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Worldview And Millennials, Part 3 – With George Barna: Why do most Millennials feel they have no purpose in life? What do most Millennials really believe? What percentage of Millennials struggle with mental health issues (anxiety, depression, etc.)? Are Millennials the most tolerant or the least? What do Millennials think of Jesus? Tune in to hear this enlightening session with George Barna from the ProFamily Legislators Conference!

Air Date: 01/26/2022

Guest: George Barna

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. It’s WallBuilders Live, where we’re talking about today’s hottest topics on policy, faith, and the culture, always from a biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective. We’re doing that with David Barton today, he’s America’s premier historian and our founder at WallBuilders, Tim Barton’s with us, national speaker and pastor and president of WallBuilders, and my name is Rick Green, I’m a former Texas legislator.

You can find out more about all three of us at our website, it’s called wallbuilderslive.com. And that’s a mouthful, WallBuilders, think architecture, I guess, not the kind of wall you might be thinking of, but wallbuilderslive.com. And what that WallBuilders means, it comes from a scripture in Nehemiah, it says arise and rebuild the walls that we may no longer be a reproach. If you think about it back then, if you didn’t have your outer walls, you were weak as a city; in fact, you wouldn’t survive, you’d be run over without a question.

Today, it’s the foundational principles: if you don’t have a good strong foundation of principles, if you don’t have good structures in place for your culture and society, you’re going to lose that society. And that’s why David Barton 30 years ago started WallBuilders to rebuild the foundations, to rebuild, bring back the principles of liberty that made America the greatest nation in history. That’s what we’re about here at WallBuilders. 

Check us out at wallbuilderslive.com for the radio program and then wallbuilders.com.com, our main website for some great tools for yourself, your family, and others, equip and inspire them, get them engaged to be good citizens, and help preserve freedom for future generations.

We also ask that you support the program itself. So when you’re on either of those websites, when you see that donate button, if you would click on that and look at making a one-time donation or a monthly donation, but becoming one of our supporters that makes this program and the rest of our ministry possible.

Today’s program is actually a special presentation from the ProFamily Legislators Conference. And we’re headed straight back there to pick up where we left off with yesterday’s radio program. Now, if you miss WallBuilders Live yesterday, it’s available right now on our website, wallbuilderslive.com. 

You can hear yesterday’s program, is presentation from George Barna, prolific author and probably the, best not probably, he’s the most quoted and the best pollster, and “surveyest”, if that’s a word out there on the planet today. And we love him because he’s got good biblical worldview. And he helps give us perspective on what’s happening in the culture, and how to address these issues. It’s an eyes-wide-open situation, he identifies the problems, but then helps to give us the solutions as well.

We’re picking up right where we left off yesterday. If you missed it yesterday, get it on the website today. Here’s George Barna at the ProFamily Legislators Conference.

ProFamily Legislators Conference

George:

They’ve tried volunteering and donating in community organizations. And they found that while that’s nice and they’re glad they did it, it’s not given them the sense of purpose they’re looking for. They’ve pretty much given up on religious faith as something that might help instill their sense of purpose.

I’ll talk about that in a few minutes when we talk about transitions in their faith. See, but despite all of the activity that they’ve gone through, they haven’t found that purpose.

And so, when they look at their life, they don’t feel like it’s all that worth living. They’re not that satisfied with it. We’ve looked at a number of different dimensions. The highest proportion of life activity for which we found that they’re likely to say they’re very satisfied was less than 4 out of 10 of them saying that they’re very satisfied with their most intimate relationships, their spouse, or people that they love, 38% with their intimate relationships. That’s as good as it gets. That’s sad. That’s sad.

You know, what they’re finding is all of these things in life are just simply delivering emptiness and disappointment and frustration and irritation. It’s unfulfilling to them. And why is that? Because as a default sense of purpose in life, the thing they’ve latched on to is I must be happy. Now do you realize their worldviews that they’re buying into that tell them like moralistic therapeutic deism, which I would describe as fake Christianity, but it’s actually the worldview that people are most likely to draw from in America today.

Well, that particular worldview says, yes, God exists; yes, God made you; yes, God has a purpose for you. And His purpose is that you should be happy. Anything that you can do that will make yourself happy, He will bless. How unbiblical is that? And yet, this is the kind of stuff that they’re buying into because it feels good, and they don’t really understand the biblical alternatives. 

Purpose

They don’t understand that God has a purpose for every one of us, and that’s that we would know Him and love Him and serve Him with all our heart, mind, strength and soul. And He’ll put us in situations and He will give us a unique calling, and He will then give us the gifts and the abilities and experiences and resources we need to fulfill that purpose within the grander purpose of knowing it’s not about me, it’s about Him.

And so if I’m looking for purpose, the way that the Easter mist assist would say, oh, you’ll find it if you just go deep within. I go deep within, I’m going to get heartburn. That’s all I’m getting. Okay. I’m not going to get my sense of purpose. So we’ve got to be rethinking a lot of this. See, happiness is something that the world talks about all the time. Yes, you should commit yourself to that. 

But realize that’s a fleeting emotional state. God doesn’t tell us he wants us to be happy. He wants us to have joy. But it’s joy in knowing, loving and serving Him, fulfilling our ultimate purpose on earth. And that joy lasts. That joy gives us a peace that surpasses all understanding. That’s what we need to be going for.

So then let’s talk about mental health. Blow away realization number two from the research. 54% of millennials admit to us that they frequently struggle with common elements of mental illness such as anxiety, depression, and constant fear. 54%, you know what that means? That the number is actually a lot higher.

Rick:

Alright, friends, got interrupt just for a second. Got to take a quick break, we’ll be right back. You’re listening to WallBuilders Live.

A Moment from AMERICA’N HISTORY

This is David Barton with another moment from America’s history. Often today, it seems that the federal government has become too intrusive into local matters, and federal micromanagement has now, unfortunately, become the norm in education, law enforcement, religious expressions, and even on what is and is not moral. Strikingly, the Founding Fathers had intended that the federal government never intrude into any of these issues.

As Thomas Jefferson explained, “Taking from the states the moral rule of their citizens and subordinating it to the federal government would break up the foundations of the Union. I believe the states can best govern our home concerns, and the federal government, our foreign ones.” According to Thomas Jefferson, the original plan was for the federal government to direct foreign affairs, but for the states and local communities to direct the domestic and the moral ones.

For more information on God’s hand in American history, contact WallBuilders at 1808REBUILD.

Rick:

Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us today. We’re going to dive right back in with George Barna speaking at the ProFamily Legislators Conference.

Mental Health

George:

The 54% are willing to tell us that and that’s not a socially desirable thing to be waving it out in public. That means that probably we’re closer to two-thirds, maybe three quarters, maybe we’re back up at that 75% who lacked purpose. But we’d look at all of these kinds of things, National Institute of Mental Health confirms, even by the way that they measure these things that, yeah, there’s a lot of that going around these days. Look at the fact that 30% of millennials in this study said that they identify as LGBTQ. 30%.

Now, I’m disappointed because a lot of media outlets are focusing on that number. They’re missing the big picture. We got to be careful in interpreting that number, that 30%, they’re not saying that they’re living the lifestyle. What they’re saying is they’re struggling to fit in. They want to be part of their generation. Their generation buys into LGBTQ stuff. And so by and large, what they’re saying is, I’m okay with it. I don’t live it. But I identify with the “okayness” of being somebody like that. Why not? They don’t have a biblical worldview that would put any limits on any behavior. And so it’s perfectly acceptable.

But you look at some of the mental health challenges they have, they’re very self-centered. When we talk about life is not you, it’s all about God. He created you for Him and His purpose is to pursue His agenda and His principles. It’s like a shocker to them. It’s like, wait a minute, it’s not about me? Yeah. 

People in Pain

I mean, this is a revelation in and of itself. So everything right now revolves around Him. Why? Do you know who are the kinds of people who have that kinds of outlook?

People in pain. And that’s what this generation is. They put on a happy face. They appear to be very optimistic. They think in the end it’s all going to turn out. They don’t have a clue how, they don’t know how they can contribute to it. They don’t see a role for God within it.

So we’ve got to be apprised of these things. Again, with all of this, it comes back to worldview. How can you have constant anxiety, deep depression, fear from moment to moment? It’s because we don’t recognize who we are in Christ. It’s because we don’t recognize the authority of God. It’s because we don’t see how all these things fit together, and what God has for us in life.

And then you look at elements of what their worldview is, most millennials believe in karma. Wow, that would make me depressed too. Not because it’s an Eastern mystical concept, but because what karma says is you’ll get what you deserve. I am thrilled to be a Christian because I know Jesus is not going to give me what I deserve.

It’s a completely different way of understanding how life works. We could look at some of their other beliefs. Most millennials do not believe that God exists. I’ll get to that hopefully in a minute if I shut up and get on with my presentation. But what we find is that they don’t believe in God. They don’t believe there is absolute moral truth. They don’t believe in life after death. 

Yeah, I think I’d be struggling with mental health issues as well if I didn’t believe that there was a God in charge of the universe, who made me who loves me, who controls the world around me, who takes care of me, who guides me forward, who gives me a reason to get out of bed in the morning. If I didn’t have all that, I’d be in the same boat. And so it’s only that biblical worldview that helps me to understand why to keep going.

Another Big Issue

Another big issue that came out of the study has to do with their relationships. And again, the bottom line on this is that they’re having great difficulty developing meaningful, lasting relationships. What they’re finding is that all of their friendships are like a revolving door. They’re here today, gone tomorrow. 

There’s no consistency. There’s no constancy in their life. This is a generation that, by and large, because of their worldview, that’s incredible worldview they have, they’re unwilling to make lasting connections, and yet they expect other people to make those commitments to them. And so the inconsistency is killing them there. We could go on with a lot of the different things about the relationships.

But when you have a syncretistic worldview, you’re in a place where what you believe is that other people exist to satisfy your needs. And so it’s a form of usury: you look at other people as a means to your ends. And ultimately, you’re not going to develop great relationships that way. 

You look at the fact that as we studied these individuals, they’re a generation that talks about the importance of tolerance. But again, here’s the importance of beliefs and behavior, measuring both, we found that they’re the ones who are most likely to say tolerance is critical. When we measure the behaviors, they’re the least tolerant generation of all.

And so that inconsistency where that’s how they want other people to treat them but they’re not willing to treat other people in the same. This is the first generation I’ve seen that a majority rejects the idea of treat others the way you want to be treated, the golden rule. They’ve never heard of the term golden rule, by and large. But when we explain that to them, what we found is a majority was a no, that doesn’t work. And so yeah, no wonder they’re struggling with relationships. To them, love is a feeling. Why? Because it is about them. It’s about how I feel. It’s not about a long-term commitment, where I might have to sacrifice for the good of somebody else.

Rick:

Alright, friends, quick break, we’ll be right back. You’re listening to WallBuilders Live.

The 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:

Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us today. We’re going to dive right back in with George Barna speaking at the ProFamily Legislators Conference.

Real Relationships

George:

Biblical worldview, completely different ideas about how do you initiate and maintain a real relationship with other people, and it’s about giving of yourself to others, not just looking for what you can take from others? Why would you look to take? Because you’re needy, because you’re hurting, because you’re in pain, and because you’re biblically illiterate. You don’t understand what God has taught us.

We can look at some of the faith transitions, these things are all blowouts. This is the first generation in America’s history, at least since we’ve had these kinds of surveys, I’m willing to bet even before that, that you’ve got more people in this category that I call the don’ts than we do among people who have an orthodox biblical view of God. 

The don’ts are people who don’t know if God exists, don’t believe that God exists, or don’t care if God exists. 40% of millennials are in the don’ts category. 35% believe that there is a God who is the creator of the universe, he’s all-knowing, all-powerful. He’s loving, He’s just, and He’s still in charge of that universe today. That’s only 35%.

we can look at three out of four of them believe that really it doesn’t matter what faith you belong to, or you believe in or you accept, as long as you have some kind of faith inclination. We can look at the fact that while 28% of Americans fit in that theologically defined born-again category, we find that’s only 16% among millennials. Now, this is fascinating to me.

We did some favourability testing, you do this in your campaign surveys, or at least you should, and as we looked at different entities, that they would have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of, highest favorable opinion of all the individuals we studied was Jesus Christ. Now, do they know who he is? Not personally. Do they know what He taught? Absolutely not. Do they understand what he stands for? 

No. But there’s still something about the image of Jesus Christ as a good loving person that they find attractive. So it’s not hopeless. We could move forward in that. But again, only 31% of them, about 3 out of 10 believe that the Bible is the true and reliable Word of God.

Millennials and Jesus

So simply going to them and saying, but the Bible says, their response is going to be yeah, what else He got? That doesn’t impress me. So they’re rejecting organized religion. They like Jesus. I mean, there’s some good things about Christianity in their minds. But among those are not Christians and pastors. 

Because when we did trust testing of people who hold different positions of influence in the culture, we found that the pastors were fairly low, actually, everybody was fairly low. They don’t trust anybody. So I don’t want to just think loud pastors. But by and large, they don’t believe that pastors are always going to say or do the right things, or even usually.

And so we’ve got issues there. They think most Christians are hypocrites. They don’t believe in a lot of the things that we think are critical. And of course, this comes from the fact that they don’t have a biblical worldview. They do not have the basic foundations that they need in order to make good decisions. I’d encourage you to get that study and read through it. And it’s not a typical study that I did. Somebody else paid for this study and they turned me loose. And then at the end, they look at the report I gave them, they say, wow, that’s hard to get through. So they hired a designer to make it easier to get through. So you’ll enjoy it. A lot of pretty pictures and graphics in there.

Here’s what we got to keep in mind. All these things that we’re talking about: mental health issues, relational issues, purpose and meaning issues, those are symptoms. The cause is worldview. And so when we don’t allow schools to teach the Bible, even as a historical document, when we discourage prayer in public meetings, or disallow it, I mean, all these kinds of changes that have taken place in our culture.

You know what they’re, over the last 25 years, what we’re doing is we’re facilitating more symptoms that emanate from this cause of the fact that people don’t know what God’s principles are. They can’t even make an informed choice about whether or not to embrace a biblical worldview because they don’t know what it is. And so, biblically, of course, this comes back to the parents.

Rick:

Alright, friends, got interrupt just for a second. Got to take a quick break, we’ll be right back. You’re listening to WallBuilders Live.

PATRIOT ACADEMY

Have you noticed the vacuum of leadership in America? We’re looking around for leaders of principle to step up and too often, no one is there. God is raising up a generation of young leaders with a passion for impacting the world around them. They’re crying out for the mentorship and leadership training they need. Patriot Academy was created to meet that need.

Patriot Academy graduates now serve in state capitals around America in the halls of Congress, in business, in the film industry, in the pulpit, and every area of the culture. They’re leading effectively and impacting the world around them. Patriot Academy is now expanding across the nation and now’s your chance to experience this life-changing week that trains champions to change the world.

Visit patriotacademy.com for dates and locations. Our core program is still for young leaders 16 to 25 years old, but we also now have a citizen track for adults, so visit the website today to learn more. Help us fill the void of leadership in America join us in training champions to change the world at patriotacademy.com.

AMERICA’S HISTORY

This is David Barton with another moment from America’s history. Shortly after the American Revolution, America had become the envy of the world. It still remains a wonder of the modern world as 219 years later, America has become the longest ongoing Constitutional Republic in the history of the world. What was the foundation upon which our Founding Fathers established this great nation?

According to John Adams, the foundation was Christianity, John Adams declared “The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. Now I will vowed that I didn’t believe and now believe that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.”

According to Founding Father, John Adams, it was the principles of Christianity which formed the foundation for American government. For more information on God’s hand in American history, contact WallBuilders at 1808 REBUILD.

Rick:

Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us today. We’re going to dive right back in with George Barna speaking at the ProFamily Legislators Conference.

ProFamily Legislators Conference

George:

You look for Deuteronomy 6, various passages in Proverbs and elsewhere, and it talks about how this is the job of parents. What can we be doing to facilitate parents being equipped to raise upcoming generations with a biblical worldview? That’s going to be important. Why am I bothering you with all this? Because I may have shown a version of this chart, maybe two or three years ago, when I talked about what influences us to do what we do and think what we think.

And what we find is that in different stages of our life, there are slightly different influence entities. But notice that third rose colored thing going all the way across, public policy laws, that’s one of the things that’s consistent throughout our lives. Americans right now still believe that the law is important and that they have a responsibility to live by.

What You Do Matters

What you do matters. But what you do doesn’t matter simply because you’re filling up the codebook for your state. What you do matters because people believe that’s telling them what truth for our culture is; in the same way that they believe that Hollywood is explaining truth to us about how we should live; in the same way that in the classroom, teachers based on the curriculum they’re using are giving to children what the parents believe truth would be. So we’ve got to be very careful about all of these areas.

But I want to encourage you to stand strong in everything that you’re doing. Not just making a good policy, not just making a conservative policy, not just making a party compliant policy, but going back and making a policy that conforms or is in harmony with a biblical worldview. If we can do that in our states around the country, Washington becomes irrelevant. This is a critical thing for us to do.

So, final point, when you are tempted to go out and talk about all the crises that you’re making policies for, say whatever you want to the media, but it’s important for you to recognize that the real crisis, the only real crisis we face is a biblical worldview crisis. Thanks so much. God bless all of you.

Rick:

Well, friends, that was George Barna at the ProFamily Legislators Conference. If you happen to tune in today in the middle of the program, you can get today’s entire program and the beginning of that George Barna presentation, all available right now at wallbuilderslive.com. While you’re there at wallbuilderslive.com, be sure to consider making that one-time our monthly contribution. You can do that right there on our website. Thank you for listening today.

WallBuilders Live is a listener-supported program, which means we certainly want you listening, but we also would ask that you would support the program. There’s an easy way to do that at wallbuilderslive.com today, just click on that donate button, take an opportunity to pray for a moment about what you could do to help our program. It could be that you just give up a cup of coffee, some of that expensive coffee out there. I enjoy my expensive coffee, believe me.

Worldview And Millennials, Part 3 – With George Barna

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