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The Biggest Heresy in America

Thanks to a recent survey by Ligonier Ministries and Lifeway Research, we now know the biggest heresy in America. Pushing errors regarding the trinity and the church into second and third place is the denial of the Bible’s teaching about the doctrine of sin, especially in the related areas of human depravity and human inability. I say “related” because what we believe about human depravity impacts what we believe about human ability; what we are determines what we can or cannot do.

Regarding human depravity, the research showed:

• 67 percent agree “everyone sins at least a little, but most people are by nature good.”

• 40 percent agree “God loves me because of the good I do or have done.”

Regarding human inability, the statistics were:

• Only 16 percent agree with the doctrine that says “people do not have the ability to turn to God on their own initiative.”

• 71 percent of Americans agree that “an individual must contribute his/her own effort for personal salvation.”

• 64 percent of Americans agree “a person obtains peace with God by first taking the initiative to seek God and then God responds with grace.”

In summary, the vast majority believe that:

• Though we sin a little, by nature we are good.

• We can do good and God rewards our good deeds by loving us.

• We have the ability to turn to God on our own initiative.

• Salvation involves us taking the initiative that God then responds to.

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Dr. David Murray is Professor of Old Testament and Practical Theology at Puritan Reformed Seminary. He is also Pastor of Grand Rapids Free Reformed Church. David is the author of Christians get depressed too, How Sermons Work, and Jesus on Every Page. You can read his blog at HeadHeartHand.org/blog or follow him on Twitter @davidpmurray. David is married to Shona and they have five children ranging from 4 months to 17 years old, and they love camping, fishing, boating, and skiing in the Lake Michigan area.