Research by Evangelical Alliance in the UK has found that 27% of Evangelical Christians declined to agree with the statement that “Homosexual actions are always wrong.”
Of those, 16% actively disagreed, and 11% were unsure. While this is still a minority of evangelicals, it shows conclusively that there is now a significant proportion of evangelicals who have moved beyond a traditional understanding on this issue, and begun to embrace a more inclusive approach.
The survey was conducted last year among Festival goers at events like Spring Harvest and New Wine and is one of the largest surveys of its kind ever conducted in the UK.
Over 15,000 surveys were completed with questions on a wide range of issues and beliefs for evangelical Christians.
Some might jump to the conclusion that this 27% are not really evangelicals at all, but other results challenge that view. On questions of faith, the inspiration and authority of Scripture, and the uniqueness of Christ, almost all those surveyed demonstrated a firm commitment to traditional evangelical faith:
99% of those questioned said that their faith is the most important thing in their lives
95% said that the Bible was the inspired Word of God
94% believed that Jesus is the only way to God, and that the Bible has supreme authority in guiding their beliefs, views, and behaviour.
The difference may be the result of more and more evangelicals realising that the Biblical evidence for condemning same-sex relationships is far from conclusive. So while they continue to hold fast to a firmly Biblical faith, they are more ready to question the interpretation of Scripture which they have been given on this issue.
You can see the survey in full at the Evangelical Alliance website.
You can also read a more personal reflection on the survey on Benny’s Blog.