New Survey: Evangelicals Express Some Views Contrary That Are to Biblical Truth
American Pastors Network Says Findings Should Be Very Concerning to Every Pastor and Church, Especially as They Lead Into 2019
PHILADELPHIA—Every two years, Ligonier Ministries takes the “theological temperature” of the nation to help Christians better understand the culture and equip the church with better insights for discipleship.
Some of the findings for the State of Theology survey should be extremely concerning to pastors and churches, says the American Pastors Network (APN), one the nation’s influential resources for pastors and church leaders.
“For some time, the American Pastors Network has known that Christians’ biblical views on both the truths found in the Bible and on how we should consider our changing culture have been shifting,” said APN president and radio and television host Sam Rohrer. “This survey proves the presumptions of many—that believers are becoming much more liberal in their views of the Bible, perhaps assigning their own interpretations of God’s Word and his never-wavering truth to fit their own lifestyles and societal trends.”
The State of Theology survey sought to discover what Americans think about God, Jesus Christ, sin and eternity. “Evangelicals have a great concern for the Gospel … yet a majority of them also express some views that are contrary to the truth of the Bible,” researchers stated.
For example, although evangelicals believe that Jesus died on the cross for their salvation, many do not fully understand the gravity of sin. More than half, 52 percent, agree that “everyone sins a little, but most people are good by nature.” Evangelicals also seem confused about the exclusivity of Christianity and its objective claims to truth. A slight majority (51 percent) of Christians say they agree with this statement: “God accepts the worship of all religions, including Christianity, Judaism and Islam.” This is up from 49 percent in agreement in 2016.
“These ideas are flat-out contradictions to the Bible,” Rohrer said, “especially when we consider Romans 3:10-12, which teaches that no one does good by nature. We are born sinful, which is why Jesus died on a cross to intercede for our sins and why we so desperately need the Gospel. And John 14:6 assures us that Jesus is ‘the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’ That evangelicals struggle with these truths is not only concerning but should be a powerful wake-up call for America’s pastors.”
Just as concerning, especially for the American Pastors Network, which encourages pastors to declare truth in the public square, is that 60 percent of the U.S. adults surveyed say that “religious belief is a matter of personal opinion; it is not about objective truth.” Of evangelicals surveyed, 32 percent say this statement is true.
Encouraging, however, is the fact that a vast majority of evangelicals (91 percent) agree that justification is by faith alone, aligning with this statement: “God counts a person as righteous not because of one’s works but only because of one’s faith in Jesus Christ.”
The survey also highlighted the percentages evangelicals who agreed with these statements:
- There is one true God in three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. (97 percent of evangelicals)
- Jesus is the first and greatest being created by God. (78 percent of evangelicals, up from 71 percent in 2016)
- Even the smallest sin deserves eternal damnation. (23 percent of all U.S. adults surveyed)
- Worshiping alone or with one’s family is a valid replacement for regularly attending church. (58 percent of adults)
- The Bible’s condemnation of homosexual behavior doesn’t apply today. (44 percent of adults and 51 percent of participants age 18-34; 46 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds agree that gender is a matter of choice.)
- Abortion is a sin. (52 percent of adults and 57 percent of participants age 18-34)
APN reaches listeners and viewers through three radio programs and a television program that debuted in 2018. “Stand in the Gap” TV considers transcending cultural issues, seemingly difficult to navigate, from a biblical worldview perspective. The weekly half-hour show airs on several networks, including WBPH in Philadelphia, VCY-TV in Milwaukee and Upliftv nationally.
The “Stand in the Gap” radio ministry includes the 60-second “Stand in the Gap Minute” radio feature, which airs on 375 stations, “Stand in the Gap Today,” which airs on more than 400 stations, and “Stand in the Gap Weekend,” which re-airs the most engaging segments from the previous week on about 240 stations.
View the media page for APN here, which also details information about “Stand in the Gap.” For more information on APN, visit www.AmericanPastorsNetwork.net, its Facebook page or follow APN’s Twitter feed, @AmericanPastors. To form a state chapter of APN, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.