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'What a Lie': Franklin Graham Reacts to Shocking Pastoral Survey, Lambastes 'False Teaching… Leading People & Churches Astray'


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Evangelist Franklin Graham reacted this week to shocking survey data showing more than one-third of senior pastors purportedly believe “good people” can earn their way to heaven, with Graham lambasting some of the findings as “false teaching.”

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“I don’t know which 1,000 pastors this group surveyed, but the results are concerning,” Graham tweeted Monday. “39% of ‘evangelical’ pastors they asked said there is no absolute moral truth & that ‘each individual must determine their own truth.'”

He added, “What a lie.”

Graham’s strongly-worded response came after pastoral survey results were published by The American Worldview Inventory, an annual report from the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University.

At least one-third of respondents also said they believe the Holy Spirit isn’t a person and is instead a “symbol of God’s power, presence, or purity,” with at least the same proportion preferring socialism over capitalism. At least one-third also believe “having faith matters more than which faith you have.”

Perhaps most stunning, though, is the 39% figure Graham cited, as that’s the percentage of evangelical pastors who reject the idea of absolute morality and believe individuals get to “determine their own truth,” as The Christian Post reported.

In an age of moral chaos and confusion, these statistics are deeply troubling, which is something Graham underscored as he warned of the impact false beliefs have on the body of Christ.

“The survey also said that 30% of evangelical pastors do not believe that their salvation is based on having confessed their sins & accepting Jesus Christ as their Savior,” he continued in another tweet. “This kind of false teaching is what is leading people & churches astray.”

Graham concluded his tweets on the matter with a passionate defense of the Gospel.

“The Bible is God’s Word, from cover to cover,” he wrote. “It is the absolute truth — it is what counts, not our opinion.”

As Faithwire previously reported, alarming data on American pastors’ beliefs is nothing new. Earlier released data from the Cultural Research Center revealed just 37% of U.S.-based pastors hold to a “biblical worldview.”

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About The Author

Billy Hallowell writes for CBN's He has been working in journalism and media for more than a decade. His writings have appeared in CBN News, Faithwire, Deseret News, TheBlaze, Human Events, Mediaite, PureFlix, and Fox News, among other outlets. He is the author of several books, including Playing with Fire: A Modern Investigation Into Demons, Exorcism, and Ghosts Hallowell has a B.A. in journalism and broadcasting from the College of Mount Saint Vincent in Riverdale, New York and an M.S. in social research from Hunter College in Manhattan, New York.