The Evangelical Alliance has surveyed 17,000 people at various Christian festivals and churches in the UK; the results, in 21st century Evangelicals, show some interesting views, for example:
- Assisted Suicide Although the majority of evangelicals agree, to some extent, that assisted suicide is wrong, less than half strongly hold this opinion.
- Hell 37% of evangelicals strongly agree that hell is a place where the condemned will suffer eternal conscious pain. It’s the issue where there is the greatest uncertainty.
- Evolution 6 out of 10 evangelicals believe that, to some extent, evolution and Christianity are compatible.
- Women in Leadership Just over half of evangelicals strongly agree that women should be eligible for all roles within the church in the same way men are. A further 20% agree a little with this statement.
- Homosexuality It is common for evangelical Christians to distinguish between homosexual ‘feelings’ and ‘actions’. The results reveal that while the majority of evangelicals do not consider homosexual feelings to be ‘wrong’, the majority do believe that homosexual actions are ‘wrong’. 8 out of 10 evangelicals do not think homosexual couples should be able to have civil partnerships blessed in churches.
- 8 out of 10 evangelical Christians strongly agree that the Bible has the supreme authority in guiding their beliefs, views and behaviour.
- 6 out of 10 evangelicals talk to someone who wouldn’t call themselves a Christian about their faith at least once a month.
We seem to be at a critical point in trying to understand the authority of the Bible – what do we take literally and what do we see as linked to a specific culture or situation and therefore not relevant for the 21st century. The place of the Bible and clear explanation of that is increasinly important.