George Barna: Election 2020 Will be a Battle of Competing Worldviews

Did you know that 98% of those who favor socialism over capitalism completely reject a biblical worldview? Or that people with a biblical worldview tend to be more conservative on a host of issues than those without?

Those are the findings contained in the latest report from Dr. George Barna, who is one of the most respected pollsters in the nation on subjects involving Christianity. He is currently a professor at Arizona Christian University and the Director of Research for the university’s Cultural Research Center.

Barna’s latest analysis of the American Worldview Inventory 2020 takes on differing worldviews as they affect political leanings, with an emphasis on what he calls “integrated disciples,” i.e., people with a biblical worldview, and what they believe compared to other worldviews.

Just because a survey respondent may think they possess a biblical worldview doesn’t factor in to Barna’s methodology. He doesn’t even ask that question. But he does pose a series of belief and action questions that sort out whether a person actually believes and lives according to a biblical worldview.

Seven out of ten Americans say they are Christians when asked by pollsters. Barna’s results, however, indicate that only 6% actually hold a biblical worldview. Those “integrated disciples,” according to Barna, tend to hold conservative political views in greater numbers than adults without a biblical worldview.

For example, they pay more attention to political news (70%) than those without a biblical worldview (57%). They believe in the definition of marriage as one man and one woman, 95% vs. 34%, and are more “deeply committed” to practicing their religious faith, 98% to 57%.

Those with a biblical worldview are more conservative in their fiscal views, 80% vs. 42%, and two and a half times more likely to be conservative on social issues, 91% vs. 34%. More than eight out of ten (83%) prefer capitalism to socialism, while only 57% of adults without a biblical worldview prefer capitalism. They prefer smaller government by 83% to 38%.

What does all this mean for the 2020 elections?

With regard to political affiliation, voters with a biblical worldview skew 8% Democrat, 65% Republican, and 15% Independent. Those without a biblical worldview line up as 36% Democrat, 25% Republican and 18% Independent.

Barna argues that politics is no longer about party platforms but competing worldviews. “The raging political wars in America, with the population seemingly irreconcilably divided, is not really the result of the divergent political platforms of the leading parties or differing opinions of the candidates, as much as it is about the worldview differences that separate factions within our country,” he writes. “In fact, recent battles over how to respond to the coronavirus and the urban lawlessness triggered by the indefensible murder of George Floyd are primarily outgrowths of conflicting worldviews.”

“One of the important implications of a worldview is that people do what they believe,” he states. “Over the past 40 years Americans have been gradually but consistently abandoning a range of foundational, biblical beliefs in favor of a human-centric, consensual, emotion-driven understanding of and response to the world. That transition has been highly visible in relation to morality and political preferences.”

This gradual shift in worldview has shown up less in previous elections, according to Barna, because left-leaning moderates have been less politically active.

“But come November 3 we will know which worldview has won the hearts of Americans and will then determine the foundation for the nation’s values, lifestyles, and public policy for the near future.”

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