Survey asked Americans if they are sinners

Published 3:01 am Saturday, February 3, 2018

I recently read a news article because the headline caught my attention. It announced, “Two-thirds of Americans Admit They Are Sinners.”

The article, published by Christianity Today, reported on a survey conducted by Lifeway Research. Steve McConnell, the executive director of the research group, said 67% of the people surveyed say they are sinners. “Most people aren’t too happy about it – only five percent say they are fine with being sinners.”

Most responses fit within three categories. “A third (34%) of Americans say they are sinners and are working on being less sinful, while a quarter (28%) say they are sinners and rely on Jesus to overcome their sin. Meanwhile, one in 10 Americans (10%) say sin doesn’t exist, or that they are not sinners (8%), while a larger share (15%) prefer not to say if they are sinners at all.”

McConnell stated, “To some Americans, saying you’re a sinner is a way of admitting you are not perfect. To those folks, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re evil or should be punished for your sin. That’s something the church should pay attention to.”

“Sin is the longest-running of human emergencies…The Bible presents sin by way of major concepts, principally lawlessness and faithlessness….sin is the missing of a target, a wandering from the path, a straying from the fold. Sin is a hard heart and a stiff neck. Sin is blindness and deafness. It is both the overstepping of a line and the failure to reach it – both transgression and shortcoming…Sin is never normal. Sin is the disruption of created harmony and then resistance to divine restoration of that harmony. Above all, sin disrupts and resists the vital human relation to God,” writes theologian Cornelius Plantinga in his book, “Not The Way It’s Supposed To Be.”

Comedian Flip Wilson used to joke, “The devil made me do it.” Adam and Eve would probably agree. Oswald Chambers once said, “Sin is not wrong doing, it is wrong being, deliberate and emphatic independence of God.” Since Adam and Eve sinned against God, every one of us is born with a tendency to sin and we need God’s forgiveness.

Romans 3:23 says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” The first step to forgiveness of sin is to admit you are a sinner. What’s next? “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,” according to 1 John 1:9.

“If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation,” Romans 10:9 – 10 teaches.

Oswald Chambers reminds us, “The only basis for which God can forgive me is the Cross of Christ…but it cost the breaking of His heart with grief in the death of Christ to enable Him to do so.” Christ died for you, will you live for Him?


Jan White is an national award-winning religion columnist. She can be reached at