Updated: Oct 27, 2022
A few weeks ago, Ligonier Ministries (the ministry of the late R.C. Sproul) released the findings of their latest survey of Evangelicals, and the results were confusing if not alarming.
For the purposes of the survey, Evangelicals were defined as people who strongly agreed with the following four statements:
The Bible is the highest authority for what I believe.
It is very important for me personally to encourage non-Christians to trust Jesus Christ as their Savior.
Jesus Christ’s death on the cross is the only sacrifice that could remove the penalty of my sin.
Only those who trust in Jesus Christ alone as their Savior receive God’s free gift of eternal salvation.
So, in other words, those surveyed all share a common belief in the gospel and the importance of sharing it with others. We would expect Evangelicals to have many similar theological beliefs, too, but the results were a mixed bag.
On some issues, Evangelicals are very much in agreement.
91% believe abortion is a sin.
94% agree that sex outside of marriage is a sin.
78% agree that God created male and female.
But on questions regarding the nature of God, the results are surprising.
73% agree with the claim that Jesus is the “first and greatest being created by God.”
58% believe God accepts the worship of all religions, including Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.
55% believe the Holy Spirit is a force but is not a personal being.
43% say that Jesus was a great teacher, but he was not God.
It’s quite alarming that more than half of bible believing evangelicals don’t believe in the divinity of Jesus. Evangelicals overwhelmingly believe in the Trinity, but this survey suggests that the majority don’t seem to know what that means. Yet, when it comes to teachings about gender, sex, and abortion evangelicals seem to be overwhelmingly in agreement.
What does this mean? Well, it seems to suggest that the term “evangelical” isn’t a very good indicator of whether or not a person believes in the God of the Bible anymore. If someone says “I’m and Evangelical” we can be fairly certain of where they stand on abortion and other issues related to sex, but there’s a pretty significant chance they wouldn’t describe God in a biblical way at all.
That’s concerning to say the least, and something I think we should all spend more time discussing and praying about.