Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Abortion issue concern for evangelical leaders.

During the 2008 elections, there was some debate over what should be the top priority issues for evangelicals. Some liberal evangelicals said too much attention was given to abortion. More should be given to the environment, poverty and other social issues. A new survey by the National Association of Evangelicals says abortion is still the top issue for evangelical pastors and leaders - as well it should be.
The Evangelical Leaders Survey is a monthly poll of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Evangelicals.

The board includes the heads of Christian denominations, pastors and representatives of a wide array of evangelical organizations that include missions groups, colleges and universities, and book and literature publishers.

The poll found abortion in a three-way tie for the top issue along with moral relativism and mistreatment of others.

“While there were some responses that specified secularization, homosexuality, pornography and other concerns, they were not at the top of the list,” Leith Anderson, president of the NAE, told today. "The top three reflected a majority of responses and were themselves almost a three-way tie.”

Jeff Farmer of the Open Bible Churches in Des Moines, Iowa, talked about why he thinks abortion is the number one issue.

"The moral scandal of abortion tops my list…not because murder is worse than other moral evils, but because of the massive numbers of this killing field and intentionality of so many to put self-gratification, greed and political advantage above life itself," he said.

These views on abortion are confirmed by other national polls of evangelicals in general.

Polling data confirms the internal NAE survey and shows evangelicals are some of the most ardent pro-life advocates nationwide.

In December, a Quinnipiac University survey found 72 percent of Americans oppose paying for abortions with their tax dollars under the government-run health care bill in Congress.

But evangelicals opposed taxpayer funding of abortions on an even higher level at 93-6 percent opposed.

In September, the University of Akron conducted a more expansive poll that found progressives are much less pro-life on abortion than evangelicals.

Looking at the conservative Christians, most rejected the notion put forward by liberal Christians that religious people should shift their focus to new issues, such as the environment and poverty rather than focus on social issues, such as abortion.

Asked to rate their response on a scale of 1-7, with seven saying abortion should remain a priority and one a response agreeing with a shift, 49 percent of respondents gave a seven.

Another 14 percent gave a six and eight percent gave a five -- for a total of 71 percent of conservative Christians saying abortion should stay a top priority.

When comparing abortion on a list of eight political issues, evangelicals named abortion the most important by a substantial margin. On a scale of 1-5 with one as the most important, 83 percent of those surveyed gave it a 1 and 12 percent gave it a 2. only one percent of those polled said abortion is not important.

This isn't to say that people should be concerned with the environment and poverty. We definitely should be. But there is certainly a hierarchy of issues in terms of their moral significance. In my estimation, marriage is integrally linked to the life issue, because life issues from the bond of marriage. And as marriage breaks down we'll see even worse problems with abortion.

1 comment:

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