Skip to comments.Three Major Faith and Culture Trends for 2014
Posted on 01/22/2014 7:35:33 AM PST by daniel1212
January 21, 2014 - In the not-so distant past, institutions were trusted and valued as important parts of a functioning societyfrom government, corporations and schools to marriage and even organized religion. Yet trust in institutions is quickly giving way to a nation of cynics. New Barna research reports that Americans are ranking their confidence in institutions at abysmal levels. And this institutional skepticism comprises a significant backdrop for the major faith and culture trends of 2014...
During 2013 alone, citizens lamented the failure of their leaders and institutions. From the government shutdown to Pope Francis' public callout of the Vatican bank to the whistleblowing of the NSA to the problematic rollout of Obamacare, Americans were reminded again and again that institutions apparently have a habit of breaking promises. The Associated Press even went so far as to call 2013 "The Year of Dysfunction, Discord and Distrust."..
1) The role of "church" generates both more skeptics and stronger apologists.
When it comes to the value of a local church, Americans are now essentially lumped into three groups: those who say it is necessary to attend church, those who say it is not, and those who are on the fence about the value of local church participation. What's surprising is that these three groups roughly divide the country's adult population in thirds, leading to a tremendous tug-of-war between pro-church and naysayers...
The rising resistance to faith institutions is evidenced in the newer language used to discuss spirituality today. When it comes to matters of the soul, disclaimers are emerging as the new faith identifiers. Today, there are those who self-describe as "spiritual, but not religious"individuals who like to associate with what they perceive as the positive elements of spirituality but not the negative associations of organized religion. Or consider the rise of the "Nones"the much-discussed adults who are religiously unaffiliated and who don't want to use any conventional label for their religious faith. And in many places, the prefix "post-" is being attached to matters of faith. Post-Christian. Post-denominational. Post-evangelical. Post-religious.
So what does all of this mean for church leaders? New Barna research highlights a renewed urgency for spiritual substancenot the worship style, the dress code, or the programs, but the substance of what it means to participate in church. The research shows the top reason people (39%) choose a church is for its teaching. On the opposite end, it's also the top reason they'd leave a church63% say they would leave if they disagree with the teachings...
2) Americans wrestle with a culture of violence.
... new Barna research found adults name bullying at school (36%) as their top concern on issues of violence today. What is perhaps doubly alarming about such bullying is that it is happening on school groundswithin the halls of what is supposed to be a safe environment. Gang violence (34%) and domestic violence (33%) are also cited as primary concerns. Additionally, support of institutionally sanctioned violence is hitting a significant low. Only about one-quarter (26%) of all adults agree with the statement, "I have a patriotic duty to support the wars my country fights."
On a personal level, many Americansthough certainly not alladmit that they are wrestling with how to navigate a culture increasingly comfortable with violence. Nearly half of adults (47%) say they are less comfortable with violence than 10 years ago. This number is even more pronounced among practicing Christians (59%).
3) Trust in the public school system is failing.
A third trend for 2014 illustrating institutional distrust hits at the heart of the nation's future: its children. Every fall, a majority of parents entrust their child's future anew to the public school systemsbut Barna's research shows more and more are feeling conflicted about this course of action for their child.
Barna's study highlights two major perceptions when it comes to America's public schoolsboth negative. First, nearly half of adults (46%) believe public schools have only gotten worse in the past five years. And while more than eight out of 10 adults with school-aged children send their kids to public school, only 26% of those parents say public school is their first choice.
And yet, there is also a positive perception reflecting the countertrend: 66% of all Americans believe "churches and faith-based groups should be given more opportunities to support local schools." What's more, pastors are in nearly unanimous agreement95% believe Christians should get involved in helping public schools and 85% of practicing Christians agree with them.
The specifics, of course, of how to help vary. Yet only 16% of churchgoing Christians believe "more prayer and religious values" in school is enough of a solution. Far more see encouraging teachers (36%), supporting alternative education options (25%) and volunteering at local schools (24%) as more viable means of academic reform...
© Barna Group, 2014
Also for extensive stats from multiple sources (mostly from approx. 1990 to recent times) see here
Spiritual etc. demogrphics btwn states are here .
As many have discovered, “Hope” and “Change” for the good does not come from government or politicians. The only change that will make a difference will be a change in the hearts of the American People who run the show in America. Like Adam, the American People have handed their power over to the diabolical devises of government and put their trust in politicians. But God in his great mercy may very well save our country once again by causing a sweeping spiritual change and awakening across our land, causing the American People to rise up, put their trust in the Lord, not man, and take back their country. May it be so, Lord.
Thanks for posting this.
The first stat seems accurate. As much as atheists like to crow about their gains among American youth, many are just becoming liberal spiritualists (my mother is one of these deluded souls). I would have liked some delineation between mainline and conservative churches.
Secondly, our culture is saturated by violence. Quentin Tarantino’s latest movie trial balloon involves a homosexual murdering Christians in the south. Is it any wonder Christians see this as more of a concern since around the world, they are the target of most violence, and now that is being played out on the T.V. screens of America?
As for bullying’s increase in prominence, either this is nanny-statism proclaiming more and more benign actions as bullying, or more likely, anti-bullying programs have actually increased bullying... as many conservatives predicted.
Thirdly, this is great news. We are fighting a war against communist radicals in the USA and one of their greatest weapons has been public education, brought in by avowed Marxist, John Dewey. Public school is not some age-old western tradition. It’s fundamentally anti-western and was developed on the heels on nihilistic philosophy and the statist dreams that followed. Adolf Hitler was a public school pioneer.
It’s good to see schools discredited, whether by their substandard education rates, exposure of left wing teachers, or union actions like protecting a child molester in Wisconsin.
The end of public schooling in this country will see a revival of America and the beginning of the end for the communist plot to destroy us.
I declare a goal, that we have less than 8/10 parents sending kids to public school by 2018, and on from there. Denounce it whenever you can.
I think we will see an exponential growth of home groups not affiliated with any organized religion. Those home groups will also be those who primarily home school.
From your lips to God's ear.
One can't "market" spirituality nor can one teach a person how to love God. What these surveys really says is believers hearts are growing cold and embracing sinfulness. Thus we see no fruit. We need to be asking God's forgiveness.
Sorry about your mom. . Pray. You may find these stats interesting here .
I would have liked some delineation between mainline and conservative churches.
Its good to see schools discredited, whether by their substandard education rates, exposure of left wing teachers, or union actions like protecting a child molester in Wisconsin.
Thanks for the links.
This is what God had Amos pen regarding these ‘days’.
Amos 8:11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that *I* will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:
12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.....
Culture Trends sure do demonstrate the fulfillment of this prophecy.