“Most American evangelicals hold views condemned as heretical by some of the most important councils of the early church, but a survey released by LifeWay Research for Ligonier Ministries “reveals a significant level of theological confusion,” said Stephen Nichols, Ligonier’s chief academic officer. Many evangelicals do not have orthodox views about either God or humans, especially on questions of salvation and the Holy Spirit, he said.”
“6 percent of evangelicals think the Book of Mormon is a revelation from God, but an additional 18 percent aren’t sure and think it might be.”
That when it came to even the Trinity, the survey reveals that nearly a quarter is infected with the Arian Heresy:
“nearly a quarter (22%) said God the Father is more divine than Jesus, and 9 percent weren’t sure. Further, 16 percent say Jesus was the first creature created by God, while 11 percent were unsure.”
Theologians Alexander and Athanasius of Alexandria, Egypt, argued that Arius denied Christ’s true divinity. Christ is not of similar substance to God, they explained, but of the same substance.
Believing the debate could split the Roman Empire, Emperor Constantine convened the first ecumenical church council in Nicaea in A.D. 325. The council, comprising over 300 bishops, rejected Arianism as heresy and maintained that Jesus shares the same eternal substance with the Father. Orthodoxy struggled to gain popular approval, however, and several heresies revolving around Jesus continued to spread. At the second ecumenical council in Constantinople in 381, church leaders reiterated their condemnation of Arianism and enlarged the Nicene Creed to describe Jesus as “the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.”