you and I love baseball, right?

Rick:

Yeah.

Jesus Is the Way

Kerby:

And when the World Series is going on, we think well, that all started in spring training in which they just came down to the basics. And I think it is time for churches to come back to some basics: you know, have a series on the essential gospel, have a series on what Jesus said about salvation. Because we, unfortunately, have a fairly significant number of individuals who identify as born-again Christians, who nevertheless went to ask if individuals can be saved apart from Jesus, in other words, can individuals be saved by believing in Mohammed, Buddha, or Jesus?

A good percentage, almost two-thirds of them said, yeah, I don’t have any problem with that. So they’ve bought into the pluralism of our world. And I think it’s important to come back to John 14:6, Jesus said, I am the way and the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father, but through me.

Rick:

Man, if something that core to the Christian faith has not been taught, how in the world could we think that small life application issues would be taught? It’s no wonder that the church has been susceptible to the cultural change away from biblical values. If we don’t have the basic tenets of the faith part, we’re definitely not going to have the application part in the culture. And that’s probably why we’ve seen such a drift away from biblical values in society around us as well.

Kerby:

And again, one other aspect of that is we recognize that if you don’t have a biblical worldview, then you probably don’t have biblical practices in terms of prayer and Bible study and evangelism, that kind of thing. But then the next step, they also don’t necessarily have a biblical worldview with issues. And one of the other ones that surfaced is a very significant number of born again Christians of the younger generation tend to actually believe that it is important for them to, and again, this is one of the questions affirm as true the religious beliefs and practices of other individuals because we sort of bought into this idea of tolerance. It’s the, if you will, the gospel of nonjudgmental ism.

And so this is a case where the culture affects even our view of worldview because we are sort of told you can’t say anything negative about, say homosexuality, transgenderism, or the rest. Well, now it’s also moved into saying, well, and I can’t necessarily say that if you have a different religious view, I just need to affirm that. And of course, tolerance, as you and I, since we’re the old guys remember, tolerance used to be that you and I may disagree about an issue, but I will treat you civilly. And I think civility is a good word or the Golden Rule: treat other people as you’d like to be treated. So I may disagree with you, but I’ll treat you with respect.

But now tolerance has come to be redefined in a very different kind of way. Because it reminds me of that famous phrase in The Princess Bride, you keep using that word, but I don’t think it means what you think it means. And that is tolerance today has come to mean, well, I’m just going to affirm and maybe even celebrate your view. And yet I think as a biblical perspective, we should certainly be gracious, but we should speak the truth in love. So we should be loving, but that doesn’t mean we have to affirm things which are anti-biblical.

Rick:

Yeah, that is exactly where we are anything less than affirmation and celebration of things that are absolutely anti-biblical, anything less than affirming it and celebrating it with them is unacceptable to the culture. And it sounds like I heard you right, that even now a lot of Christians believe that, that they think they have to affirm the truth of something that’s absolutely anti-biblical.

Kerby:

Again, about two-thirds of these younger born-again Christians believe that you can be saved through Muhammad, Buddha, and Jesus. A percentage of them believe that Jesus sinned. Again, think about that in terms of review of salvation. And then, of course, you only had about 27% of the younger born-again Christians that disagreed with the statement that is important to let people know that I affirm is true their religious beliefs and practices.

The Tip of the Iceberg

Now, that’s just kind of the tip of the iceberg. But I think it illustrates only so well, Rick, that what we’re dealing with is a need for teaching, and that teaching is going to have to come from the pulpits of our churches and maybe the podiums of our Sunday school classes and the small group and things of that nature because we have individuals today that are very influenced by the culture. And so some key verses would be, for example, Romans 12: 1&2 that we should not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of our mind in Christ Jesus.

Or maybe the most appropriate verse is in Colossians 2:8, it tells us not to be taken captive by false ideas. And because today the younger generation, the Generation Y born after 1980, Generation Z born after 1996, are so much in the media and are digital natives and spend so much time there, they’re in many cases sort of becoming captive Christians.

And so it seems to me that if you’re in a position of leadership, or even if you’re a father and mother, you just need to come back, to use my illustration, to spring training and recognize we need to come back to the basics. Or if you want to use a different illustration, given the fact we’re sending these kids out into a somewhat hostile culture, family and church meetings need to be a little bit more like bootcamp to prepare them for what they’re going to encounter in the future.

Rick:

That is so, so spot on. I mean, what you just said is exactly what we need. It’s no different than what we do at WallBuilders with regard to the Constitution: that ignorance is curable, but we got to get people to see the truth and learn the truth to get rid of that civic ignorance so we can once again have some civic literacy and get back to a system that works in the exact same way. We’ve got to do that with our faith and with our biblical knowledge. We’ve got to come back and cure that ignorance by actually getting some biblical literacy and studying these basic things.

Kerby, what do you recommend? I know we have a lot of families and leaders out there that are listening to this going, yes, yes, yes, I agree with everything you just said, where do I start? What’s a good tool that you guys put out that you would recommend, even if it’s not at the church with a group, but just at home with your own family, but some good, basic, literally, like you said, spring training, getting back to Biblical basics?

Kerby:

And one of the things we’ve done is, if you go to our website, probe.org, you can see the surveys and we’ve rolled out four different aspects, some looking at tolerance, some looking at pluralism, some looking at worldview, some of them looking at the political issues that you talked about so often here on WallBuilders.

But years ago, when we begin to identify that problem in the 2010 survey, we said, okay, we need to put together something, and it’s a church program. Now, some may or may not want to use that, I know people all over the area that where you broadcast to have used it, and it has videos that you can watch. And they’re mostly millennials, not as old guys like me there, giving some instruction. There’s a book that goes with that in which they can read a separate small chapter each week. And then there’s a set of seven sermons that pastors can give their small group material. There’s DVDs. There is music that even goes along with it by a Dove Award winning artist. So, one of the priest’s resources is of course there.

But again, back to the bigger issue, whether a church wants to do the entire seven week program, or whether the pastor just needs to say, you know what, we do have a need to get back to some basics, and I mentioned John 14:6. We also recognize that this is a generation that doesn’t do a great deal of witnessing. And part of that is, they don’t necessarily even know about the Great Commission.

So, to spend some time talking about Matthew 28:18-20, you can’t expect people to know about the Constitution, if they’ve never read the Constitution; you can’t expect them to know about the founders, if they’ve never been taught about the founders; you can’t expect individuals to understand their mission to go out there and to make disciples if they’ve never had, if you will, a Sunday school lesson or a sermon on the Great Commission.

So again, a lot of this just goes back to basics. And what I would say to the average pastor is we have been able to document very well that even when you do good teaching, sometimes it isn’t well heard, not far from where you are right now is Cleburne, Texas. And remember when there was a church there that we did a massive survey back in 2010, the pastor is a professor at Dallas Theological Seminary, and obviously, was doing good teaching. But when we surveyed the congregation, we found that some did not have a biblical worldview. And so it wasn’t that he wasn’t teaching it, but it was that they weren’t hearing it.

A Desperate Need for the Gospel

So I think there’s a sense in which sometimes you stand in a pulpit, you stand in front of a Sunday school class, and you assume that everybody holds to the same kind of orthodoxy that you do. Don’t make that mistake. And sometimes there’s real value in going back to what might be considered the basics. But if you’re going to be in the World Series, you have to do well in spring training. If you want to go to the Super Bowl, you have to make the time to learn some of the basics about running and hitting and blocking and passing and catching and those kinds of things.

So, the same kind of principles apply when we talk about the church. And there is really obviously a real deficit right now in terms of what some of the younger generation know about the Bible, about Jesus Christ, about salvation. So let’s go and try to clear up some of that misconception, and let’s go out into the world and share that with a world that desperately needs the gospel.

Rick:

So good. I just want to put an exclamation point, exclamation point, exclamation point on everything you just said. Spot on absolutely. Probe.org. And one of the things that I love on your website is just even the PowerPoint presentations, in fact, you make all those slides available for pastors to be able to use and to teach these things. There’s just a wealth of information.

And as you said, sometimes we can just put the information out there. But if we don’t put the information in a way that they’re going to hear it and learn it, then we’re just the gong, right. So I love the fact that you’ve put this stuff in in a way that people can receive it and learn, and cure that ignorance that we desperately need to be working on. We’re all ignorant about certain things and we can cure that by learning. So let’s study. Let’s be willing to do these things.

Kerby, God bless you for what you do. Thanks so much for spending some time with us today. I want to send people to data probe.org to get some of those resources. But just begin making that conscious decision to say we’re going to go. I love your analogy too, we say the same thing, go back to spring training, we got to get back to these basics if we’re going to restore the culture. Appreciate you, Kerby. Thanks for coming on today.

Kerby:

It’s always good to look forward to the next opportunity.

Rick:

Alrighty, stay with us, folks, we’ll be right back with David and Tim Barton.

AMERICAN STORY

Hey, guys, we want to let you know about a new resource we have at WallBuilders called The American Story. For so many years, people have asked us to do a history book to help tell more of the story that’s just not known or not told today.

And we would say very providentially in the midst of all of the new attacks coming out against America, whether it be from things like the 1619 project that say America is evil, and everything in America was built off slavery, which is certainly not true or things, like even the Black Lives Matter movement, the organization itself, not out the statement Black Lives Matter, but the organization that says we’re against everything that America was built on, and this is part of the Marxist ideology. There’s so many things attacking America.

Well, is America worth defending? What is the true story of America? We actually have written and told that story starting with Christopher Columbus, going roughly through Abraham Lincoln, we tell the story of America not as the story of a perfect nation of a perfect people. But the story of how God used these imperfect people and did great things through this nation. It’s a story you want to check out, wallbuilders.com, The American Story.

Rick:

We’re back here on WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us today. Thanks for Kerby Anderson joining us today as well. Back with David and Tim Barton. And of course, guys, not a new topic for us, we talked about this quite often. What can people at home do to help improve this situation?

David:

What they can do is give themselves a worldview test. Sometimes, as Tim mentioned earlier, we often think that Christ thinks like we do, he loves me, here’s what I think, I’m sure he thinks that too. Not so. We need to look in the mirror and say, you know, my hair really is messed up, I didn’t realize that. So taking a worldview test and there are several online that you can do. That helps a lot.

Another thing is you can’t have a biblical worldview if you’re not really familiar with the Bible. And so if you haven’t read the Bible on a regular basis, if you haven’t read it through from cover to cover several times, depending on your age, you’re not likely to have a biblical worldview. It’s like trying to get a military worldview as a soldier without going through boot camp, without going through any military manuals, without reading the reg book or anything else: it just doesn’t come naturally. You have to learn and be trained in that.

Go On to Maturity

And so the other one I’d point to is I was looking recently in Hebrews 6, and Hebrews 6 is trying to encourage Christians in the church that they need to grow and move on. And so in Hebrews 6 verses 1 and 2, it says Let us, therefore, leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity. Now, that’s good if you know what the elementary teachings of Christ are.

And here’s what he says are the basic things that every one of us should know: the foundation of repentance from dead works. I would start asking questions. What is the dead work? How do you define a dead work? What does repentance mean? What does repentance some dead works mean?

If you can’t handle that, then it says and a faith in God, instruction about baptism is plural. I wonder what plural baptisms mean. Most people can’t even define the first and why it’s important. And then it says the laying on of hands. What does the Bible say about the laying on of hands, when to, where to, for what reasons? The resurrection of the dead, what does it say about resurrection and judgment? When does it happen? Why does it happen?

And what’s covered in that period of time, and eternal judgment? I mean, these are all basic things that we’re all supposed to have mastered and let’s go on from that and stop being a bunch of kindergarteners. I would think that right now, most people are not going to handle even that Hebrews 1 and 2, the basics to go on from, we need to get that down.

Tim:

Well, this is when Kerby Anderson also pointed out that on their Probe Ministries, they do have a lot of videos to help address some of these things. You know, the basic notion that most people now think that you don’t have to believe in Jesus to get to heaven, right, there’s multiple ways to God, and maybe we all believe in the same God and just different paths, or whatever it is. That is clearly not what the Bible teaches.

As Christians, we should never be confused about issues that are not confusing in the Bible. We need to know the Bible better so we’re not confused about these basic issues. And certainly, a lot of great websites out there, but Probe Ministries is one of those, and I think is probe.org is where you can go in and find some of those videos, find this worldview survey, and certainly, Kerby Anderson, what they’re doing over there is really great stuff.

Rick:

Well, we appreciate Kerby coming on today and being a part of the program. We appreciate you joining us today and being a listener to WallBuilders Live. We encourage you to also be a supporter of WallBuilders Live. Go to wallbuilderslive.com today, make that one-time or monthly contribution. That’s your chance to come alongside us, invest in what we’re doing, and that allows us to reach more people with these truths and help turn these trends around. Let’s restore our constitutional republic together. Thanks for listening to WallBuilders Live.