ORLANDO, Fla., Oct. 22, 2018/PRNewswire/ -- A majority of Americans believe abortion is a sin, according to findings released today from the 2018 State of Theology survey: 52 percent of Americans agreed that abortion is a sin, compared to 38 percent who disagreed. Opposition to abortion has increased slightly since the 2016 State of Theology survey, when 49 percent said abortion is a sin.
The 2018 State of Theology survey was conducted for Ligonier Ministries by LifeWay Research, which interviewed a demographically balanced online panel of 3,000 American adults.
It is clear that some in the media continue to exaggerate Americans' support for social liberalism, for a large number of Americans continue to agree with biblical ethics.
The new survey also shows a majority of American adults agreeing that sex outside of traditional marriage is a sin: 51 percent agreed, compared to 41 percent who disagreed.
A majority (51 percent) of Americans disagreed that gender identity is a matter of choice; only 38 percent agreed that it is a matter of choice. However, there appears to be more confusion surrounding this issue because 77 percent of Americans also agreed that God created mankind male and female (only 13 percent disagreed).
More Americans agreed that the Bible's condemnation of same-sex relationships is outdated than disagreed: 44 percent said that it is outdated, compared to 41 percent who said that it is not. However, neither point of view obtained a majority in the survey. The wealthiest Americans are most likely to support same-sex relationships (49 percent of Americans with a household income of $100,000 or more).
Dr. R. Albert Mohler Jr., Ligonier Ministries teaching fellow and president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said:
"These survey results may surprise some people, but pro-life beliefs have definitely been gaining ground in recent years. Pastors and local churches have played a big part in this by teaching about the sanctity of human life. Ultrasound images plainly show the humanity of the child in the womb, and they are provoking the consciences of Americans. Christians are playing a lead role in providing counsel and practical care for those in need."
"For almost five decades now, abortion has been a central issue in the life of America. With a majority agreeing that abortion is a sin, we have a clear indication that many Americans want the state to restore protection to the unborn child. There would be considerable support for a Supreme Court decision reversing Roe v. Wade. There is clear support for protecting the life of the unborn, which explains overwhelming opposition to abortion on demand."
Dr. Stephen Nichols, chief academic officer of Ligonier and president of Reformation Bible College, said:
"Regular churchgoers are even more emphatically opposed to abortion, with 79 percent of them saying that abortion is a sin. Likewise, 76 percent of regular churchgoers say that sexual relationships outside of traditional marriage are sinful. This points to the important worldview impact of going to a faithful church."
"There is increasing confusion in society today regarding gender, with many believing that gender is a social construct or that people can change their gender. The opening pages of the Bible declare that God created human beings as male and female. There is no gender confusion in Scripture. Our biological gender is woven into our identity and is fundamental to who we are as created by God."
Ligonier Ministries' 2018 State of Theology survey was conducted by LifeWay Research, which interviewed a representative sample of 3,000 Americans. The full survey results are available online at TheStateOfTheology.com.
About Ligonier Ministries
Ligonier Ministries exists to proclaim, teach, and defend the holiness of God in all its fullness to as many people as possible. To that end, Ligonier's outreach today is manifold and worldwide. Founded by Dr. R.C. Sproul in 1971, teaching fellows now continue and help lead Ligonier's work of discipleship that Dr. Sproul began more than forty years ago. These teaching fellows are Drs. Sinclair B. Ferguson, W. Robert Godfrey, Steven J. Lawson, R. Albert Mohler Jr., Stephen J. Nichols, Burk Parsons, and Derek W.H. Thomas. Ligonier publishes Renewing Your Mind broadcasts, the Reformation Study Bible, Tabletalk magazine, books through the Reformation Trust Publishing division, and hundreds of teaching series. The ministry also offers an undergraduate degree program through Reformation Bible College. In addition, Ligonier hosts national and regional conferences, provides an online learning community through Ligonier Connect, answers biblical and theological questions through Ask Ligonier, streams twenty-four-hour Christian Internet radio through RefNet, pursues numerous translation efforts in other countries, and makes available thousands of unique educational resources online at Ligonier.org.