As Christians around the world celebrated Easter, a recent survey found that the majority of Americans believe Jesus rose from the dead marking the first Easter Sunday.
According to the 2022 State of Theology study, 66% of Americans said, “biblical accounts of the physical resurrection of Jesus are completely accurate.” They believe that the tomb in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is empty because God raised Jesus on the third day after his crucifixion.
The Lifeway study also found that 23% disagree with that biblical story while 11% said they are not sure.
Two-thirds of U.S. adults (66%) say the biblical accounts of the physical resurrection of Jesus are completely accurate. — 2022 State of Theology study
Lifeway noted that the findings remain unchanged since 2018 and is accepted by majorities in different locations in the country. Data from the survey revealed that Jesus’ resurrection is more accepted in the Midwest and South both at 70%. This sentiment is also similar in the West and Northeast both at 62%.
Evidently, most of the evangelicals (98%) are more likely to believe in Jesus’ resurrection than those without such beliefs. Regularly attending Sunday service also affects how a Christian sees the biblical descriptions of the resurrection. Nine in 10 Americans (90%) who attend a religious service at least once a month believes in Jesus’ rising from the dead and only 48% among those who attend religious services less than monthly.
For the first time, 51% of Americans said the Bible is “100% accurate in all it teaches” and 52% said the Bible has authority to tell us what we must do.
Despite the reassuring numbers, the Lifeway study also showed that many Americans remain confused and indifferent to how the Bible and Jesus’ resurrection affect their lives.
More than half (53%) of Americans said the Bible has “helpful accounts of ancient myths but is not literally true.” Also, 40% said modern science disproves the Bible and 32% believes God is unconcerned with their daily decisions.
Author and apologist Rebecca McLaughlin sees both an opportunity and an alarming trend, saying the study made her hopeful and heartbroken at the same time.
“Church attendance isn’t the ultimate goal, of course. But connecting these people, who must on some level think they are Christians, with regular Bible teaching and real Christian community would be a major step toward them trusting in Christ.”
The author of Confronting Christianity: 12 Hard Questions for the World’s Largest Religion said what the Lifeway study suggested is “truly tragic.” She explained that many Americans believe in the factuality of Jesus’ resurrection, but don’t see its connection and significance on their life. “This exposes the danger of ‘cultural Christianity’—the vague assent to Christian beliefs without any evidence of actual faith in Christ.”