American evangelicals are “deeply confused” about some core doctrines of the Christian faith—and the fourth-century heretic Arius would be pleased, according to a new survey.
Ligonier wanted to know what Americans “believe about God, salvation, ethics, and the Bible.”
“Overall, US adults appear to have a superficial attachment to well-known Christian beliefs,” stated the ministry. “For example, a majority agreed that Jesus died on the cross for sin and that he rose from the dead.
“However, they rejected the Bible’s teaching on (1) the gravity of man’s sin, (2) the importance of the church’s gathering together for worship, and (3) the Holy Spirit,” stated Ligonier. For example:
- More than two-thirds (69%) of Americans disagree that the smallest sin deserves eternal damnation—and 58 percent strongly disagree. Ligonier finds this “alarming.”
- A majority of US adults (58%) said that worshiping alone or with one’s family is a valid replacement for regularly attending church. Only 30 percent disagree.
- A majority of US adults (59%) say that the Holy Spirit is a force, not a personal being.
Ligonier cites relativism for such a “casual outlook.” In the survey, 6 in 10 Americans agree that “religious belief is a matter of personal opinion [and] not about objective truth”—and 1 in 3 evangelicals (32%) say the same.
When it comes to Americans with “evangelical beliefs” [see below for LifeWay Research’s four-part definition], the survey found that a majority say:
- Most people are basically good (52%)
- God accepts the worship of all religions (51%)
- Jesus was the first and greatest being created by God the Father (78%)
“However, all these beliefs are contrary to the historic Christian faith,” stated Ligonier, citing Romans 3:10 on sin, John 14:6 on God, and John 1:1 on Jesus. For example, while an overwhelming 97 percent of evangelicals do believe that “there is one true God in three persons,” 3 out of 4 of them attempt to give Jesus first-place honors even though that belief “has been rejected by the church down through the centuries.”
Strangely, while most evangelicals strongly believe in justification by faith alone, they are confused about the person of Jesus Christ. On one hand, virtually all evangelicals express support for Trinitarian doctrine. Yet at the same time, most agree that Jesus is the first and greatest being created by God, which was a view espoused by the ancient heretic Arius.
Arius was condemned at the Council of Nicaea in 325, and again at the Council of Constantinople in 381. Yet the number of American evangelicals who agree with his view has increased from 2016, when 71 percent agreed and 23 percent disagreed, to today when 78 percent agree and 18 percent disagree.
“These results show the pressing need for Christians to be taught Christology, especially as the outcome has gotten worse since 2016,” stated Ligonier. “There is a general lack of teaching today on the person of Christ, a doctrine for which the early church fought so hard.”
(Editor George Duke commented that because of indoctrination on the accepted Trinity many are confused because it is hard for them to understand 3 seperate people sitting on one throne when the word of God is clear. If you would like to know more about the real Trinity then study his bible study on “The Apostolic Trinity vs the Accepted Trinity.” He reveals that the Trinity is one person Body Soul and Spirit, Since God existed eternally as the supreme Holy Spirit, the Father of creation, in order for him to pay the price for our sins he created a body to dwell in. His body being created for his Spirit was called the Son of God. For God (Spirit) was in Christ (Body) reconciling the world unto himself. and you are complete in HIm not Them. ) Most of my books contain the teaching of the Apostolic Trinity.