If it feels as though the Bible is being pushed out of the American culture, a new Barna study confirms it.
For its 2019 State of the Bible study, Barna discovered that about half of Americans aren’t engaged with the Bible at all.
In a country built on Judeo-Christian principles and God-given rights, says the American Pastors Network , this is a disturbing trend.
For the most recent survey, Barna and the American Bible Society asked American adults 14 questions about their interactions with and perspectives about the Bible, then defined five segments of Bible engagement measuring concepts such as frequency, centrality and impact.
Nearly half—48%—are classified as “Bible Disengaged,” meaning they interact with the Bible infrequently, if at all, and the Bible has minimal impact on their lives.
“As if this trend wasn’t already evident, this study backs up the fact that not only is the Bible and its universal wisdom being eroded from American families, American government and the American society as a whole, it is the trailing evidence of God being tossed aside in our culture,” said APN president and national host Sam Rohrer. “There was a time in our history when God and His Word—the Bible—was integral to every part of our civilization. We would hardly consider making a decision without it. It was referenced in the home. It was taught in our schools. It was incorporated into our laws and integrated into our courts of justice. It was quoted by politicians, judges, educators and even entertainers. It permeated the great literature of Western Civilization. But with the multitude of attacks on the integrity, inspiration and inerrancy of the Bible over the past century, respect for and interest in the Bible has waned. We no longer have time for the Word of God in our lives. What’s even more dangerous is that when we have no time for the Bible, it means we think we have no time nor need for God!
“What’s being overlooked, however, is the fact that the Bible is crucial to the survival of our nation,” Rohrer added. “Without it, we are lost, our nation declining, freedom fleeting, security gone and God’s blessing removed. As Deuteronomy 4:7-8 says, ‘For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon him for? And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?’ This means that the Bible is the most important book on the planet, in a class by itself, surpassing all others, because the Bible is the Word of God. And for those who choose to push it out of their lives, ruin awaits.”
For the Bible engagement study, Barna also shared these findings:
- The number of “Bible-centered” adults, the top tier in the survey for Bible engagement, has decreased from 9 percent to 5 percent in the past year.
- More than one-third of adults (35%) reports never using the Bible in 2019, a 10 percentage point increase since 2011.
- Roughly two in five U.S. adults (42%) say the Bible has not had such an impact in their lives, while six in 10 adults (59%) believe the Bible has transformed their lives.
- A separate study from LifeWay Research, as reported in The Christian Post, also found that more than half of Protestant churchgoers (55%) have not shared the Gospel in the past six months.