“Do you believe in miracles?” That’s the famous question sports broadcaster Al Michaels famously asked during the 1980 U.S./U.S.S.R. Olympic hockey game.
A recent Barna survey says 66 percent of Americans would answer “Yes.”
When poll respondents were asked if people can be physically healed supernaturally by God, 33 percent strongly agreed, 33 percent somewhat agreed, 15 percent somewhat disagreed and 19 percent strongly disagreed. Here’s a quick look at these survey results, how they break down across several demographics and what it means for those of us who are leaders in the church.
IT’S MORE THAN A FEELING
For over a quarter of those surveyed, the belief in miraculous healing isn’t just something they say might be true, it’s something they say they’ve experienced.
Twenty seven percent of poll respondents say they’ve witnessed “a physical healing that could only be explained as a miraculous healing.” Among those surveyed, women were more likely to say they’ve experienced healing than men, Protestants more than Catholics, and people with a high school education or less more than college graduates.
People who live in the South are almost twice as likely to say they’ve experienced healing than those in the Midwest, and black respondents answered “yes” far more than Hispanic or white respondents.
MILLENNIALS ARE MORE POLARIZED
Respondents across all age groups reported a similar belief that miracles do happen; however, millennials are more inclined to state adamantly they don’t exist. Twenty six percent of millennials strongly disagreed that God heals people, as opposed to 21 percent of Gen-Xers, 14 percent of Boomers and 13 percent of the Elder generation.
This goes along with the trend most of the research on spirituality points to: There’s a growing drift away from a culturally absorbed Christianity for millennials. That being said, the vast majority of millennials do still believe miracles happen.