Evangelical leaders have identified the greatest moral issues facing America today and topping the list is abortion.
"The moral scandal of abortion tops my list…not because murder is worse than other moral evils, but because of the massive numbers of this killing field and intentionality of so many to put self-gratification, greed and political advantage above life itself," said Jeff Farmer of the Open Bible Churches in Des Moines, Iowa.
Abortion, moral relativism and mistreatment of others almost came in a three-way tie as the top concerns among America's evangelical leaders, according to the survey released Monday by the National Association of Evangelicals.
While abortion has traditionally remained a major moral concern, the recent push by Congress for health care reform and the possible coverage of abortions with federal dollars have prompted new opposing efforts and louder voices among prominent evangelical leaders.
Pastors such as Joel C. Hunter from Florida and groups like the Evangelical Church Alliance have released statements urging members of Congress not to violate the sanctity of human life in allowing abortion to be funded by tax dollars.
Following abortion, moral relativism was listed as the second greatest moral issue facing America. NAE board member Ron Carpenter said the problem is "a non-belief in Absolute Truth which permeates every other arena of our society."
Many of the surveyed evangelical leaders cited the Old Testament passage Judges 17:6 ("every man did that which was right in his own eyes") as they identified moral relativism as a major concern.
Mistreatment of others was third on the list.
"The greatest moral issue in America today is our blindness and silence to injustices here and around the world," said Sammy Mah, president of World Relief, according to the report on the survey. "Social ills like poverty, malnutrition, homelessness, human trafficking, and so many more are rooted in injustices that must be fought."
Other moral issues named by evangelical leaders included secularization, homosexuality and pornography.
The Evangelical Leaders Survey is a monthly poll of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Evangelicals. They include the CEOs of denominations and representatives of a broad array of evangelical organizations including missions, universities, publishers and churches.