Are People Good by Nature? 46% of “Evangelicals” Think So.
Unless we understand the depth of our sin, we likely won’t recognize our need for God’s saving grace. Sadly, the results from our 2020 State of Theology survey uncovers widespread confusion among Christians in America about the reality and effects of sin. Conducted in partnership with Lifeway Research, the full results of this survey are now available.
According to our recent findings, 46 percent of professing U.S. evangelicals* agree with the following statement: “Everyone sins a little, but most people are good by nature.” This idea cannot be reconciled with the emphatic teaching of Scripture that all people are radically corrupted sinners in need of salvation (Rom. 3:23). Even the smallest sin is high treason against our Creator, leaving us hopeless of escaping His judgment apart from His mercy in Christ.
Ligonier Teaching Fellow Dr. Stephen Nichols recently spoke on the significance of this finding in the State of Theology survey.
When Christians take sin lightly, our gospel witness is jeopardized. In a rapidly changing culture, the church must remain steadfast in proclaiming the message of salvation in Jesus Christ for ruined sinners. We hope these survey results will encourage American Christians to defend the gospel boldly to the praise of God’s glorious grace.
* Evangelicals were defined by this survey 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.