The Nashville Statement was nothing new and should come as no surprise to those who are spiritually mature or familiar with Christianity. However, the uproar over the Articles are just as unsurprising. The statement was a much-needed declaration that the church will not bend to the whims of modern day in its opposition to God’s word. Churches all across America needed a refresher on God’s view on sexuality. This past summer, we have seen Eugene Peterson publicly waver on the biblical view of marriage. Without something to stand united on, it would only be a matter of time before legitimate churches reject Christian doctrine. The Nashville Statement is a clear and concise summary of the biblical view of human sexuality and gender.
The Nashville Statement condemns sexism early on in Article 3 which I thought was empowering to both men and women. I believe the church needs to make progress with gender equality (second wave feminism) and this statement helps because it reflects Jesus’s treatment of women. It’s ironic for people to call it sexist.
The angry tweeters out there call the Nashville Statement hate and bigotry hiding behind religion. However, many critics lack basic reading comprehension. The others just didn’t read. Article 8 acknowledges that people experience same sex attractions which biblically speaking is no different than any other temptation. Article 6 understands that there are certain disorders that do not make a person less in the eyes of God. These articles bring a compassion that the church has often been criticized for lacking.
Most of the backlash has been about the condemnation of homosexuality and transgenderism. Article 7 clearly states that living a homosexual or transgendered lifestyle is inconsistent with God’s holy purpose for creation and redemption. With all the backlash, you would think people didn’t already know this is Christianity. However, these two are not singled out. Article 9 condemns sex outside of the marital covenant which like homosexuality has traditionally been viewed as a sin by the church.
Article 10 is where the Nashville Statement draws a clear line. It is an ultimatum like that in Joshua 24 where you will either follow God’s design or not at all. In a country and world where people and churches are caving to political pressure by liberalism, Article 10 makes it clear that if a person or a church endorses homosexuality or transgenderism, they have strayed. It’s ether God’s way or man’s way. Churches that stray from God’s way are to be viewed as apostate. This is nothing new. Christians don’t look at a church performing gay weddings as following God. The Nashville Statement is simply restating the conclusion that Christians had already made.
Yet with all of this talk of human bodies, the Nashville Statement concludes with the Gospel message. Article 12 states that God forgives mercifully. Article 13 says God has the power to change hearts and lives. Article 14 concludes by saying Jesus came for us all, for we are all lost. His love will always be greater than your sin.
The CBMW is a specific organization centered around this topic. I don’t doubt they prayed long and hard about the words they chose when crafting this message of compassion and accountability. They didn’t come up with anything new. They just stuck to the basics. Thus, why all the controversy is really a reflection of humanity’s rebellion against God.