Study: A Majority of Americans Believe Abortion is a Sin
According to a recent Ligonier Ministries “State of Theology” survey, 52 percent of Americans agree that abortion is a sin compared to the 38 percent who believe it is not. The study shows there has been a slight increase in opposition to abortion since 2016, increasing from 49 percent opposition in 2016 to 52 percent in 2018.
Ligonier Ministries teaching fellow and president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Dr. Albert Mohler noted, “These survey results may surprise some people, but pro-life beliefs have definitely been gaining ground in recent years.
“Pastors and local churches have played a big part in this by teaching about the sanctity of human life. Ultrasound images plainly show the humanity of the child in the womb, and they are provoking the consciences of Americans. Christians are playing a lead role in providing counsel and practical care for those in need.”
Mohler added, “For almost five decades now, abortion has been a central issue in the life of America. With a majority agreeing that abortion is a sin, we have a clear indication that many Americans want the state to restore protection to the unborn child. There would be considerable support for a Supreme Court decision reversing Roe v. Wade. There is clear support for protecting the life of the unborn, which explains overwhelming opposition to abortion on demand.”
Dr. Stephen Nichols, chief academic officer of Ligonier and president of Reformation Bible College commented on the statistic saying, “Regular churchgoers are even more emphatically opposed to abortion, with 79 percent of them saying that abortion is a sin. Likewise, 76 percent of regular churchgoers say that sexual relationships outside of traditional marriage are sinful. This points to the important worldview impact of going to a faithful church.”
The “State of Theology” survey, conducted by LifeWay Research for Ligonier Ministries, also released statistics on extramarital relations and gender identity.
The research team found that a slight majority of Americans, 51 percent, agreed that sex outside of a traditional marriage is a sin, compared to the 41 percent who believe it is not.
The survey also found that 44 percent of Americans believe that the “Bible’s condemnation of same-sex relationships is outdated” compared to the 41 percent who believe it is still relevant.
Additionally, the LifeWay Research team found that 51 percent of Americans disagree that gender identity is a choice, with 38 percent believing that it is.
Ligonier noted an inconsistency with these statistics, however, noting that 77 percent of Americans “agreed that God created mankind male and female.”
“There is increasing confusion in society today regarding gender, with many believing that gender is a social construct or that people can change their gender,” Dr. Nichols said. “The opening pages of the Bible declare that God created human beings as male and female. There is no gender confusion in Scripture. Our biological gender is woven into our identity and is fundamental to who we are as created by God.”
North Korea Sentences 15 Years or Possible Death For Owning Bible
North Korea’s Christians are so hungry for a Bible that they’re willing to risk 15 years in a labor camp or even death to acquire a copy of God’s Word. That’s according to Rachel Godwin of World Help, a Christian humanitarian organization that is working to smuggle 100,000 physical Bibles into the country.
“There are still countless believers across this dark nation who are desperate for Bibles,” Godwin wrote in a column for FoxNews. “Some people have never even seen a copy of the Scriptures in their life … but they know they would do anything to get their hands on one.”
Godwin recounted a true story of a small group of North Korean Christians getting in a fishing boat early one morning and traveling to the center of a river so they could read God’s Word together — away from government ears and eyes. They hid their Bible underneath fishing gear.
“This is the only place where they feel safe enough to worship together and study God’s Word,” Godwin wrote. “And even then, they are constantly on alert. If they are caught reading the Bible, they could immediately be sentenced to 15 years in a labor camp – or worse. They’ve heard the stories of what happens to people who are heard speaking the name of Jesus.
“Many of them have family members and friends who are living in the camps now … or have been buried there.”
But there are not enough Bibles for every Christian, Godwin wrote. Even among the Christians in the fishing boat, each copy was “practically falling apart.”
“After years of being carefully studied and then hidden over and over again, the bindings have come loose and pages are beginning to slip out,” she wrote. “Many of the Bibles have water damage from these early morning meetings on the boat. But they are still these Christians’ prized possessions … they risk their lives for these Bibles.”
Godwin told how the Christians were given new Bibles by a World Help representative, who took the tattered Bibles back to the hotel and hid them. They soon disappeared, though, when a janitor found them.
“It turns out that he was a Christian himself, and his tiny house church of four people had been praying for Bibles,” Godwin wrote. For North Korea’s Christians, a new Bible “is the greatest gift they could receive.”
Alabama Voters Approve Public Displays of Ten Commandments
Voters in Alabama overwhelmingly approved the public display of the Ten Commandments recently. The vote adds an amendment to the state’s Constitution, which reaffirms religious liberty for all people, allows the display of the Ten Commandments according to certain “constitutional” standards, and forbids the expenditure of public money in defense of the amendment or the displays it authorizes.
The measure was favored by more than 71 percent of Alabama voters. The amendment’s leading advocate, Dean Young, heralded its passage as a watershed moment for the state. He said, “The people we were hearing from are super excited to have this opportunity to go down in history as the first state to acknowledge that we want God, that is the Christian God, in their Constitution. This is the first time in the history of the country that a state has taken such a stand in acknowledging the God of the Old and New Testament.”
Young, a resident of Orange Beach, Ala., served as a strategist for Judge Roy Moore’s 2017 run for the Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions after his appointment as Attorney General. Moore came to national prominence in the 1990s after controversy erupted over his display of the Ten Commandments in his Etowah County courtroom.
After his election as Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, Moore made national headlines again when he installed a 5,200-pound Ten Commandments in the rotunda of the Heflin-Torbert Judicial Building in Montgomery, Ala.
The ACLU of Alabama promised that they will not let the display of the Ten Commandments go unchallenged. They said the amendment’s “passage will encourage public bodies to erect constitutionally questionable religious displays featuring the Ten Commandments and give officials false comfort that they will be safe from costly litigation as a result. They will not be.”
Former Atlanta Fire Chief, Fired For Christian Beliefs, To Get $1.2 Million
The city of Atlanta agreed recently to pay former fire chief Kelvin Cochran $1.2 million, four years after he was suspended and then fired for publishing a book containing historic Christian beliefs.
Cochran’s self-published 162-page book, Who Told You That You Were Naked?: Overcoming the Stronghold of Condemnation, included Bible verses addressing sexuality and homosexuality. It was the latter topic that sparked a controversy and an investigation and eventually, his termination. He wrote the book on non-work time.
In December 2017, a federal court ruled against a city policy that required employees to get permission from the government before writing books or giving speeches. The judge said the policy was too broad and “stifled speech.”
As a result, the city council has now agreed to pay Cochran $1.2 million. He was represented by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).
“The government can’t force its employees to get its permission before they engage in free speech. It also can’t fire them for exercising that First Amendment freedom, causing them to lose both their freedom and their livelihoods,” said ADF senior counsel Kevin Theriot, who argued before the court. “We are very pleased that the city is compensating Chief Cochran as it should, and we hope this will serve as a deterrent to any government that would trample upon the constitutionally protected freedoms of its public servants.”
NEWS IN BRIEF
- Catholic Charities of Buffalo chose to end foster care and adoption services rather than end their practice of only placing children in homes with a father and a mother. The state of New York has a rule that forces registered foster care and adoption agencies registered with the state to see no difference between a husband and a wife and same-sex couples. Catholic Charities of Buffalo CEO Dennis Walczyk explained, “We’re a Catholic organization, so we have to practice what we do consistent with the teaching of the church.”
- A mainstream study by a Brown University professor is under fire from transgender advocates for suggesting that some children become transgender due to social pressure or influence, and not because they are born that way. The studyby Lisa Littman, an assistant professor of the practice of behavioral and social sciences at Brown’s School of Public Health, was published in PLOS ONE. Brown University since has pulled a press release about the study, according to the magazine Science.