Evangelicals Are Confused about Christianity’s Core Beliefs, Survey Says

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Evangelicals Are Confused about Christianity’s Core Beliefs, Survey Says



A new survey from LifeWay Research has found that many Christians are confused about several core beliefs of Christianity. 


Ligonier Ministries released their 2018 State of Theology survey results this week, and they have found that a majority of evangelicals have found the following statements to be true despite the Bible distinctly teaching otherwise:


  • Most people are basically good

  • God accepts the worship of all religions

  • Jesus was the first and greatest being created by God the Father


The survey found that in all three cases a majority of survey takers believed these statements to be true. 


In the case of human nature, 52 percent of the 3,000 participants responded that everyone sins a little, but most people are generally good by nature. This is contrary to what Romans 3:10 dictates of human nature, that it is fundamentally sinful.


In regard to worship, the survey found that 51 percent of evangelicals believe that God accepts the worship of all religions, which, according to a press release from Ligonier Ministries, includes Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Again, this is contrary to what the Bible teaches in John 14:6.


The survey also found that 78 percent of participants believe that Jesus is the first and greatest being created by God, which John 1:1 shows is not the case – Jesus is part of the trinitarian godhead, not a created being.


Additional results found:


  • More than two-thirds (69 percent) of Americans disagreed that the smallest sin deserves eternal damnation. 

  • A majority of U.S. adults (58 percent) said that worshiping alone or with one’s family is a valid replacement for regularly attending church. 

  • A majority of U.S. adults (59 percent) believe that the Holy Spirit is a force, not a personal being.


In a press release about the survey, the President and CEO of Ligonier Ministries, Chris Larson, said, “The State of Theology survey highlights the urgent need for courageous ministry that faithfully teaches the historic Christian faith. It’s never been popular to talk about mankind’s sinfulness or the exclusive claims of Jesus Christ, but at a time when a darkened world needs the light of the gospel, it’s disheartening to see many within the evangelical church confused about what the Bible teaches.”


Chief academic officer of Ligonier and president of Reformation Bible College Dr. Stephen Nicholas said of the results, “These results are a serious cause for concern. It is the depth of man’s sin that led Jesus to die on the cross. How, then, can a majority of evangelicals say most people are good by nature? Down through history, Christians have proclaimed that Jesus is truly God, not some sort of created being. The evangelical world is in great danger of slipping into irrelevance when it casually forgets the Bible’s doctrine.” 


Not all of the results were as concerning, however. 


The survey also found that 91 percent of evangelicals agreed that people are “justified by faith alone in Jesus Christ alone.”


The survey also uncovered that a majority of people still believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose again. 


Ligonier Ministries has conducted this survey twice before, once in 2014 and again in 2016. This is the third time the State of Theology survey has been conducted by the company.


Photo courtesy: Olu Eletu/Unsplash

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