Pastors Views on Marriage – Research Survey Results Released

NASHVILLE, TN – On February 11, 2020, LifeWay Research released the results of a survey of pastors on the subject of same-sex marriage. The study was conducted to assess the changes, if any, among Protestant pastors of various denominations, educational achievements, race, and gender since LifeWay conducted a similar review a decade ago.

Mainline or “progressive” pastors have indicated a markedly increased support of both same-sex marriages and so-called social unions.

There have been, indeed, some significant changes. Mainline or “progressive” pastors have indicated a markedly increased support of both same-sex marriages and so-called social unions.

Nearly half (47%) of mainline pastors now support same-sex marriage. By comparison, a mere 8 percent of evangelical pastors condone the practice.

Of more significance to Christians than the numbers, is the underlying reason that has generated them. In fact, it should be a wake-up call for all professing Christians.

An article written by Dr. Michael Brown in My Christian Daily quoted Scott McConnell of LifeWay Research, who said,

“The movement we see among pastors’ views of same-sex marriage has less to do with their denominational tradition than their view of the Bible. An evangelical distinctive is the ultimate authority the Bible has over one’s beliefs despite changing cultural perspectives. It is not surprising then that evangelical pastors across different denominations continue to view same-sex marriage as wrong through this lens.”

Brown noted that the results of the survey should come as no surprise. Mainline pastors are more likely than not to reject the Bible’s authority, its verbal plenary inspiration, the virgin birth, the resurrection, hell, and Jesus as the only Way of salvation. Once the Bible is set aside, everything else becomes relative to contemporary culture.

Mainline denominations have closely held to higher education as necessary for ministry. However, higher education has tended to produce graduates that are more critically concerned about the validity of Scriptures than they are about the necessity of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, upon whose Word the church is built. There is nothing wrong with education, but it cannot and does not guarantee orthodoxy.

“Those with a doctorate (27%) or a master’s degree (32%) are more likely to support same-sex marriage than pastors with a bachelor’s degree (9%) or no college degree (6%).”

92% of evangelical pastors refuse to condone same-sex marriage because it is forbidden by Scripture. This percentage has remained the same as it was a decade ago.

In 2010, 32% of mainline pastors supported homosexual marriages. The new report shows that the percentage has now increased to 47%. Scott McConnell noted that

“The stability in the views of evangelical pastors means either there has been no growth in acceptance of same-sex marriage among them or the pastors that no longer have moral reservations about it no longer identify as evangelical.”

Brown summed up the matter in his blog, saying,

“The Bible is unambiguous in its condemnation of homosexual unions. Under all circumstances, regardless of how much love or commitment is involved, they are sinful in God’s sight and contrary to His established order.”

Click here to view the “Pastors’ Views on Marriage” survey.

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