New Survey: Evangelicals Losing Truth of the Gospel

The 2018 State of Theology survey shows a disturbing move away from Biblical truth by American evangelicals.

Evangelicals are in trouble. More and more, they are losing sight of the truth of the Gospels.

If there are any who, like myself, watch other evangelicals throw themselves at the feet of an adulterous, abusive, unrepentant man, such as Donald Trump, and wonder why they gaze at him with worshipful adoration, we now may have a clue.

On Tuesday of this week, the 2018 State of Theology survey results were released.

And they were depressing.

The president of Ligonier Ministries, Chris Larson, suggests that the results of the survey show how urgent the need for teaching historic Christianity is in our churches.

"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. We hope this survey provides local churches with a little more insight into what people in our neighborhoods and in our pews actually believe," Larson said in a statement.

Among those things today’s evangelicals are confused about is the path to God.

The survey sampled 3,000 American evangelicals, testing their views on theological statements, such as, "God accepts the worship of all religions, including Christianity, Judaism, and Islam."

So what do you think the survey showed, when we consider what the Bible teaches about worship?

John 14:6 AMP – “6 Jesus said to him, “I am the [only] Way [to God] and the [real] Truth and the [real] Life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”

It seems pretty clear, doesn’t it? Jesus was more than a prophet or a rabbi. He was all of that and more. He was God in the flesh, sent to redeem sinful man.

Apparently, it’s not as clear to evangelicals today as it was in 2016.

In 2016, 49 percent of evangelicals agreed with the statement, and 43 percent disagreed. That’s shocking enough. Today, however, more than half – 51 percent – agree with the statement, in opposition to the Word of God, while 42 percent disagree.

"The Bible is clear that the Gospel is the only way of salvation, and God will not accept the worship of other faiths. It is only through Jesus Christ and by His Spirit that we are able to worship the Father in spirit and in truth (John 4:24)," the researchers note.

Where else are American evangelicals losing their way?

Among other troubling theology embraced by evangelicals according to the survey, is that a majority of evangelicals believe that most people are basically good by nature and that Jesus was the first and greatest being created by God the Father — some 78 percent of evangelicals agree with this. Only 71 percent of evangelicals supported this idea in 2016.

Truly, Jesus is great, so I’d like to think there were some reading comprehension problems with those taking the survey, but no. People are not basically good by nature. Our nature is that of sin. Apart from God, we will fail. Were it any other way, the world would not be in the shape it is in today.

As for Jesus being created, my personal favorite passage from the Bible is found in John 1:1-3:

“In the beginning [before all time] was the Word (Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself. 2 He was [continually existing] in the beginning [co-eternally] with God. 3 All things were made and came into existence through Him; and without Him not even one thing was made that has come into being.” (AMP)

C’mon, evangelicals, do you even church?

"These results show the pressing need for Christians to be taught Christology, especially as the outcome has gotten worse since 2016. There is a general lack of teaching today on the person of Christ, a doctrine for which the early church fought so hard," Ligonier Ministries said.

I don’t want to say it’s because evangelicals today have found other things to worship besides Jesus Christ – but evangelicals have found other things to worship besides Jesus Christ.

Stephen Nichols, the chief academic officer of Ligonier Ministries points out the disturbing nature of more than half of evangelicals (53 percent) that believe in the “good nature” of everyone, even though everyone “sins a little.”

"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," he said.

The results of the 2018 State of Theology survey, which was conducted from April 24 to May 4, 2018, echoes previous studies which have been pointing to a rejection of orthodox Christian beliefs by many American Christians.

What is going on here?

One consideration is that the Bible is a mirror. Too many are afraid to hold it up and look into it, afraid of seeing their own flaws in it. They’re so afraid, and so prideful, they neglect the message of redemption and renewal. Why face our sin if there are others in high position giving lip service to Christ, but rejecting his teachings with their actions?

It's just easier to "play church" than to be the church.

The message of the Bible does not end with our failures, but rather, the triumph of Jesus at Calvary.

In 2008, a Pew Research Center Study found that more than half of all American Christians believe that at least some non-Christian faiths can lead to salvation. Nearly a decade later, a study earlier this year showed that even among the most traditional Christian groups, significant minorities are also rejecting God as described in the Bible.

And if evangelical leaders don’t adjust their focus and begin teaching the truth of the Gospel, the American church will be swallowed up by history.

We cannot live apart from our source, and our source is the Gospel of Christ. The further from that truth we move, the closer to extinction we are.

Comments
No. 1-14
Kayf
Kayf

Evangelicals are not a Christian demographic. Just a voting bloc. Political identification. No Christ in the group.

Oregun
Oregun

I am afraid it is even worse than you think, at least in the new evangelical mega churches. It is a business for profit. That preaches a christless religion as to not offend the giving units. Moralistic therapudic deism is what is left of theology. However in spite of the death in these business models. Their is a remnant growing in grace, doctrine and practice.

Susan_Wright
Susan_Wright

Editor

@RyanF You are desperately confused. And wrong.

Veritasenvitas
Veritasenvitas

I'm a southern Baptist preachers son. My father was one who in the 50's left the Southern Baptist Convention because it was too liberal! He then took up the political sword, mixing civic religiosity and faith. That has been the evolution here in American espoused by Jerry Falwell and his ilk. The doctrine of God, Guns and America. This new civic religion (ACR) has contaminated true Christianity and we now have an evangelical population that rather than preaching the gospel of Christ are preaching the gospel of America. They are more concerned with the borders than charity, else why would you hear talk about securing the borders rather than taking care of the poor. Overwhelmingly Evangelicals have come out in support of trump. ACR lives and dies by its bogeymen. Someone or something must be opposed and feared. The current president (At least when it was Obama) Illegal aliens. Communism. Tyranny. Standardized testing in schools. Homosexuals. Liberals. Socialists. Blacks. Whites. Jews. Muslims. Middle East dictators. Loss of values. Loss of freedoms. Loss of rights. There is always a threatening bogeyman or two, and this galvanizes those enmeshed in ACR. It’s almost a lifeblood element.

Unlike some of the items on this list, true Christianity does not have an analogous issue. The closest bogeyman the true Christian gets is Satan. Like the decapitated rattlesnake in its death throes that can still bite by reflex, Satan is not safe, but for the true Christian, he is a defeated opponent. And defeated opponents make for lousy bogeymen. The Bible reminds us that our respect and awe are reserved for God alone, and when we abide in Christ, Satan has no power over us. Fearing bogeymen is not a concern for the true Christian. If anything, when ACR’s bogeymen are actual people and groups, the true Christian is called to show love to those bogeymen and pray for them. People enmeshed in ACR are obsessed with loss. In America, the ACR narrative forever talks about loss of rights, freedoms, our “Christian heritage,” and so on. Yet above these is the greatest loss of all for ACR proponents: loss of control. Again, this plays into fear.

True Christian faith recognizes that there is nothing to lose because everything has been lost already. “You have died, and your life is now hidden in Christ,” writes the Apostle Paul. “You are not your own; you have been bought with a price,” he adds. Loss means nothing because no one and nothing can take away Jesus. Likewise, the Christian cannot be removed from Him. If anything, loss brings joy in the life of the Christian, because losing the dross of the world means more room to gain Christ.

NWRED
NWRED

Watch your l generalization of evangelicals, we are not all the same.. Some of take a broader look of the Bible then the issue of adultery. Repentance is between the individual, God, and the one offended. The Bible has alot to do with love, forgiveness and the "great commission.

What Trump did was years ago, and as a private citizen. What Obama/Clinton did was from their power as government leaders.. We now have same-sex marriage. The LBGT agenda now has more power. We were forced to participate in events contrary to our religious beliefs.. The transgender movement has put the women and children more at risk. Open borders aid in human trafficking.

When it got to be a choice between Trump and;Hillary/Obama there was no choice What Obama and the Clinton's have done is no more morally acceptable. I was for Cruz before Trump, but now I wonder how he would have faced the swamp

I have viewed politics for over fifty-five years. I have seen how our foreigh were handled before Vietnam. The free love and peace movement. How education has fallen apart since prayer and Bible reading was removed from the. schools. History was rewritten to be politically correct.

We should still have due process, and one is innocent until proven guilty. Guilt by assosciation is dangerous because it can range from name recognetion to having almost 24/7 contact. God has to be the judge when there is no other record.