Most evangelicals disagree with the concept of gender fluidity - study

(Photo: Unsplash/Rui Magalhães)

Most evangelicals do not support the increasingly popular view that gender identity can be chosen, according to a major study by Ligonier Ministries.

The State of Theology 2020 report, published Tuesday, revealed that only one in five (22%) US evangelicals believe that gender identity is a choice.

Over two-thirds of evangelicals (67%) "strongly disagree" with the concept of gender fluidity.

The State of Theology is Ligonier Ministries' biannual study of beliefs about God, the Bible and salvation.

Conducted in partnership with Lifeway Research, the survey involved 3,002 adults in the US, including 630 professing evangelicals.

Examining evangelical beliefs further, it found that less than half (42%) believe that "God accepts the worship of all religions, including Christianity, Judaism, and Islam."

The vast majority of evangelicals (84%) said it was only by faith in Jesus that a person could be counted righteous by God, while less than half (46%) agreed that "most people are good by nature".

Over three-quarters (78%) believed that Christians should speak out on political issues, and most saw no conflict between Christianity and science, with only 17% agreeing that "modern science disproves the Bible".

However, the study found that a significant minority of evangelicals deny the deity of Jesus Christ, with nearly a third (30%) agreeing that He "was a great teacher, but he was not God."

Attitudes towards the Holy Spirit's role in salvation were somewhat mixed too, with only 57% believing that "the Holy Spirit gives a spiritual new birth or new life before a person has faith in Jesus Christ."

Out of all respondents, half (52%) said Jesus was not God and a similar proportion (48%) agreed that the Bible was "not literally true." 

A majority assume that truth is relative, with just over half of all respondents (54%) agreeing with the statement: "Religious belief is a matter of personal opinion; it is not about objective truth." 

Ligonier President Chris Larson said this year's survey had uncovered "widespread confusion" about the Bible's teaching and the reality of who God is. 

"Many have observed the drift among Americans toward relativism, and this survey helps to quantify how this nation is abandoning objective truth altogether," he said. 

"Sadly, just when the Church needs to be clear and bold about our triune God, the Scriptures, sin, and salvation, many evangelicals are evidently being influenced more by this cultural drift than by the Word of God.

"Christians have an opportunity to bring light and comfort to our troubled times by pointing to Jesus Christ and the authority and sufficiency of the Bible. These survey results reveal that there is much work to do.

"Let us pray for an awakening to our holy God and to what He has revealed about Himself and how we are to live in this world."