Study Reveals Most American Pastors Silent on Current Issues Despite Biblical Beliefs

Bible Pew pdMost pastors believe that the Bible addresses the current issues of the day, but few speak about them from behind the pulpit, according to a recent study from a prominent research organization.

George Barna was a guest on the American Family Radio program “Today’s Issues” on Thursday, where he explained a research project that he has been working on for the past two years. In his study, Barna’s organization asked pastors across the country about their beliefs regarding the relevancy of Scripture to societal, moral and political issues, and the content of their sermons in light of their beliefs.

“‘What we’re finding is that when we ask them about all the key issues of the day, [90 percent of them are] telling us, ‘Yes, the Bible speaks to every one of these issues,” he explained. “Then we ask them: ‘Well, are you teaching your people what the Bible says about those issues?’ and the numbers drop…to less than 10 percent of pastors who say they will speak to it.”

Barna’s group also polled pastors about what factors they use to gauge whether or not a church is successful.

“There are five factors that the vast majority of pastors turn to,” he outlined. “Attendance, giving, number of programs, number of staff, and square footage.”

“What I’m suggesting is [those pastors] won’t probably get involved in politics because it’s very controversial. Controversy keeps people from being in the seats, controversy keeps people from giving money, from attending programs,” Barna said.

Pastor Chuck Baldwin, a radio broadcaster and former presidential candidate, commented on the study in an article published on Friday entitled Odds Are that Your Pastor is Keeping the Truth from You Instead of Preaching It. He opined that Barna’s research shows that most pastors deliberately choose not to speak on the issues of the day despite knowing that the Bible speaks to them.

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“That 90% of America’s pastors are not addressing any of the salient issues affecting Christian people’s political or societal lives should surprise no one,” he wrote. “It has been decades since even a sizable minority of pastors have bothered to educate and inform their congregations as to the Biblical principles relating to America’s political, cultural and societal lives.”

“Please understand this: America’s malaise is directly due to the deliberate disobedience of America’s pastors—and the willingness of the Christians in the pews to tolerate the disobedience of their pastor. Nothing more! Nothing less!” Baldwin continued. “When Paul wrote his own epitaph, it read, ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.’ (II Timothy 4:7) He didn’t say, ‘I had a large congregation, we had big offerings, we had a lot of programs, I had a large staff, and we had large facilities.'”

“It is time for Christians to acknowledge that these ministers are not pastors; they are CEOs. They are not Bible teachers; they are performers. They are not shepherds; they are hirelings,” he said. “It is also time for Christians to be honest with themselves: do they want a pastor who desires to be faithful to the Scriptures, or do they want a pastor who is simply trying to be ‘successful?'”

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  • akaGaGa

    The problem is not what pastors are teaching (or not teaching.) The problem is that churches were not designed to be “run” by pastors. A quick read of Pagan Christianity by Frank Viola and the above-mentioned George Barna will make this very clear.

  • Right on point! Praise! the Lord. Many pastors and congregants are “professing” Christians — unregenerate. Therefore, they are very comfortable w/the way things are inside their church buildings and, they would prefer keeping it that way. I wouldn’t call that disobedience because they never were right with God in the first place. It is natural what they do. They are blind to the truths of God because they do not want to Repent and turn to Him. They love their sin – Pride. All the more the reason for Pastors called by God to speak out the names of all these so-called Pastors to warn the sheep about them and their so-called churches. Otherwise, we are as guilty as they in this sense and we will give an account to God for our part.

  • Jesus said it best, John 10: 13,, “The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.” Just a thought.

  • Amen, akaGaGa. “…The problem is that churches were not designed to be “run” by pastors.” We agree!
    Let’s be brave and return to the roots of NT church principles.

    At least, pastors should be expected to be brave, standing on and defending the “once and for all delivered faith” (Jude 3). Even if it might cost prison or so.

  • David

    Great Article. Question: if God’s Word never change, why is there so many different version of the Bible? Are we getting teach the WORD OF GOD or water down bible which is nothing more than commentary of men. If the sheep is not getting feed the truth, then the fruit will be tainted. Thus the great falling away. Eat true food, not genetic modified.Remember how Satan temp Eve, by changing God’s Word.

  • “Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead reprove [expose, NASB] them.” (Ephesians 5:11)

    Silence is always golden. Sometimes it’s just yellow!

    Today’s antinomian (anti-law), anti-dominion theology infecting today’s pulpits and theology is as much to blame for this as anything else.

    What was Christendom (Christians dominionizing society on behalf of their King) in 17th-century Colonial America has tragically devolved into mere 4-walled Christianity, aka Christendumb. Today’s Christians are best depicted by Christ in Matthew 5:13 as salt that’s lost its savor, good for nothing but to be trampled under the foot of man.

    For more, see blog article “Self-Imposed Impotence.” Click on my name, then our website. Go to our Blog and search on title.

    Then “10 Reasons the Kingdom Here On Earth Isn’t Mission Impossible.”