A new survey reveals that Americans are increasingly worried about the future of the country, with a majority now believing that the culture is a corrupting force that negatively impacts children.
The study, which was released last week but conducted in late March by the American Culture and Faith Institute, measured the attitudes of 1,000 people, inquiring about their views about the state of the culture and what the future will be like. The survey also explored specific activities and experiences and how they affect kids.
A slight majority, 51 percent, of American adults now think the culture of the United States has an overall negative influence on children's lives who are 18 years of age or younger.
Adult respondents who identified as "born-again" regard the culture as a negative force in the lives of young people by a 4 to 1 margin, 66 percent to 16 percent. Among those who possess a biblical worldview, more than 9 out of 10 of such respondents, 93 percent, said the culture leaves a negative imprint on children.
When it comes to the future, the outlook of Americans is also dismal. Many believe society is going to continue to get worse.
Sixty percent of respondents said they expected that it will be even more difficult 10 years from now to raise kids who know the values of the Bible and live in keeping with them. Just 11 percent said they believed it would be easier 10 years from now to raise children, with the remaining 29 percent saying they think the condition of culture will stay the same.
The role of faith also had a significant influence on the viewpoints of people with respect to this issue.
"Three-quarters of born again adults (72 percent) foresaw bigger challenges compared to just half of the non-born again adults (55 percent) holding such a view. A bigger gap was found between adults with a biblical worldview (86 percent of whom predicted it would be harder to raise Bible-centered children a decade from now) and those without one (58 percent)," the ACFI report explains.
The respondents were also given a list of 14 conditions, resources, and experiences their children are exposed to and were asked about their impact, describing them as either "better off" or "worse off" experiencing them.
TV entertainment, social media exchanges, and video games were seen as net-negative whereas extended family gatherings, church services, and art exhibits were seen as net-positive.
Fifty-nine percent of respondents viewed "The Bible" as a positive influence; 11 percent viewed it negatively.
George Barna, executive director of ACFI, said the survey was quite revealing.
"Culture is the inescapable context in which children are raised," Barna said.
"But it is adults, including parents, who shape and control that culture. If adults believe our culture is harmful to children — including their own — then why aren't they changing it?" he asked.
Recent research from his organization showed that only 1 in 10 Americans hold a distinctly Christian worldview.
"So I look at the numbers in this survey, and many others regarding peoples' dissatisfaction with our country, and have to ask: Where is the Church? Where are the disciples of Christ, who are required to be light in the darkness, to be the soul and conscience of the nation? What excuses can we possibly accept for the decrepit state of the nation in which we have influence, or for allowing society to undermine our children and their future?" he asked.