An overwhelming majority of Protestant pastors say identifying as a gender other than the one you were born with is sinful, a poll finds, but the congregations are not agreeing in the same numbers.
A poll conducted by Lifeway Research found 72 percent of Protestant pastors answered “yes” to the statement, “It is morally wrong for an individual to identify with a gender different than the sex they were born with.”
The poll of 1,007 pastors found 14% disagreed with that statement.
Scott McConnell, who leads Lifeway Research, tells One News Now the survey found a different result when it surveyed church members years ago.
“When we surveyed all Americans,” he says of a 2016 poll, “44% of Protestant Americans agreed that it's morally wrong.”
Mirroring the first poll question, 84 percent of evangelical pastors say identifying as a different gender is immoral but 54 percent of evangelicals said they agree with that statement.
McConnell says the 30-point gap between evangelical pastors and their church members is a sign something important is not being communicated correctly.
“Pastors definitely see that this is not an issue that an individual can just make their mind on their own,” McConnell observes. “This is something that is spelled out in scripture and that God has designed.”
The same Lifeway pastor poll also found 10% of pastors replied that the issue is not a moral one.
That opinion, which placed last in the poll, could line up with evidence of mental illness, which was the medical opinion of the American Psychiatric Association as recently as 2012 until it bowed under pressure and dropped “Gender Identity Disorder” from its diagnostic manual.