Here’s one from Lee! -anita

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EVANGELICALS: ARE THEY CONFUSED?

 

Every couple of years, Ligonier Ministries conducts a survey (you can see the study results at Thestateoftheology.com) to assess what the general public believes about the issues of theology. This study was conducted again this year, and, as always, there were reasons for concern as well as reasons for being encouraged as the results were analyzed.

 

Across the U.S., 20 per cent of the population professes evangelical beliefs—this includes key tenets of the faith such that salvation comes only from Christ’s death on the cross and that the Bible is their highest authority for truth. Yet, conversely in this study, 52 percent of professing evangelicals agreed with the statement, “Everyone sins a little, but most people are good by nature,” which contradicts the Bible’s clear teaching that all sin and there is no one good except God [Mt 19:17 and Rom 3:23].

 

Other disturbing responses were these: 51 percent of the evangelicals agreed that God accepts worship of all religions, such as Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Further, 78 per cent agreed that Jesus is the “first and greatest being created by God.” These responses, of course, contradict biblical teaching that the only way to God is through His Son and that Jesus is God eternal, one member of the Holy Trinity.

 

One encouraging aspect of the study findings concerns Millennials (people age 18 to 34) who will make up a significant portion of the overall population in coming years. This sector was more biblically sound in many cases than other age ranges studied: 64 per cent of Millennials agreed that there will be a time when the Lord Jesus returns to judge every person who ever lived. Also, this same group was more pro-life than the general populace: 57 per cent agreed that abortion is a sin. Conversely, however, this group (51%) said that the Bible’s condemnation of homosexual behavior doesn’t apply today.

 

Relativistic thinking, so prevalent in our world, certainly can be found in the study results:Religious belief is a matter of personal opinion; it is not about objective truth, according to 60% of the evangelical respondents. This flies in the face of biblical teaching; Jesus says in John 14:6 that He is the truth.

 

So, what do we make of these survey results? Similar to study results from years past, this study shows that the church has lots of work to do, both in the general populace as well as within the sub-group of professing evangelicals. Most people either have little knowledge of biblical truths or hold conflicting views on key topics. It’s fairly amazing that evangelicals could, on the one hand, say that we are righteous before God only because of one’s faith in Jesus Christ (91%), yet hold that Jesus is the greatest being ever created by God (78%).

 

Biblical knowledge comes from reading the Bible, of course, but also from thinking deeply about what is read there. And, also from consulting extra-biblical resources for help in understanding difficult passages of Scripture. In our busy world, many people seemingly don’t take the time to read these words from our great God. If the God of all creation were sitting at my kitchen table and telling me how to conduct my life (both for my benefit and for His glory), I would want to be listening intently and taking notes. Reading/studying the Bible is the way to do just that

-Lee Pierce

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