81 Percent Of Americans Are ‘Concerned About Declining Moral Behavior In Our Nation’

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

Could it be possible that Americans are more concerned about declining standards of morality than most of us initially thought? A very surprising new survey conducted by LifeWay Research has discovered that a whopping 81 percent of Americans agree with this statement: “I am concerned about declining moral behavior in our nation.” If you follow my work on a regular basis, you already know that moral decay is a theme that I keep coming back to time after time. To me it is quite obvious that moral behavior is deteriorating all around us, but I had no idea that so many other Americans were deeply concerned about the exact same thing.


Since so many people agree that we are facing a moral crisis, the solution should be very simple right?

Unfortunately it is more complicated than that, because there is very little agreement about what our moral values should actually be. Once upon a time the Bible formed the basis for morality in American society, but today things are entirely different.

In 2017, our notions of “right” and “wrong” are constantly shifting because they are not based on anything permanent. The same LifeWay Research survey that I quoted above also found that among Americans 35 years of age and younger, less than 40 percent believe that “right and wrong do not change”…

A new study from Nashville-based LifeWay Research found a significant generation gap in how Americans view morality.

More than 6 in 10 of those older than 45 say right and wrong do not change. For those 35 and younger, fewer than 4 in 10 make that claim.

Needless to say, these survey results appear to be quite contradictory. How can moral behavior be “declining” if we can’t even know for sure what is right and what is wrong?

The same survey also found that nearly two-thirds of Americans (63 percent) believe that “implementing laws to encourage people to act morally is not effective.”

To me, this doesn’t make any sense at all. The truth is that all laws are based on somebody’s values, and all laws are designed to get people to act in a certain way or to not act in a certain way.

If laws are not effective, why do our politicians constantly pass more of them? The reason why most of us adhere to the speed limit is because we don’t want the punishment of getting a ticket. I don’t even want to imagine what our roads would be like if those speed limit laws did not exist, and so I am quite glad that they are there.

The government is constantly “imposing morality” upon us, but most Americans don’t seem to like that.

And Americans are increasingly rejecting church as a moral authority as well. Sam Eaton is the founder of Recklessly Alive Ministries, and in his most recent article he noted a recent study that discovered that less than 20 percent of all American adults under the age of 30 “believe attending a church is important or worthwhile”…

According to this study (and many others like it) church attendance and impressions of the church are the lowest in recent history, and most drastic among millennials described as 22- to 35-year-olds.

  • Only 2 in 10 Americans under 30 believe attending a church is important or worthwhile (an all-time low).
  • 59 percent of millennials raised in a church have dropped out.
  • 35 percent of millennials have an anti-church stance, believing the church does more harm than good.
  • Millennials are the least likely age group of anyone to attend church (by far).

As I sat in our large church’s annual meeting last month, I looked around for anyone in my age bracket. It was a little like a Titanic search party…

The church in America is already in a state of crisis, and numbers like that should be deeply sobering to faith leaders all over the nation.

In article after article I have warned about the exact same thing. We are losing an entire generation of Americans, and yet most churches just continue on with business as usual as if nothing was wrong.

If we keep doing the same things that we have been doing, we are just going to keep getting the same results and church attendance all over America will continue to decline. Here is more from Sam Eaton

You see, church leaders, our generation just isn’t interested in playing church anymore, and there are real, possible solutions to filling our congregations with young adults. It’s obvious you’re not understanding the gravity of the problem at hand and aren’t nearly as alarmed as you should be about the crossroads we’re at.

You’re complacent, irrelevant and approaching extinction. A smattering of mostly older people, doing mostly the same things they’ve always done, isn’t going to turn to the tide.

Feel free to write to me off as just another angry, selfy-addicted millennial. Believe me, at this point I’m beyond used to being abandoned and ignored.

Perhaps Eaton could have been a bit more gracious in his remarks, but I am telling you that the anger and frustration that you sense in that quote are very real. Whenever I hear from Millennials, the same themes keep coming up over and over again, and it is time for the church to start listening.

Millennials tend to respond positively to authenticity, and they generally aren’t getting it at school, at church or from their government.

Since so many of them lack a solid foundation, a lot of them end up drifting through life without meaning and direction.

So what do we need to do?

We need to get back to the basics, and that means returning to the values and principles that this nation was founded upon. America was founded by strong Christian men and women that believed very strongly in the truths laid out in the Bible.

I have said it before and I will say it again. If we ever want to make America great again, we need to rediscover what made America great in the first place.

In this day and age so many believers are almost ashamed to stand up and say that they are Christians and that they believe that the Bible is the Word of God.

Those that wish to take America away from the values and principles that it was founded upon are very proud of what they believe, and we need to be even prouder of what we believe.

The fate of our country literally hangs in the balance, and so now is definitely not the time to be timid.

  • Richard

    Oh, how righteous we are today!

  • William Lutz

    If only abortion wasn’t socially acceptable, gay marriage wasn’t federally recognized, and Hollywood garbage didn’t exist among other things, we would be a lot better off. What if we all conducted ourselves in a civilized manner, dressed modestly and appropriately, ate healthy, didn’t do drugs or get drunk, didn’t produce dirty films or effeminate programming, and followed the motto of “Borders, Language, and Culture”? I bet life would be a lot simpler.

    • Paul Patriot

      Excellent comment William. A lot of Truth in your comment.

      If only this rebellious, apathetic ,God hating culture would wake up and comprehend the destructive path we are on…

    • carson

      if the masses all behaved better then a better society even a just society..but saved?
      consider the verses on doing it all, living right and good and doing good and more, yet under the law and/or under a self righteous sin/delusion..so something was missing from the law and or self goodnesses, even faith and salvation itself was missing.

      and what’s of more importance, a just and good behaving society, or salvation?

      and consider, if people/masses received Christ in all Truth and did the word of God not merely heard..would we also have a just and good behaving society?

      so there are 2 way’s to a good society, repentance and Christ and being born again..or just being well behaved, but the first way is the best and eternal way.
      And a just society would be a by-product of salvation in Christ, a by-product but the most important thing would be first, that men might be saved..

      also otherwise you have a self righteous or outward law society, like was on display when Christ walked physically on the earth, and that’s very incomplete and is not eternal.

      and if masses received Christ and were born again, but the whole of the world continued on running after the flesh, well masses would be still be saved, and that’s awesome so preach the gospel that any might be saved and if the world turns it turns if not some might be saved either way.

      • iris

        Yep. There are plenty of religions out there, some even use Jesus Christ’s name in their titles, that are adept at looking great, even including family values, obeying laws and respecting authority, which is all well and good, but those things can’t save a person’s soul. For that, we need forgiveness for sin, and all of us have sinned in thought, word or deed at some point in our lives. Only God can forgive sin, and He has provided the one way for reconciliation between our holy Creator and His fallen creation, by dying in our place to take the punishment for sin which we deserve, and rising again from the dead.

        • carson

          Hi Iris, yep amen.
          Also reminds me also of Luke 18:9-14 and philippians 3:9.
          A society of law and self goodness even with good deeds is still only that, and is not saved, and Christ walked in a society alot like that, moral laws where even adultery was banned yet much injustice and outright unrighteousness went on at the same time, and the power structure/rule itself too.
          Hmm..a society of hidden corruptions and unredeemed hearts..whitewashed graves as it’s said.

          and but a person who abides in Christ DOES the words of God..acts. and so acts of morality/goodness..and a better society is one of many results although it’s not even the main goal so the only way to a truly good society is through Christ and that good society would be a by-product of walking in a true faith.
          None of that’s prophesied for the last day’s though so despite what direction the world goes preaching the gospel ..well faith comes by hearing, men might be saved and escape the wrath of God for sin and unbelief.

          • iris

            Yes, so true, Carson. It’s His “kindness which leads us to repentance,” but part of that kindness is that He loved us enough to warn us of what waits for those who refuse His mercy. When all is said and done, most of the world will have refused Him, according to His words, but every soul is precious to Him, and should be precious enough to us, for us to share the whole gospel in love and humility. That requires a lot of courage sometimes, but the risk in this world is nothing compared to a person receiving Jesus as Lord and Savior in faith, because we pointed them to Him.

  • chriscas

    It comes down to Christ or Chaos, folks, and for now Chaos is winning! And what will all of us lost sheep do when the economy collapses or we face an EMP attack or WWIII?

  • Richard Broberg

    When Jesus Christ returns a lot of people will need a change of underwear.

    • Jarvis

      What if I can’t wear underwear [or a shirt when it’s really hot]?
      The hot flashes are already bad enough in the summer for a eunuch.

    • C R Lord

      When he returns it will be too late for change of any kind.

  • Jarvis

    The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined

    We’ve all asked, “What is the world coming to?” But we seldom ask, “How bad was the world in the past?” In this startling new book, the bestselling cognitive scientist Steven Pinker shows that the world of the past was much worse. In fact, we may be living in the most peaceable era yet.

    Evidence of a bloody history has always been around us: the genocides in the Old Testament and crucifixions in the New; the gory mutilations in Shakespeare and Grimm; the British monarchs who beheaded their relatives and the American founders who dueled with their rivals.

    Now the decline in these brutal practices can be quantified. Tribal warfare was nine times as deadly as war and genocide in the 20th century. The murder rate in medieval Europe was more than thirty times what it is today. Slavery, sadistic punishments, and frivolous executions were unexceptionable features of life for millennia, then were suddenly abolished. Wars between developed countries have vanished, and even in the developing world, wars kill a fraction of the numbers they did a few decades ago. Raape, hate crimes, deadly riots, child abuse—all substantially down.

    • davidnrobyn

      Yes, every day in every way, we’re getting better and better!

      • Jarvis

        In comparison to long ago when it was VERY bloody.
        You should start by watching some episodes of Cities of the Underworld like Dracula’s Underground.

        The only exception of course is Muslims because they have more technology available to them like guns and bombs. They weren’t able to blow people up back then.

  • Jim Davis

    So what’s with the picture of people at a beach? Is it immoral to go to a beach? There are way too many Puritans running loose in the US.

    • carson

      depends, but ‘spring break’ is a depiction of drunken revelry and sensuality and more, an atmosphere of the flesh and once desire has conceived it gives birth to sin..james 1:15

    • C R Lord

      Have you been to a crowded beach lately? Did you observe the immoral behavior pervading that beach among the young. It’s not the beach that is the problem. It is those who come and defile it with their presence and the licentious behavior many of them display.

      I wouldn’t be too concerned about an over-abundance of Pilgrims in our nation today. The real Puritan type people are very few and far between. If anything we need a lot more people to change the moral climate of a sin sick society.

  • jesus freak

    Jesus is not religion . He is a relationship. By His wounds we are healed . If there was another way to god, what was the point of the cross?

    Study scripture. He loves you so much that he was beaten to a pulp and NAILED to a cross to have that relationship with you. Tell Him you are sorry for your sins and trust in His blood , His sacrifice to make a way for you . John 3:16

    This is not a fable, tale or folklore . Study ancient history. There was a man named Jesus who lived and died. God is outside of time. He died for you . Trust in Him alone. All the other religions of the world are based on man’s works to “reach God”. Christianity is different because God reaches us though none of our own acts of worthiness, but through His unending river of Grace.

    • iris

      Perfect sharing of the gospel, thanks in Him, Jesus Freak!

    • Ever hear of “preaching to the choir”?

      No young people or people otherwise lacking a church presence are going to hear your plea if you place it HERE.

      Also, sadly, the Jesus mythos is not supported by studying ancient history… in fact studying ancient history damages the Jesus mythos greatly, and if there’s something that young, idealistic people LOVE to do, it’s unravel mysteries, find the truth. Nearly 100% of what we know of the second testament’s Jesus is rehashed and retold in the same manner that other gods/messiahs have been told. There is nothing new about Jesus that wasn’t also true about earlier deities; THAT is the kind of thing that studying ancient history proves to kids, so it’s a double-edged sword asking them to study that.

      • jesus freak

        The statement was for the lost, so I rest my case

  • Although I TOTALLY agree that morality is declining greatly, this survey was conducted by a very decidedly religious organization. They did not get a good cross section of Americans for this survey. If i stood outside of a mari-juana dispensary and conducted a survey in the lobby as to whether or not mari-juana should be legalized, I’m going to get a very decidedly different outcome than if I sent out surveys to random people unaffiliated with drugs.

    Also, it isn’t the churches which drive away good-but-aimless young people — it’s church-goers who are driving away young people who don’t like jerkface a-holes and wouldn’t want to risk sitting near any such jerkface a-holes in a church pew.

    • C R Lord

      You’re looking in the wrong direction. Christians will always fail in one way or the other. If you need a good life to compare yours to examine the life of Christ. I say that to the young people you speak of as well. There has never been an honest critic who can find fault with Jesus.

      • ” If you need a good life to compare yours to examine the life of Christ”

        Again, I agree! But many American Christians wouldn’t like the first ones:

        ~ The first Christians rejected personal ownership of property and engaged in a redistribution of wealth.

        ~ The first Christians didn’t like big, show-y church stuff.

        ~ The first Christians did NOT warn anyone about hell.

        ~ The first Christians weren’t patriotic.

        ~ They were universally pacifists.

        patheos. com/blogs/formerlyfundie/5-reasons-why-many-american-christians-wouldnt-like-the-first-ones/

        • carson

          giving, choosing to give, is NOT the same as a worldly/today’s government mandated wealth redistribution.
          And they gave to those among them who had need, and nowhere was it mandated that they ‘reject all personal belongings’ and etc, God loves a cheerful giver not one under compulsion.
          And they gave to those among them…they didn’t give to the stoutly unrepentant baal or etc worshiper down the street…which is what would occur under a government mandated wealth redistribution by the way.

          They did talk about hell, who gave the book of revelation? Inspired by the Holy Spirit john did and therein is much talk of judgement and God’s wrath and not just hell but the final place the lake of fire.
          Also hell in the epistles and other such things as ‘children of wrath’ and ‘dead in sins and trespasses’ and so much more ‘negative’ (according to the world) things along with hell.

          Your right they weren’t patriots..wish many lost patriots would wake up to that, they realized much more fully then most in today’s age just Who they belonged to and the fullness of what all that meant and had a better grasp of just what the world is. Christ’s kingdom is not of this world.

          No they weren’t universally pacifists, sell cloak buy sword…not to oust the roman rule but to protect themselves from highwaymen of the time who’d use the fact that they were hated among men to rob and kill even. believers have right to protect themselves, or not, let each be led according to the situation, and is one being slain for the faith? or because someone who has no idea what faith you have decides your house is the house he’s going to home invade?

          Yeah they had no use for crystal cathedral’s..silly structures some might even consider ‘holy’ somehow lol

        • C R Lord

          The first Christians owned property and gave up freely what they wished to give up. Pentecost and the time immediately after was the only time that Christians are reported to have given up a lot, and in some cases, everything for their faith and the cause of Christ.

          Unlike the socialist idea of redistribution of wealth Christians didn’t act on some cockeyed theory. They did it out of love. It wasn’t forced as it is in socialism. But then that doesn’t fit in with your misinterpretation of what happened does it?

          The first century Christians didn’t have any big, showy stuff available to them. They didn’t even have a church. They were simple folks living a simple lifestyle. Your comparison on this issue is absurd.

          The first Christians did warn about Hell since the books of their religion spoke of it over and over again. They learned about Hell from childhood on up through old age. Jesus warned about Hell more than any other person in the Bible. Do some study on that.

          The first Christians were loyal to the nation of Israel so they were patriotic in that sense, Israel was a nation in captivity to another nation, but there were some (non-Christians) who rebelled and fought Roman soldiers. Surely you must have heard of Masada!

          The Christians were pacifist as long as the government; both spiritual government and Roman government didn’t try to force them to deny their convictions. Perhaps you never heard of Peter and John standing up to the Sanhedrin, the religious government, or Paul standing before King Felix Agrippa and refusing to be subjected to him but rather Paul persevered in demanding to be sent to Rome to appear before Caesar.

          Stop cherry picking the Bible and try actually “studying” it at least as hard to prove it is genuinely authentic as you do to disprove it. You wouldn’t be the first skeptic that finally humbled themselves to repent and put their faith in Christ for salvation.

  • Ray S.

    I sometimes encourage people in their 20s to spend time with those over the age of 60, especially if they still have their great grandparents or grandparents. They usually come back telling how much more they enjoy the conversations and how genuine older people can be. We can all get a glimpse of what things use to be like from those who did not grow up in such immoral times.

  • C R Lord

    There is an incredible gap between what the Bible teaches about being a Christian and what is currently believed among many professing believers.

    There is confusion among millions about who is actually the authority on what the Bible teaches and what is and what isn’t a false representation of Christian living according to the scriptures. It all begins with what is presented in the homes that claim to be Christian homes and carries that into the churches of this nation and around the world.

    I have created a video that attempts to explain the difference between religion and Christianity. I believe it should be examined by those who profess to be Christians. It can be watched on the home page of my ministry site at http://crlord.com

    Near the bottom of the home page is a green man video entitled “Religion vs Christianity.” Perhaps it will help believers to get past all the false teaching that pervades Christian circles today and cause them to get serious about what they believe enough to be a transforming force in our generation.

    I believe our message is applicable to every generation and doesn’t need to be reshaped to fit the times. I believe it is because we are trying so hard to change our approach to truth that we are forcing ourselves to live in error that is costing the eternal souls of mankind massive suffering that could be avoided. Eternity is ahead for everyone and multitudes continue on unprepared to meet God while we flounder around playing church and refusing to return to the basics and to present the gospel as it is — a call to repentance and faith.

  • Richard Gale

    while i fully agree that higher spiritual values are declining dangerously in the US, this is a nonsensical study conducted by an evangelical organization. For that reason alone its sample of the population is exceedingly biased and therefore this study holds no whatsoever in determining moral standing or individual’s personal spiritual ethics regardless of church affiliation. There are certainly numerous moral reasons of conscience why younger adults should leave the religo-tainment of meg churches and evangelicalism behind. Quite simply they have drastically failed them.

  • MaxRockatansky33

    So we should introduce Bible Laws and morality. Starting with stoning non-virgin women, burning gays at stykes and kill children which are disobeying parents. Just old fashioned way of Old Testament. And of course we need to conquer or kill nonbelievers. But hold on. We have actually a group of folks which are doing this now. Mostly you can find them in Syria and Iraq.