NASHVILLE (BP) – According to a study released Aug. 15, two-thirds of Americans (67 percent) say they are sinners. And most people apparently aren’t too happy about it – only 5 percent say they have no desire to mend their ways.
Diverse responses to sin
A third (34 percent) of Americans say they are sinners and are working on being less sinful, while a quarter (28 percent) say they are sinners and rely on Jesus to overcome their sin. One in 10 say sin doesn’t exist (10 percent) or that they are not sinners (8 percent), while a larger 15 percent prefer not to say if they are sinners at all.
Only 1 in 20 are fine with being sinners (5 percent). Among the other findings:
- Folks in the Northeast (9 percent) are more likely to be fine with being sinners than those in the South (5 percent) and West (4 percent). They’re also more likely to say sin does not exist (14 percent).
- Americans with evangelical beliefs are more likely to say they rely on Jesus to overcome their sin (72 percent) than those without evangelical beliefs (19 percent).
- Nones – those with no religious preference – are more likely to say sin does not exist (32 percent). Ten percent of nones say they are fine with being sinners, while 27 percent say they work on overcoming their sin. Six percent say they depend on Jesus to overcome sin.
- Members of non-Christian faiths (27 percent) are more likely to say they are not sinners than Christians (7 percent) and nones (6 percent).
- Catholics are more likely than Protestants to work to be less of a sinner (48 vs. 31 percent) and to say they are not a sinner (11 vs. 5 percent), but less likely to say they depend on Jesus Christ to overcome sin (19 vs. 49 percent).
- Americans 18-44 are twice as likely (14 percent) as those 45 and older (7 percent) to say sin doesn’t exist.
Sin and salvation
A 2016 LifeWay study about theology also found many Americans think sin is commonplace.
In that study, two-thirds (65 percent) agreed that everyone sins a little, but most people are good by nature. More than half (57 percent) said it would be fair for God to show His wrath against sin.
However, few Americans seemed to think most sins put them in spiritual danger. Three-quarters (74 percent) of Americans disagreed with the idea that even the smallest sin deserves eternal damnation. That includes almost two-thirds (62 percent) who strongly disagreed.