What Do Regular Churchgoers Think about Transgenderism and Religious Liberty?
Family Research Council recently released a survey on adult churchgoers regarding worldview and various social issues. Within the survey, participants were asked, “Does the Bible address the question, ‘Is transgenderism morally acceptable?’” According to the poll, 52% believe the Bible is clear and decisive about the matter, 19% say the Bible is unclear or ambiguous, 20% believe the Bible does not address it, and 9% claim they do not know.
During Wednesday’s edition of “Washington Watch,” David Closson, director of the Center of Biblical Worldview at FRC, expressed concern about the response. “Of the questions we asked … this was one of the ones that polled the lowest. And so, I think there’s some things we should be thinking about and learning in regard to this information.”
“I think that unfortunately, the church often follows the culture,” Closson added.
Regarding the modern church being affected by culture, Joseph Backholm, senior fellow at the Center for Biblical Worldview, commented to TWS, “The evidence continues to grow that people who identify as Christians are being discipled by the culture more than by the church. Media is having a much greater impact on the way we think than God’s word is.”
Results from the FRC survey, as well as annual polls conducted by Gallup, reveal churchgoers (and Americans as a whole) have been slowly falling away from a biblical worldview for some time now. “As Romans 12 reminds us, we will either be conformed to the world, or we will be transformed by the renewing of our mind, but the renewal of our mind only takes place if we are thinking God’s thoughts instead of the cultures,” Backholm observed.
Instead of conforming to the world, Closson noted the ample opportunity the church has to prioritize the truth. “Rather than following the culture,” he said, “the church needs to observe the culture and realize if [transgenderism] is the issue being talked about, we need to provide teaching on Genesis [as well as] on male and female being created in God’s image. That’s definitely an area of opportunity, in my view, for the church.”
On the topic of religious liberty, the poll indicated a strong majority of churchgoers believe the Bible addresses it, with 69% saying it does and only 9% saying it does not. “I was very encouraged that people are reading their Bibles and understanding that that principle of religious freedom is actually in the pages of the Bible,” Closson noted, especially since the term “religious liberty” is not explicitly stated within Scripture.
Backholm further called on church leaders to be the ones to strengthen Christians. “In Paul’s day, the cultural lies involved things like circumcision and eating meat sacrificed to idols,” he said. “The prevailing lies today are different, but it remains the responsibility of church leaders to identify the lies and make sure Christians understand the truth. We have clearly fallen behind in that effort.”
When asked what can be done to help pastors and Christian leaders develop a biblical worldview, Closson encouraged a renewed focus on discipleship.
“I would just encourage everyone to look at the survey to see what we’ve discovered about the theological worldview and social beliefs of America’s devout Christians. … Let’s show our people what the Bible actually says on these issues. And my prayer is this will lead to deeper discipleship and more faithful understanding of all these devout Christians.”
Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.