American adults are despairing about the future their children will inherit, a new survey shows, though their own priorities might be just as troublesome.
"The majority of adults admit that being raised in our current culture is dangerous for our children," veteran pollster George Barna says of the recent survey of 1,000 adults conducted by the American Culture and Faith Institute.
Not only do adults conclude that the times are terrible, they also expect them to worsen.
Looking a decade into the future, 60 percent of the adults predicted it will be harder to raise children with biblical values.
Yet when asked to rank what kids will need to succeed in life from 13 choices, the majority of born-again Christians (see chart below) stated skills like reading or money management beat knowing the story of Jesus Christ, which ranked tenth in the list.
"What they're saying is, Look, when we evaluate what's going on in the culture, we think that our kids are getting shortchanged in terms of character development," Barna says. "But then they also talk about what does it take to get ahead and what do we really want to make sure that our kids get, it has nothing to do with character development."
The survey divided those surveyed among born-again adults and non-born-again adults, finding that 72 percent of born-agains foresee challenging times ahead compared to 55 percent who hold a similar view.
The survey numbers jumped even higher among adults who said they hold a "biblical worldview." A whopping 86 percent expect the future to be harder for raising children in a Godly home.
Video games, social media, movies and pop music are all having a detrimental effect on young people today, according to the survey.
Citing the lop-sided priorities of money management versus knowledge of scriptures, Barna has his own prediction for the coming years and decades.
"Things aren't going to change very much then, in terms of having a better environment for kids," he says, "if all we're worried about is can they make more money and can they deal with culture more efficiently."
But the longtime pollster says he doesn't lay the blame entirely on today's parents.
"You can't give what you don't have," he observes, "and you may not even want for your children what you can't understand."