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A new study released by the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University has revealed some stark realities about the disparate beliefs of Americans. The study is the Center’s fifth annual American Worldview Inventory, which interviewed 2,000 US adults in January. The researchers focused on the prevalence of 14 worldviews throughout the country and determined that “syncretism” is the pervading worldview of Americans, with 92 percent describing their main worldview in such terms. Syncretism is defined as “a fusion of disparate ideologies, beliefs, behaviors, and principles culled from a variety of competing worldviews into a customized blend.” In second place was a biblical worldview, with four percent adhering to it.

Of the 14 worldviews represented, only four would be considered “monotheistic:” biblical worldview, Judaism, Islam, and Moralistic Therapeutic Deism. Those with syncretic worldviews gathered their beliefs from an average of 10 different worldviews. Those who identified as Christian were also just as likely to identify with syncretism, with 92 percent of self-identified Christians describing their beliefs in syncretic terms. Out of all people who identified with a faith group, Mormons were the most likely to identify with the worldview of their faith, with 24 percent identifying with a Mormon worldview and 76 percent identifying with syncretism.

George Barna, director of the Center, stated the data showed that Americans are looking for guidance, but turning to the wrong sources. “It is disheartening to see how out of whack people’s expectations have become during these chaotic and confusing times. Just as the Jews misunderstood the nature of Jesus’s messiahship some 2,000 years ago, expecting a warrior king who raise Judaism to power, millions of Americans are deceived enough to think that electing the ‘right’ president will bring stability, security, unity, and sanity to America,” he said. He said the country was in need of a “spiritual awakening” that will “foster a deeper understanding of self and society in light of our shared spiritual condition.” He stressed the importance of having a consistent worldview. “Every American adult has a worldview, and every American relies on their worldview every day to make each decision in their life. That’s the function of a worldview. It helps us make decisions that are consistent with what we believe and what we desire.” He added, “Sadly, people have become so self-focused and their beliefs are now so self-serving that no politician elected in 2024 can reasonably be expected to restore common purpose and shared vision to the nation without a serious reshaping of people’s worldviews.”

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