A new survey showing that one in five evangelicals believes in “gender fluidity” suggests that many Christians are following the culture instead of God’s Word, according to a prominent Christian college president.
The LifeWay Research “State of Theology” poll, conducted for Ligonier Ministries and released Sept. 8, revealed that 22 percent of U.S. evangelicals believe “gender identity is a matter of choice,” while three-fourths (73 percent) of American evangelicals disagree.
Ligonier, in an online analysis, said it is “concerning” that so many evangelicals appear “to reject” the “Bible’s teaching that our gender as male or female is given by God our Creator (Gen 1:27).” Ligonier said the issue will be the “battle for the next generation.”
“Children down to the earliest ages are now being told that they have the autonomy to determine whether they are a boy, a girl, or neither,” said Stephen Nichols, chief academic officer of Ligonier Ministries and president of Reformation Bible College.
“Not only does this threaten an entire generation with lifelong trauma, but more ultimately this message is one of treason against the supreme authority of God. Christians must listen and submit to God's steadfast Word in all that it teaches, but the 2020 State of Theology survey suggests that many American evangelicals are instead listening to the changing voice of culture,” Nichols said. “We hope this survey will help serve the church of Jesus Christ in making disciples who know, love, and contend for the truth, especially in a culture that is confused about what truth even is.”
LifeWay defines evangelicals as individuals who affirm 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."
The percentage of evangelicals who believe in gender fluidity has declined the past four years, from 32 percent in 2016, to 30 percent in 2018, to 22 percent today.
Nationwide, 38 percent of all Americans agree with the statement (20 percent strongly agree and 18 percent somewhat agree) while 52 percent disagree (37 percent strongly disagree and 15 percent somewhat disagree).
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Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.