New polling on American adults’ philosophy of life has revealed that millennials are the least likely to believe in Christianity and increasingly unlikely to believe in a deity — or care if one exists at all.
Arizona Christian University’s American Worldview Inventory 2021 found that out of the four generations they polled — millennials, Gen Xers, Baby Boomers, and the Good Generation or “builders,” millennials have moved the furthest from traditional Christian values in their worldviews.
The generations were separated by those born between 1927 and 1945 (“builders”), 1946-1964 (“boomers”), 1965 and 1983 (“Gen X”), and millennials (“1984-2002”).
Gen X and millennials were the least likely to believe they will go to heaven when they die because they’ve accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior and repented of their sins; 26% and just 16% respectively.
Meanwhile, 41% of Baby Boomers believe they will go to heaven because they’ve repented of their sins and accepted Christ, as do 29% of builders.
Meanwhile, a stunning 90% of these builders, who have lived through the bulk of what have arguably been the most transformative period of human history, believe that one ought to treat others as they wish to be treated.
While millennials are more attracted to horoscopes and the idea of “karma” than any other generation, they are also the least likely to believe in this “golden rule” that is at the core of Christian values at just 48%.
Perhaps most noteworthy is that, while a majority of each generation considers themselves to be Christian, the pollsters concluded that 88% of respondents held a syncretistic view, that is, “the mash-up of various worldviews that provides each individual with a customized understanding of, and response to life” as opposed to “a substantively coherent and recognizable worldview such as postmodernism or secular humanism” as their primary worldview.
While the declining adherence to Christian values is certainly concerning, perhaps the lack of a coherent, well-established worldview among the generations who have preceeded millennials is also insightful in spite of the more dominant influence of Christianity on their respective life philosophies.
“Our nation is undergoing a seismic generational shift in worldview driven by younger Americans—many of whom do not know, believe, or care whether God exists, and who overwhelmingly reject traditional moral values as irrelevant today,” ACU’s Cultural Research Center wrote of their findings.
“The beliefs and behaviors of younger Americans, especially Millennials, threaten to reshape the nation’s religious parameters beyond recognition. In fact, this radical spiritual revolution has created a generation seeking a reimagined world without God, the Bible, or churches.”
“Gen X and the Millennials have solidified dramatic changes in the nation’s central beliefs and lifestyles,” explained CRC’s Director of Research, George Barna.
“The result is a culture in which core institutions, including churches, and basic ways of life are continually being radically redefined,” he added.
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