30% of Evangelicals do not believe Jesus was God and 65% believe Jesus was created by God, according to Ligonier Ministries’ State of Theology . The commissioned survey, which was conducted by Lifeway and whose full results will be posted September 6, demonstrates the need for a robust Christological teaching, given that the majority of Evangelicals are functional heretics.
The Ligonier press release demonstrates the dire straights we’re in, explaining:
While 66 percent of American evangelicals disagree with the statement, “Jesus was a good teacher, but he was not God,” nearly as many (65 percent) still agree with the statement, “Jesus is the first and greatest being created by God.” The confusion illustrated in these results suggests a dire need for Christians to be taught Christology, the doctrine of the person and work of Jesus Christ.
Dr. Stephen Nichols, chief academic officer of Ligonier Ministries and president of Reformation Bible College, said:
“…It’s clear that the church does not have the luxury of idly standing by. This is a time for Christians to study Scripture diligently, engage confidently with people in our culture, and witness fearlessly to the identity and saving work of Jesus Christ in the gospel.”
It’s an unsurprising revelation, given the propensity the mainstream evangelical church has on giving sermons on better sex, happy marriages, how to be a strong leader, parenting techniques, how to manage money, positive thinking, vision casting, spiritual lessons from movies, and a host of other subjects while ignoring the more fundamental, primary doctrines.
How many pastors, if they were to survey their congregation and ask them to define and explain the Trinity, would feel confident that the bulk of the responses would not be some form or variation of Arianism, Subordinationism, Adoptionism, Modalism, Polytheism, Monarchianism, Tritheism, Patripassianism, Appolinarianism, Socinianism, Monophysitism, or Nestorianism?
Even a question like “Because God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are one, would it be fair to say that the Father is the Son, The Son is the Spirit, and the Spirit is the Father?’ would show most Christians affirming the heresy of Sabellianism and repudiating the Athanasian creed.
The evidence from these polls and others like it are clear when it comes to the Trinity. If your congregation members can’t talk about it, explain it, understand it, define it, or defend it, is it possible that it might be more important that foundational things are taught before we embark on an 8 week series on how to manage one’s wealth or how to be a better leader?
We look forward to seeing the full Results from Ligonier’s poll in a week. For a refresher on Trinitarian Theology, click here, Patrick!
*Evangelicals were defined by LifeWay Research as people who strongly agreed with the following four statements:
- The Bible is the highest authority for what I believe.
- It is very important for me personally to encourage non-Christians to trust Jesus Christ as their Savior.
- Jesus Christ’s death on the cross is the only sacrifice that could remove the penalty of my sin.
- Only those who trust in Jesus Christ alone as their Savior receive God’s free gift of eternal salvation.