6. The Holy Spirit is a force.
Fifty-six percent of Americans said that the Holy Spirit is not a person but a force. More than a quarter (28 percent) described the Spirit as a divine being but not equal to God the Father and Jesus.
A full half (51 percent) disagreed, standing by the orthodox position that the Holy Spirit is one of the three equal persons of God. He may come from the Father and the Son, but that does not make Him any less God.
7. The Bible was written to be interpreted as each person chooses.
According to the study, 51 percent of Americans said the Bible was written for each person to interpret as he or she chooses. This nonsense does not fit with what the Bible actually says.
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work,” St. Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 3:16-17. If the Bible were written to be interpreted as each person wants, it could not teach, rebuke, correct or train in righteousness.
Interestingly, while many Americans believed the Bible is meant to be interpreted personally, 64 percent said the accounts of Jesus’ bodily resurrection are completely accurate. Only 23 percent disagreed. Not surprisingly, 98 percent of evangelicals agreed in the historicity of Jesus’ resurrection, while even a majority of non-evangelical Americans (56 percent) also did.
Nevertheless, only 47 percent of Americans said the Bible is 100 percent accurate in all it teaches, while 43 percent disagreed. This might be due to the various scientific approaches to Genesis 1. Forty-four percent said the Bible contains helpful myths but isn’t literally true.
8. Extramarital sex is not a sin.
Only about half of Americans (49 percent) said that sex outside of traditional marriage is a sin, while 44 percent said it isn’t one. Women (53 percent) are more likely than men (45 percent) to call extramarital sex sinful, while people with bachelor’s degrees (44 percent) and graduate degrees (40 percent) were less likely than those with high school diplomas or less (56 percent) to do so.
Jesus Himself explained that sex is reserved for marriage, and He even went so far as to say that lusting after someone is a form of fornication. Perhaps due to these clear doctrines, a full 91 percent of evangelicals agreed that sex outside of marriage is a sin, compared to only 40 percent of non-evangelicals. Still, it might be concerning that 9 percent did not believe so.
9. Abortion is not a sin.
Forty-nine percent of Americans in the survey said that abortion is a sin, while 40 percent said it is not. Eighty-seven percent of evangelicals agreed that abortion is a sin, while only 41 percent of non-evangelicals said so.
Abortion is less clear directly from the Bible, but the text describes fetuses in the womb as though they were human. Genesis 25:22 describes Jacob and Esau “struggling together” inside Rebekah’s womb. Luke 1:44 describes John the Baptist inside his mother Elizabeth’s womb leaping for joy when Jesus, who was inside Mary’s womb at the time, was near. Exodus 21:22-25 is arguably the world’s first fetal homicide law, and Psalm 139 describes God’s personal knowledge of the author in his mother’s womb.
Early Christians opposed the practice, which was in vogue across the Roman Empire, and most Christians today oppose it. Modern DNA science testifies that at conception, a new being is created with the entire genetic code of a human being.
If a fetus is a human being, then the practice of abortion can be considered homicide, and the Ten Commandments clearly condemn murder.