The numbers of people turning away from religion is growing ever higher, especially among younger people and at the heart of this problem may be America’s educational system which is solely focused on materialism.
Thirty-five years ago, a stark warning about the danger of America’s educational system moving away from any discussion about the Gospels was given by the late Herbert W. Armstrong (1892-1986) who founded the Worldwide Church of God (WCJ) and was an early pioneer of radio and television evangelism.
He was a controversial figure, for sure, and the WCJ would go on to rewrite some of its doctrines, but putting all that aside he did have a clear vision three and a half decades ago of how the educational system in the United States was going to greatly impact the future of religion four American youth.
The Trumpet, reported on Armstrong’s warning that was given in his 1985 book Mystery of the Ages: “Higher education contemptuously ignores, without any consideration whatsoever, the biblical truths revealing man’s presence on the Earth and the causes of the present state of civilization. Education in the civilized world today has become entirely materialistic.
Education has become a combination of the agnosticism of evolution, the politics, and economics of Karl Marx and the morals and social patterns of Sigmund Freud. Higher education remains in utter ignorance of the mystery of mankind and of human civilization.”
Since 1986, the American education system has indoctrinated American students with the ideals put forth by Charles Darwin, Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud and perhaps even those of atheist Richard Dawkins.
While Americans put so much focus into politics, they are losing sight of the fact that it is the US education system that is creating a mindset in its youth that is reshaping America, not only away from religion, but of the ideals set forth in its formation in 1776, and sending the nation toward a godless, Marxist, socialist destination.
America’s universities are overwhelmingly liberal. Along political lines, a recent College Fix poll found that 94 percent of Democratic college students support defunding the police and 61 percent of those considered rioting and looting as legitimate forms of protest, as did 31% of independents.
However 87% of Republican college students did not support defunding police and 95% were against looting and rioting.
The oldest of Generation Z, those born after 1996, will turn 23 in 2020. This group or the next that follows may be the first post-Christian generation for America. They already possess ideals that are in contrast to Christian teachings.
For example, according to a 2018 Pew Research Center study, 48 percent of Generation Z views same-sex marriage as a “good thing” for society.
Millennials and were born between 1981 to 1996 in range in age from 24-39 during 2020.
There aren’t good studies on the religious landscape of Generation Z, the closest we have are statistics on younger Millennials and only 50% of those have an absolute certain belief in God, while 21% are fairly certain of their belief in God, while 9% believe but are not too or at all certain.
But 17% of younger Millennials do not believe in God nor do 13% of older Millennials
It’s not only American or Christian observers that understand the existing modern education system, nor is this a problem of the United States alone – it’s prevalent throughout the Western world.
“Existing modern education is not education to produce happy individuals, happy families, happy communities and finally, happy humanity,” the Dalai Lama said in a video in August 2016. “Because existing modern education system is very much oriented in material values, external values, completely neglecting about our inner values.
So now time has come we have to make special effort to promote inner value and that is human love.”
A study entitled “The Effect of Materialistic Value-Orientation on Religiosity in Bangladesh: An Empirical Investigation” by Muhammad Rehan Masoom advocates that current educational systems perpetrates the idea that material possessions are representative of a good life, as well as equates materialism with modernism.
“The acquisition of material possessions is an imperative element in the pursuit of the good life to the persons endowed with materialistic values.
“One prominent notion concerning the economic development is that, with the progression of the society through modernization and rationalization, religion loses its influence in all facets of convivial life and governance (Norris and Inglehart 2004),” Masoom writes.
“It is also said that ‘to be secular means to be modern, and therefore by implication, to be religious means not yet fully modern.”
The study also found that age plays a big factor in materialism.
“Some researchers found that materialism increases from middle childhood to early adolescence and decreases from early to late adolescence (Chaplin and John 2007),” Masoom found. “Age distinctions are mediated by shifts in self-esteem occurring from middle childhood through adolescence, and excessive self-esteem decreases expressions of materialism, which is unusual among adolescents.”
Religion plays a key role in developing inner strength and positive self-esteem. It teaches one to reject materialism and place a higher role in serving others, rather than self.