The WallBuilders Show

Unveiling Worldview's Role in Cultural and Mental Health Challenges

February 06, 2024 Tim Barton, David Barton & Rick Green
The WallBuilders Show
Unveiling Worldview's Role in Cultural and Mental Health Challenges
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Discover the intersection of faith and culture as we delve into the heart of America's pressing issues through a biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective. Grasp the significance of worldview in shaping our nation's future as George Barna unveils striking insights on cultural trends and the mental health epidemic. This episode isn't just a discourse; it's an arsenal of wisdom for those yearning to understand and act upon the challenges facing upcoming generations.

As the mantle of leadership passes to millennials, we explore the heavy burden this generation carries, laden with anxiety, depression, and addiction. Their influence stretches beyond their numbers, directly impacting the fabric of our society as they raise the next wave of citizens. We unravel the profound necessity of nurturing a worldview grounded in truth, highlighting the limitations of policy without the foundation of robust, life-guiding beliefs. Join us on a journey to grasp why changing hearts and minds is paramount to steering our cultural ship.

Concluding with the potent dangers of syncretism, we present a clarion call to the men and women in the halls of legislature. The ProFamily Legislators Conference stands as a beacon for those ready to fortify their resolve with biblical truths. We're igniting a conversation that doesn't just dissect problems but ignites solutions, equipping lawmakers with the necessary tools to shape a thriving nation. Tune in and discover how you, too, can contribute to a legacy of transformation and hope.

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Rick Green:

This is the intersection of faith and culture. It's WallBuilders where we take on the hottest topics of the day from a biblical, historical and constitutional perspective. I'm Rick Green, America's Constitution Coach and former Texas legislator, honored to serve here with David and Tim Barton. David is America's premier historian and our founder at Wall Builders. Tim Barton is a national speaker, and pastor and president of WallB uilders. You can learn more about all three of us at our website, wallbuilders. com.

Rick Green:

Go to wallbuilders. com today. There's a lot of great tools for you there, a lot of great information, things you can learn and share with friends and family. Get them equipped and engaged in the culture. Can't do this alone. It's going to take all of us to save this nation and we got to have good information to do that. We got to have good data, good information. We got to understand what's going on in the culture. It's sort of a men of Issaacar type thing. You remember in the Bible it talks about the men of Issaacar. They understood the times and they knew what to do. So do you understand the times and know what to do? So that's a great reason to listen to WallBuilders and to share the program with everybody that you know what we're going to do is we're going to share with you, today and tomorrow, a presentation by George Barna at the Pro Family Legislators Conference just a few weeks back.

Rick Green:

Barna, of course, author of over 50 books, just incredible information. Best pollstering, and I say pollster, is really more data. It's more surveying that he does on where the trends are going, what people are thinking, what they believe. A lot of it, frankly, is depressing when you think about where people are, but at the same time it tells you where we are. You got to assess the patient. You got to know where the bullet hole is to stop the bleeding. You got to be able to really understand what's going on in the country, and George is fantastic at that. He does some of the teaching in our most popular course, Biblical Citizenship in Modern America, which you can get at WallBuilders. com today. We're going to bring you George's presentation at the Profamily Legislators Conference. Let's jump in. George Barna speaking at the Profamily Legislators Conference.

George Barna:

Well, good morning. It's great to be here with all of you. Last night I don't know if you were here we had kind of the state roll call. I lived primarily in California. I was kind of embarrassed by the turnout from Californians. I didn't want you to go away with the wrong ideas about California, so I just wanted to do a very brief, quick introduction to what California is really about.

George Barna:

I bring you greetings from our esteemed leaders in the state, and there are a lot of great things going on in California. You know that the Barbie movie now has made over billion dollars around the world and there are all kinds of new action figures coming out of that. We have the new California Barbie that is available. We've made a lot of progress environmentally. We've outlawed plastic straws and that's working out really well for us, as you can see. And we're also a leader in education, and so we have a new twist on math, as you can see there. And in addition, we've been just coming up in the polls, you know, as they measure things about how well we're doing in education, and I can tell the four states that are behind us by who is and is not laughing. But apart from that, we've got a lot of new, innovative policies, and so we're going public with those, and you can feel free to copy these in your state if you'd like. You know we're used to being imitated and you know part of it goes back to having great leadership, people who really understand a problem and can solve it well, and so, once again, feel free to follow our lead. The election is coming up, and so we're addressing the tough issues, so, anyway, I do want to welcome you to come and visit us, because you'll meet all kinds of people you've never met before, trust me. So, anyway, I just wanted to represent California as it needs to be represented, given where we're at now, but it is a privilege to be here. I wanted to share with you a couple of things. We'll see how the time goes.

George Barna:

I get off track sometimes because I get excited about these things, but the first thing that I want to talk with you about has to do with mental illness. This is a thing that most of you, if not all of you, are having to deal with in your state through public office, and I would suggest that perhaps mental health is the second most overlooked challenge in America today. There's recently a study done by Gallup among the chief human resource officers at companies around the country and they looked at the mental health of employees and there's a lot of different aspects of this data. One of the things that's interesting is if you look at those who are assessed as being average or below average, it's a huge majority of what we're looking at more than four out of every five employees. So it's not just people in the health industry who recognize that there are issues. If you look at the existing statistics about what kind of health, mental health issues we're facing.

George Barna:

I'm giving you two columns of data here. The second one I added because I think millennials are a very important and interesting group to look at. But if you look at any diagnosable mental disorder, it's estimated that one out of three millennials fit into that category. That's an enormous number of people go down serious mental disorders one out of ten. Any anxiety disorder one out of four. Check these out. You know major depressive episodes within the past year twice the national norm. You look at serious suicidal thoughts again just about twice the national norm with that population. Alcohol addiction, drug addiction.

George Barna:

Why would we study millennials? Why focus on them? They're the biggest generation in America's history, but maybe even more important than that is what they represent in our culture. They're the vast majority of the parents of children under the age of 13 in our country, and, given the fact that that's a profile a mental health profile of our primary parenting generation, tells us something about what we can expect in the future, and so this is not something to ignore. I mean, they're also very significant in terms of the amount of the economy that they control and that they divert, the number of jobs that they hold or, in their case, do not hold, the voting patterns with that particular generation, the reasons for their votes and, of course, how media works in their lives.

Rick Green:

Our folks quick break will be right back. As George Barna you're listening to, he's speaking at the pro-familite legislators conference and you're listening to WallBuilders.

David Barton:

This is David Barton, with another moment from America's history Around 1790, the infamous Thomas Paine wrote his age of reason, attacking religion and Christianity. Interestingly, one of the strongest defenders against Paine's attack was Benjamin Franklin. In fact, he stiffly rebuked Paine and told him he that spits in the wind spits in his own face. Do you imagine any good would be done by this attack against religion? Think how great a portion of mankind consists of youth who have need of the motives of religion to restrain them from vice, to support their virtue. I would advise you not to attempt unchanging the tiger, but to burn this piece before it is seen by any other person. If men are so wicked with religion, what would they be if without it? Benjamin Franklin believed that the practice of religion was one of the greatest assets of American society. For more information on God's hand in American history, contact WallBuilders at 1-800-8-REBUILD.

Rick Green:

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 and business, in the film industry, in the pulpit and every area of the culture. They're leading effectively and impacting the world around them.

Rick Green:

Patriot Academy is now expanding across the nation and now is your chance to experience this life-changing week that trains champions to change the world. Visit Patriotac ademy. 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 Patriota cademy. com. Welcome back to Wall. Thanks for staying with us. We're going to jump right back in to the presentation from George Barna.

George Barna:

We did a study recently and one of the things that we discovered this is in a book I put out earlier this year called Helping Millennials Thrive. Where we work up a lot of ministry leaders across the country said what can we do to help this generation? They're crying out for help. And the pastor said how do you know that it's like? Well, we know the majority of them admit, and we know that most of them won't admit it, but but a majority of them admit that they regularly or often feel anxious, depressed or fearful. Imagine going through every day of your life as if it's election day. Okay, I mean, that's probably the closest you'll come to relating to this. But you know I mean talk about anxiety, depression, fear, suicidal thoughts. You know this is, this is what they're wrestling with, and and so the reason I'm bringing this up is because I want to talk to you about how to think about policy in this regard, and I mentioned earlier that I believe that mental health issues may be the second most overlooked area of policy and and challenges in our country. I would say the most overlooked area has to do with worldview. World view development is the most overlooked thing in America today, even if we just limit the scope of our conversation to what's going on in churches. I can tell you, from the research that I do, that most churches Are not thinking about world view development. I have a whole other presentation I'd love to do for you folks sometime on that. We don't have time today.

George Barna:

But keep in mind that every single human being has a worldview. You have to have a worldview to get through the day, because your worldview is the intellectual, emotional and spiritual filter that helps you to experience, understand, interpret and respond to every situation, every condition, every opportunity that you face in life, every moment of every day. A different way of saying this is that your worldview essentially determines who you are, how you're going to live, what you're striving to accomplish and achieve and to be in your life. It's the sum of your core beliefs and behaviors. But here's the key thing to know is that your worldview is so necessary Because it's the basis of every single decision that you make every day. That's why you need your worldview and that, by the way, is why, when we look at what's going on in America, we have this notion that if we can just change every policy, every law, all of these kinds of things. We can change the culture. No, you can't! Because what we're experiencing in our culture is the outgrowth of the cumulative worldview of America.

George Barna:

Now Chad mentioned before, maybe it was David, mentioned that six percent of American adults have a biblical worldview. Our most recent data from this year actually is four percent. And when we look at millennials, it's two percent. And when we look at their children, teenagers, adolescents, it's one percent. We are rapidly moving toward the extinction of a biblical worldview in America.

George Barna:

And you say but that can't be because we've got pastors who are teaching scripture. Actually, we did that research too, and what we discovered is that currently, 37% of all pastors at Christian churches in America 37% have a biblical worldview. Which means that if you pick a random Christian church to go to, it's twice as likely that you will not be exposed to biblical teaching as you will be. And the single most debilitating fact that came out of that research is only 12% of children's and youth pastors have a biblical worldview, which another way of saying that is you put your children in spiritual jeopardy if you bring them to a church. I'm not the most popular guy. I mean, this is what we're talking about 7 out of 8 children's pastors do not have a biblical worldview. Why does that matter? Because a person's worldview is fully developed by the age of 13.

George Barna:

And so what do churches do? We focus on adults? I'm not sure, well, I am sure why, I'll tell you the research on that. But I mean, adults typically do not change. It takes a crisis in their life in order for their worldview to change.

George Barna:

And so the fact that even in churches, among born-again Christians, we've only got 13% not if people call themselves born-again but people say when I die, I'll go to heaven only because I confess my sins, I ask Jesus to be my savior, I'm repenting of those sins, I want my life to change.

George Barna:

Among that group, only 13% has a biblical worldview. We haven't been talked to think biblically, and so, as you're thinking about what you can be doing, recognize that that personal philosophy of life, a worldview, is developed by the age of 13, starts developing at 15 to 18 months of age. And so what you're doing in terms of policies that affect children, just like what churches are doing, what they do that affects children, is the most important stuff you can be doing. So think a little bit differently, perhaps, about how you go about doing this. Now, recognize that in America you've got dozens of different worldviews that you can choose from, and the biblical worldview is just one of those options, and it's perhaps the one that they're exposed to least frequently. But what you want people to do is to embrace that biblical worldview. Why? Because it helps you to think like Jesus.

Rick Green:

Another break, folks, stay with us. You're listening to WallBuilders.

Tim Barton:

Hi friends! This is Tim Barton of WallBuilders. This is a time when most Americans don't know much about American history or even Hebrews of the faith, and I know oftentimes for parents we're trying to find good content for our kids to read and if you remember, back to the Bible, to the book of heroes, it has the Faith Hall of Fame where they outlined the leaders of faith that had gone before them. Well, this is something that, as Americans, we really want to go back and outline some of these heroes, not just of American history, but heroes of Christianity and our faith as well. We're going to talk about some biographical sketches we have available on our website.

Tim Barton:

One is called the Courageous Leaders Collection and this collection includes people like Abigail Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Francis Scott Key, George Washington Carver, Susanna Wesley, even the Wright Brothers, and there's a second collection called Heroes of History. In this collection you'll read about people like Benjamin Franklin or Christopher Columbus, Daniel Boone, George Washington, Harriet Tubman, friends, the list goes on and on. This is a great collection for your young person to have and read and it's a providential view of American and Christian history. This is available at wallbuilders. com. It's www. wallbuilders. com.

Rick Green:

Welcome back to Wall Builders. Going back to George Barna at the ProFammy Legislators Conference.

George Barna:

That's what a worldview does. It determines how you think, and what do we want to do? We want to think like Jesus, but why? Just so that we can call ourselves Christians? No, because you do what you believe and so you want to think like Jesus, so that you can live like Jesus. I've changed the way that I do research over the last 20 years, because when I discovered this principle, I realized people are telling me a lot of stuff that they don't really believe. They say they believe it, but they don't really believe it. How did I know that? Because I started looking at the interrelationship between what they say they believe and what they do. If you believe something, you do it. If you don't believe it, you avoid it, and so what we found is, in most Christian churches, people say, oh yeah, I believe this because it's what they've been told to believe, and yet they don't really buy it in their heart and soul, and so you don't see it emanating from their life, and so it's critical that we measure the right things. There are many different worldviews that people in America are choosing from. See that big word in the middle. Maybe you've heard it, maybe you haven't. What we discovered through our research.

George Barna:

I work at Arizona Christian University, at the Cultural Research Center. We spent all our time measuring worldview in America. This is the most important thing we can understand about the heartbeat of America. We are the only place that consistently measures it. What does that tell you? That Satan has gotten a hold of the church doesn't even have us focusing on the right stuff. And so when we measure worldview, one of the things we discover is that the prevailing worldview, held by more than 9 out of 10 adults and almost all of our children, is syncretism. Syncretism is simply I'm too stupid and too lazy to pick one of these, and so what I do is I pick and choose elements from all these different worldviews and I create my own worldview one that feels good, one that feels comfortable, one that seems popular, one that's convenient, all kinds of reasons. But we don't go back to the key element about a biblical worldview, which is truth, because most Americans have decided you know, it's too hard to believe in truth. Oh my gosh, that changes everything. They'd rather run with their feelings than with God's truth, and that's what brings us to syncretism. So we're in this place where very few people actually are Marxists in America, we buy a few dictums from Marxism. Very few people are postmodernists. We buy a few elements out of postmodernism. Very few, you know. - pick your worldview, it doesn't matter. But we're not buying it lock, stock and barrel. What we're doing is we're creating our own worldview.

George Barna:

Where did this come from? Satan. Think about what a clever adversary he is. Think about the fact that he's not only clever, he's strategic. What has he done? He said you know what? If Americans buy into Marxism, the smart guys in the church are going to be able to blow it out of the water because it's a stupid philosophy. You know, if they buy into secular humanism, the smart guys in the church are going to be able to show what a false worldview that is. Instead, let's get all 233 million adults to develop their own worldview. How are you going to defeat that? And that's what we're up against. That's what syncretism is doing. So that's why the family really needs to step up here and, as you're thinking about what you do in policy, family is what you need to be focusing on as much as anything.

George Barna:

Now, let's go back to millennials, who again are a primary parenting generation dealing with anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, fear, all these things. Look at what they do and do not believe. Only 30% of them believe in the God of Scripture. A higher proportion of them are what I put in the category I call don'ts. People don't know if there's God, don't care if there's God, don't believe that He exists. That's a higher proportion among millennials than those who believe in the all-knowing, all-powerful God that we believe in.

George Barna:

And so do you think that's going to create any sense of anxiety, depression or fear in their life? Yeah, because what does it mean? It means they're in charge of the world. They've got nothing they can turn to in times of crisis. They've got no higher authority that they can turn to for insight and wisdom and guidance. Look at this they've given up on the Bible.

George Barna:

How many of them believe that the Bible, or would say the Bible, is their primary moral guide? About one out of five. Four out of five of them are turning to other sources, usually quote-unquote their heart, their feelings, their emotions, okay, and we know where that leads you. So they've given up on God's word. Again, no source of truth that they can turn to, nothing that will help them figure out how the world works, how it fits together, what their role is within it. You look at things like the fact that only one out of five of them believe that people are born into sin and, by the way, most of them would say but not them. And so you've got this issue where sin is not a reality to them, you know. Now you would say, well, that should make them feel more comfortable. It does, and it does, and it makes them feel more comfortable.

Rick Green:

All right, last interruption of the day. Folks, we've got to take a quick break or we'll be right back. It's George Barna you've been listening to at the Pro Family Legislators Conference.

David Barton:

This is David Barton, with another moment from America's history. As Christians become more active in politics, they must remember to elevate principles above party loyalty. Perhaps the best illustration of this comes from the life of founding father Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, who served in the presidential administrations of John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, each of whom was from a different political party. When Benjamin Rush was asked of his personal party affiliation, he responded I've been alternately called an aristocrat and a Democrat. I am neither. I am a Christocrat. I believe all power will fail at producing order and happiness in the hands of man. He alone, who created and redeemed man, is qualified to govern him. Like Benjamin Rush, we too must remain Christocrats, regardless of our personal party affiliation. For more information on God's hand in American history, contact WallBuilders at 1-800-8-REBUILD.

Rick Green:

We're back here on The WallBuilder Show, jumping right back in with George Barna.

George Barna:

Only 1% of millennials believe they're going to go to hell, but the other 99% don't know what to make of the fact of how life works where they are. And then we can look at things like success. They think success is on their shoulders. It has nothing to do with understanding God's principles and simply consistently obeying them. That's what the Bible teaches us success is. But they've fallen into the world's patterns of thinking about I've got to achieve, I've got to accomplish, I've got to establish myself, I've got to do this, that and the other thing, all coming back on them. How do you put up with that? How do you deal with that? Of course they're depressed, you know. You look at two out of three of them believing karma. What is karma? You're going to get what you deserve. One of the reasons why I'm a follower of Jesus Christ is because he has promised me if I follow Him, I will not get what I deserve. Christianity is the antidote to karma, and yet two out of three millennials buy into karma. In fact, a slight majority of them believe in reincarnation. What difference does that make? Because they realize in their minds they're coming back. So they've got to do the best they can here to try to come back as something other than a cow.

George Barna:

You look at morality. You look at their moral positions way out of bounds in terms of morality. Why not? Because they're running with their feelings. What feels good, do it. That's their moral truth, and so there's a lot of stuff that's off. We could go through all these things. I don't have the time to do it, but check this out.

George Barna:

I put this together because I think this is the mindset of a typical millennial. They don't all think all these things, but on average, this is the normative perspective of millennials. They believe that there are no facts, feelings or the only thing you can pay attention to. There is no ultimate purpose for life. We would say it so that you can serve God with all your mind and strength and soul. And they would say no, it's so that I come back as something other than a cow. They believe you get what you deserve. There's no source of grace that you can turn to because there is no God. Every choice you make is equal to any other choice that you could have chosen. There's no basis for trusting other people. Once again, that feeling of anxiety. You can't trust anybody around you because they've got the same issues, the same desires and lusts, that you've got, they would say, history is meaningless. There's nothing to be learned from it.

Rick Green:

That's it for today, folks. We'll be back tomorrow with George Barnas' conclusion at the Pro Famic Legislators Conference and we've got more of these programs and actually I also want to just recommend that you get this on the radar of legislators that you know the Pro Family Legislators Conference is something that they will be very glad they attended. Great Iron, sharpening Iron a wonderful time, and they'll go back into their legislative session for the following year really equipped and better prepared to gain ground. So make sure you share that with your friends that are legislators. Join us tomorrow. Thanks for joining us today. You've been listening to WallBuilders.

Faith and Culture Intersection Exploration
Millennials' Impact and Mental Health
The Impact of Syncretism on Worldview
ProFamily Legislators Conference Recommendation