What do Americans believe about God...
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What do Americans believe about God, salvation, ethics, and the Bible? Ligonier Ministries and LifeWay Research partnered to find out. Every two years, these groups take the theological temperature of the United States to help Christians better understand today’s culture and equip the church with better insights for discipleship. The published results are called The State of Theology.
Some of their findings were sad, some surprising, and some shocking. For instance, Statement #7 reads: Jesus was a great teacher, but he was not God.  Of all U.S. adult respondents, 52% agreed and only 36% disagreed with that statement.
From the survey:
“The identity of Jesus of Nazareth has been a source of controversy through the centuries. He personally claimed to be the Son of God and equal with God (Matt. 11:27; Mark 14:61–62; John 10:33). That is why His enemies sought His death.
The Bible and the historic creeds of the Christian church plainly declare that Jesus Christ is truly God and truly man. But critics have often said that Jesus was a great teacher and nothing more. The State of Theology survey now reveals that a majority of adults in the United States hold this view. However, if Jesus’ claim to be God is false, then He was either delusional or deceptive, but He could not have been a great teacher.”
Those findings are sad. But what is shocking is that among U.S. evangelical respondents, 30% agreed and 66% disagreed. Nearly 1/3 of those who claim to be Christian don’t even hold a fundamentally essential correct view of Jesus Himself! Is it possible that many people attending churches know so little about the Bible and the Redeemer it presents that they are not even saved when they think they are?
From the “Conclusion” of the survey:
“The 2020 State of Theology survey reveals widespread confusion in the United States about the Bible’s teaching … the American population in general appears to be drifting away from accepting the truth claims of the Christian faith … Evangelicals, while exhibiting some hopeful movement in the direction of biblical fidelity, also seem to be influenced by the culture’s uncertainty about what truth is, who Jesus is, and how sinners are saved.
These results reveal an urgent need for clear biblical teaching on the person of Christ, the gospel of grace, and the way that the truth of God informs our ethical decisions in everyday life.”
This is why our church must commit itself to sound teaching and the study of timeless doctrine. Remember how Paul instructed Timothy, his progeny and protégé’ in the faith: “Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.” (2 Timothy: 1-13-14)
Together for the Truth,
Pastor Paul