Millennials (18-29 year-olds) are less likely to consider the Bible sacred, less likely to view the Bible as providing meaning and purpose to life, and are more likely not to read the Bible than their older fellow Americans, according to a new survey released by the Barna Group on behalf of the American Bible Society. These negative trends among Millennials are driving down the overall view in America of the Bible. Respect for the Bible among those 30+ years old is also trending downward.
The survey also highlights the following statistics:
- 88% of American homes have a Bible with the average number of Bibles per household at 4.7. But only 37% of Americans read it at least once per week.
- 19% of Americans see the Bible as the actual words of God having no factual errors and they read it at least 4 times a week. 19% are skeptical that the Bible is anything more than another book of men’s teachings or see it in a completely negative light.
- 19% of Millennials believe there’s no such thing as sacred literature while only 13% of those 30+ believe no sacred literature exists.
- Only 30% of Millennials think the Bible doesn’t have enough influence in society while 50% of the rest of the population thinks this.
- While only 26% of non-Millenials never read the Bible, 39% of Millennials never read it.
This reveals a lot and the following are some conclusions I’ve reached that, in my opinion, are probably tied to this trend:
- Many of the Millennials who take to the Internet and spread their skepticism about the Bible aren’t too familiar with it to begin with and what they say should be questioned.
- The skeptical things they may say over the Internet about the Bible are probably based on what others have told them and not what they have found out for themselves by reading the Bible on their own.
- The feeling of most Americans that things are getting worse in America directly correlates to the downward trend in Bible reading and belief in what it says.
- More and more Americans don’t see certain sins that are clearly called sin in the Bible as being wrong–e.g. special rights for homosexuals (including “gay marriage”), drug abuse (including legalization), and envy (think socialism masked behind liberalism/progressivism)–which augments moral decay in America.
- As the importance of the Bible trends downward, so does the United States’ global standing in education, trade, and our drop in the rankings of nations to start a business in.
- A rise in despising the Bible coincides with a rise in anti-Semitism and hatred of Christians.
You can check out the Barna Group’s cool infographics and the full survey at:
American Bible Society/Barna Group. State of the Bible 2014. Americanbiblesociety.org.
But this people hath a revolting and a rebellious heart; they are revolted and gone. Neither say they in their heart, Let us now fear the Lord our God, that giveth rain, both the former and the latter, in his season… Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withholden good things from you. Jeremiah 5:23-25
Harry A. Gaylord