It’s clear in recent decades, poll after poll shows the extent of the biblical ignorance and moral decline in America which has lead to tragic consequences. A new Gallup survey supports recent Barna and Pew Research, and the takeaways are consistent: it’s not the church or Christians who are impacting people’s worldview and perceptions of the Bible, it’s modern culture.
The fact God’s Word has rapidly been eradicated from our society is stunning.
In a new Gallup poll last week, alarming and glaring issues were again exposed. First, fewer people think the Bible is actually and literally God’s Word. Just 20% now believe the Bible is the literal word of God which is a decrease of thirty percent since 2011.
The inerrancy of Scripture is foundational to Christianity, and here we have more evidence that deception and the falling away from the truth often begins with doubting the inspiration and perfection of the Bible.
At the same time, more than a quarter (29%) of Americans now think the Bible is merely a collection of “fables, legends, history, and moral precepts recorded by man.” This indicates a rapid increase of skeptics, ignorance, opposition, and biblical illiteracy.
Yes, the Bible is full of very accurate history which is proven by archaeology and various secular historians including Josephus. But Scripture is divine, not simply historic. And yes, the Bible was written by men: 66 different books compiled by many writers over a time span of 1,500 years on three different Continents – whose author is the Holy Spirit.
2 Peter 1:20-21 states,
But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture becomes a matter of someone’s own interpretation, 21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.
If there is a sovereign, all-powerful God who created all things, don’t you think He could handle communicating His message through imperfect human beings?
Jesus said God’s Word is truth (John 17:3). Take it up with Him. Psalm 119:89 states:
“Forever, Lord, Your word stands in heaven.”
Back to analyzing the latest Gallup poll.
Another concerning downward trend is less people see a need for religion in their lives. Too many are caught up pursuing the things of this world such as entertainment, comfort, and leisure. You know, they’re having fun living their best life now.
Therefore, God’s Word, the Gospel, repentance, representing Christ, and spiritual things just aren’t as important. Christianity to them is like adding a cherry on top of their loaded banana split.
Just two decades ago, sixty percent (60%) of people said religion was important, but now in 2022, just forty-four (44%) say it’s important in their lives. Less than half of Americans. No wonder the church is struggling today.
One of the most notable findings was on the difference between Catholics and Protestants and their views of inerrancy. Both groups are in trouble. Thirty percent (30%) of Protestants believe the Bible is the literal word of God while a measly fifteen percent (15%) of Catholics say the same.
A few reasons for this is because Catholics have historically not been encouraged to read and study the Bible, and they place so much emphasis on the Pope, church traditions, the Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church, and teachings about Mary that were added through the centuries.
Nearly half of all poll respondents chose a somewhat neutral view. Forty-nine percent (49%) said neither the strictly literal view of Scripture nor the fables and legends option were accurate and said the Bible is “inspired by God, not all to be taken literally.”
Sorry my non-committal friends, you cannot have it both ways. Our assurance, eternal salvation and security depend on it!
Gallup also noted some intriguing findings on subjects regarding education, church attendance, and other indicators, but nothing is as crucial as whether or not the Bible is perfect, holy, and divine.
Frank Newport, Gallup senior scientist, noted how stunning this poll is and put it this way:
“This marks the first time significantly more Americans have viewed the Bible as not divinely inspired than as the literal word of God.”
The problem is when people stop believing in God and the Bible, deception has already taken root, and they often end up believing in anything. This is one reason there are so many wacky cults and religious teachings out there on works-based righteousness.
One more thing about this critical fact of biblical inerrancy. Perhaps you’ve heard the basic explanation of what’s known as “the descent of the modernists” in the American church that began a century ago. These downward steps to apostasy go like this:
- Step 1. Stop believing the Bible is the inerrant word of God.
- Step 2. Doubt that man is made in the image of God.
- Step 3. Believe in the theory of evolution. Everything came from nothing.
- Step 4. Miracles in the Bible didn’t really occur.
- Step 5. Jesus was not born of a virgin.
- Step 6. No deity – these is no God let alone a Triune God.
- Step 7. No atonement for sin – if sin is even a problem in the first place.
- Step 8. No resurrection. Jesus did not really rise from the dead.
- Step 9. Post truth.
- Step 10. Agnosticism or Atheism.
What happens when we deny God, reject the truth, and cast aside His word to mankind?
Anything goes. If we’re willing to admit it, it is easy to see how far we’ve declined as a church and a nation as this tells a sobering tale of the demise of society.
One reason these surveys matter so much is the fact that in past American history, trust in God and living out the principles of the Bible, His guiding principles, were known to have had a positive impact on public policy. Not anymore.
When Christians are uncertain about moral absolutes, we have a problem.
I wrote in my book, Redefining Truth, that it’s no surprise the Oxford English Dictionary declared “post-truth” to be their word of the year in 2016. It is defined as, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.”
We are now caught in the current of post-modernism which denies the existence of truth as an objective, absolute reality. Just look at the debates over what a woman is, which is yet another cancerous symptom of a secular progressive society that prefers to think man can be god and can live by his or her own truth.
Stay in the Word, friend, and don’t be deceived. Secure your foundation.