Since so many of us either came from or continue to identify with the evangelical religious culture, I thought it might be interesting to discuss the results of a pew forum study released last week. The survey polled over 2,000 evangelical leaders worldwide. Some of the more notable results include:
- 75 percent of responders favored allowing women to serve as pastors
- 79 percent believe that men should be the religious leaders in the marriage and family
- 53 percent believe men should be the main financial providers for the family
- 84 percent of responders said that “society should discourage homosexuality”
- 96 percent said that abortion is usually or always wrong
The Prosperity Gospel…
- 90 percent of responders said that God does not always give wealth and health to people of faith
- Only 7 percent endorsed the “prosperity gospel”
- 47 percent believe that humans have existed in their current form since the beginning of time
- 41 percent believe that evolution occurred, guided by God
- 82 percent of U.S. evangelical leaders think their influence is declining
- However, 58 percent of evangelicals in the global south (Africa, Asia and Latin America) see their influence as increasing
- 98 percent agreed that the Bible is the word of God
- 50 percent said that the Bible should be taken literally, word-for-word
What is essential to be a good evangelical?...
- 97 percent said following the teachings of Christ in one's personal and family life
- 94 percent said leading others to Christ
- 73 percent said helping the poor and needy
- 52 percent said that drinking alcohol is not compatible with being a good evangelical
- 42 percent said that drinking alcohol is compatible with being a good evangelical.
My thoughts: I was pleasantly surprised by the growing acceptance of female pastors and what appears to be a consensus against the prosperity gospel. I also loved that alleviating poverty made it to the "essentials" list.
Regarding homosexuality, I suspect that if the same poll is taken in 10 years, the number will decrease dramatically. (Of all the “issues” reflected in the poll, I think this one is the most generational.)
Regarding alcohol, I think it’s funny that 52 percent of evangelicals think that Jesus would make a lousy one!
So what from this survey most captured your interest? What did you find encouraging/discouraging?
Do your views align with those of most evangelical leaders? Do you identify yourself as an evangelical?