Nashville Statement (A Coalition for Biblical Sexuality)

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Nashville Statement (A Coalition for Biblical Sexuality)

Post by Crosser » October 14th, 2017, 1:15 pm

I recently listened to a Reasonable Faith podcast (with William Lane Craig) and he recently discussed the details of what is called the Nashville Statement. Instead of explaining what the statement and its' articles cover, I'll simply copy and paste them into this thread for all to read. Thousands of pastors have signed this statement and I think its presents a very clear, respectful and presentable view of what classical Christianity teaches as Biblical sexuality.

Please do your best to read this thread in it's entirety before commenting on it's content.

Preamble
Spoiler! :
Evangelical Christians at the dawn of the twenty-first century find themselves living in a period of historic transition. As Western culture has become increasingly post-Christian, it has embarked upon a massive revision of what it means to be a human being. By and large the spirit of our age no longer discerns or delights in the beauty of God’s design for human life. Many deny that God created human beings for his glory, and that his good purposes for us include our personal and physical design as male and female. It is common to think that human identity as male and female is not part of God’s beautiful plan, but is, rather, an expression of an individual’s autonomous preferences. The pathway to full and lasting joy through God’s good design for his creatures is thus replaced by the path of shortsighted alternatives that, sooner or later, ruin human life and dishonor God.

This secular spirit of our age presents a great challenge to the Christian church. Will the church of the Lord Jesus Christ lose her biblical conviction, clarity, and courage, and blend into the spirit of the age? Or will she hold fast to the word of life, draw courage from Jesus, and unashamedly proclaim his way as the way of life? Will she maintain her clear, counter-cultural witness to a world that seems bent on ruin?

We are persuaded that faithfulness in our generation means declaring once again the true story of the world and of our place in it—particularly as male and female. Christian Scripture teaches that there is but one God who alone is Creator and Lord of all. To him alone, every person owes gladhearted thanksgiving, heart-felt praise, and total allegiance. This is the path not only of glorifying God, but of knowing ourselves. To forget our Creator is to forget who we are, for he made us for himself. And we cannot know ourselves truly without truly knowing him who made us. We did not make ourselves. We are not our own. Our true identity, as male and female persons, is given by God. It is not only foolish, but hopeless, to try to make ourselves what God did not create us to be.

We believe that God’s design for his creation and his way of salvation serve to bring him the greatest glory and bring us the greatest good. God’s good plan provides us with the greatest freedom. Jesus said he came that we might have life and have it in overflowing measure. He is for us and not against us. Therefore, in the hope of serving Christ’s church and witnessing publicly to the good purposes of God for human sexuality revealed in Christian Scripture, we offer the following affirmations and denials.
Article 1
Spoiler! :
WE AFFIRM that God has designed marriage to be a covenantal, sexual, procreative, lifelong union of one man and one woman, as husband and wife, and is meant to signify the covenant love between Christ and his bride the church.

WE DENY that God has designed marriage to be a homosexual, polygamous, or polyamorous relationship. We also deny that marriage is a mere human contract rather than a covenant made before God.
Article 2
Spoiler! :
WE AFFIRM that God’s revealed will for all people is chastity outside of marriage and fidelity within marriage.

WE DENY that any affections, desires, or commitments ever justify sexual intercourse before or outside marriage; nor do they justify any form of sexual immorality.
Article 3
Spoiler! :
WE AFFIRM that God created Adam and Eve, the first human beings, in his own image, equal before God as persons, and distinct as male and female.

WE DENY that the divinely ordained differences between male and female render them unequal in dignity or worth.
Article 4
Spoiler! :
WE AFFIRM that divinely ordained differences between male and female reflect God’s original creation design and are meant for human good and human flourishing.

WE DENY that such differences are a result of the Fall or are a tragedy to be overcome.
Article 5
Spoiler! :
WE AFFIRM that the differences between male and female reproductive structures are integral to God’s design for self-conception as male or female.

WE DENY that physical anomalies or psychological conditions nullify the God-appointed link between biological sex and self-conception as male or female.
Article 6
Spoiler! :
WE AFFIRM that those born with a physical disorder of sex development are created in the image of God and have dignity and worth equal to all other image-bearers. They are acknowledged by our Lord Jesus in his words about “eunuchs who were born that way from their mother's womb.” With all others they are welcome as faithful followers of Jesus Christ and should embrace their biological sex insofar as it may be known.

WE DENY that ambiguities related to a person’s biological sex render one incapable of living a fruitful life in joyful obedience to Christ.
Article 7
Spoiler! :
WE AFFIRM that self-conception as male or female should be defined by God’s holy purposes in creation and redemption as revealed in Scripture.

WE DENY that adopting a homosexual or transgender self-conception is consistent with God’s holy purposes in creation and redemption.
Article 8
Spoiler! :
WE AFFIRM that people who experience sexual attraction for the same sex may live a rich and fruitful life pleasing to God through faith in Jesus Christ, as they, like all Christians, walk in purity of life.

WE DENY that sexual attraction for the same sex is part of the natural goodness of God’s original creation, or that it puts a person outside the hope of the gospel.
Article 9
Spoiler! :
WE AFFIRM that sin distorts sexual desires by directing them away from the marriage covenant and toward sexual immorality— a distortion that includes both heterosexual and homosexual immorality.

WE DENY that an enduring pattern of desire for sexual immorality justifies sexually immoral behavior.
Article 10
Spoiler! :
WE AFFIRM that it is sinful to approve of homosexual immorality or transgenderism and that such approval constitutes an essential departure from Christian faithfulness and witness.

WE DENY that the approval of homosexual immorality or transgenderism is a matter of moral indifference about which otherwise faithful Christians should agree to disagree.
Article 11
Spoiler! :
WE AFFIRM our duty to speak the truth in love at all times, including when we speak to or about one another as male or female.

WE DENY any obligation to speak in such ways that dishonor God’s design of his image bearers as male and female.
Article 12
Spoiler! :
WE AFFIRM that the grace of God in Christ gives both merciful pardon and transforming power, and that this pardon and power enable a follower of Jesus to put to death sinful desires and to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord.

WE DENY that the grace of God in Christ is insufficient to forgive all sexual sins and to give power for holiness to every believer who feels drawn into sexual sin.
Article 13
Spoiler! :
WE AFFIRM that the grace of God in Christ enables sinners to forsake transgender self conceptions and by divine forbearance to accept the God-ordained link between one’s biological sex and one’s self-conception as male or female.

WE DENY that the grace of God in Christ sanctions self-conceptions that are at odds with God’s revealed will.
Article 14
Spoiler! :
WE AFFIRM that Christ Jesus has come into the world to save sinners and that through Christ’s death and resurrection forgiveness of sins and eternal life are available to every person who repents of sin and trusts in Christ alone as Savior, Lord, and supreme treasure.

WE DENY that the Lord’s arm is too short to save or that any sinner is beyond his reach.
Scripture References
Spoiler! :
Gen. 1:26-28; 2:15-25; 3:1-24; Ex. 20:14; 20:17; Lev. 18:22; 20:13; Dt. 5:18, 21; 22:5; Jdg. 19:22; 2 Sam. 11:1-12:15; Job 31:1; Ps. 51:1-19; Prov. 5:1-23; 6:20-35; 7:1-27; Isa. 59:1; Mal. 2:14; Matt. 5:27–30;
Matt. 19:4-6, 8-9, 12; Acts 15:20, 29; Rom. 1:26–27; 1:32; 1 Cor. 6:9–11, 18-20; 7:1-7; 2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 5:24; Eph. 4:15, 20–24; 5:31–32; Col. 3:5; 1 Thess. 4:3-8; 1 Tim. 1:9–10, 15; 2 Tim. 2:22; Titus 2:11-12; Heb. 13:4; Jas. 1:14–15; 1 Pet. 2:11; Jude 7
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Re: Nashville Statement (A Coalition for Biblical Sexuality)

Post by Kesarahk » October 14th, 2017, 5:30 pm

When I saw how long the preamble was I almost gave up on reading the others. Glad I kept clicking.
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Re: Nashville Statement (A Coalition for Biblical Sexuality)

Post by DynamiteTiger » October 14th, 2017, 5:44 pm

What is the reference to Nashville? Why is it called the Nashville Statement?
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Re: Nashville Statement (A Coalition for Biblical Sexuality)

Post by KustomElvis » October 14th, 2017, 5:58 pm

It was signed in Nashville. That is why it is called that.

Some good reading indeed. I believe I posted this on my Facebook, not too sure since it happened some time ago.
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Re: Nashville Statement (A Coalition for Biblical Sexuality)

Post by Crosser » October 14th, 2017, 6:26 pm

Kesarahk wrote:When I saw how long the preamble was I almost gave up on reading the others. Glad I kept clicking.
Yes, the rest of the articles are very concise. :)
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Re: Nashville Statement (A Coalition for Biblical Sexuality)

Post by EDAC » October 14th, 2017, 10:00 pm

As one might expect, I'm rather familiar with the Nashville statement. While I hold what is usually considered the "traditional" view of Bible teaching on sexuality, I had a number of issues with the Nashville statement:

http://www.evangelicalsforsocialaction. ... dangerous/
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Re: Nashville Statement (A Coalition for Biblical Sexuality)

Post by Crosser » October 14th, 2017, 10:20 pm

Here is Dr. Craig's comments on Article 7:

"Here they would rule out conceiving of yourself as a homosexual (even if you feel those desires) or conceiving of yourself as belonging to a different gender then your biological sex. You are to conceive of yourself in the way that God has designed you, however difficult that may be."

I highly recommend listening Dr. William Lane Craig and his entire commentary on the Nashville Statement either by listening to his podcast or by reading what was said here: https://www.reasonablefaith.org/the-nashville-statement

By the way, glad to see you around EDAC. :)
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Re: Nashville Statement (A Coalition for Biblical Sexuality)

Post by EDAC » October 15th, 2017, 9:30 am

Out of curiosity: did you actually read my article? (And, in case that wasn’t clear or you don’t recognize the byline, I’m the author.)

If not, please read it. Otherwise, your post comes across as incredibly insensitive — that article discusses, amongst other things, how close I was to killing myself before I was able to accept my orientation (in the words of the statement, adopted a “homosexual self-concept”). Many other people have faced the same struggle — but words from pastors, friends, and family pushed them too far and they aren’t here with us anymore. To follow that concept with a copy-paste statement of “you need to do this regardless of how difficult it is” comes as cross as incredibly uncaring / callous / insensitive.
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Re: Nashville Statement (A Coalition for Biblical Sexuality)

Post by MJCaboose » October 15th, 2017, 10:59 am

EDAC wrote:To follow that concept with a copy-paste statement of “you need to do this regardless of how difficult it is” comes as cross as incredibly uncaring / callous / insensitive.
Just like:
You need to stop lying regardless of how difficult it is. (Exodus 20:16)
You need to stop lusting regardless of how difficult it is. (Matthew 5:28)
You need to stop hating regardless of how difficult it is. (Matthew 5:21-22)
You need to forgive regardless of how difficult it is. (Matthew 6:15)
You need to be perfect regardless of how difficult it is. (Matthew 5:48)

"You shouldn't play in the street because you'll be run over by a car. The rules are there to protect you."
"BUT I WANNA PLAY IN THE STREET! YOU"RE UNCARING, CALLOUS, AND INSENSITIVE ABOUT WHAT I WANT REGARDLESS OF THE RULES!"
"You mean you want to play in the street despite that it's dangerous and you're certain to be hit by a car?"
"YES! IF YOU DON'T LET ME DO WHAT I WANT TO DO, YOU'RE HATEFUL AND INSENSITIVE!"

Image


Then there's the whole "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and ... "If any one desires to follow me, let him renounce self and take up his cross and follow me." (Matthew 16:24)

Meaning that you're DAILY DENYING the lying tendencies and looking to Christ for that strength.
Meaning that you're DAILY DENYING the lusting tendencies and looking to Christ for that strength.
Meaning that you're DAILY DENYING the hating tendencies and looking to Christ for that strength.
Meaning that you're DAILY DENYING the homosexual tendencies and looking to Christ for that strength.

Which matches up there with Paul's struggle with his thorn in the flesh - "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." (2 Corinthians 12)

So if you think that's all uncaring / callous / insensitive... your choice dude... Christ's prettly clear about the topic; but calling us, the Bible, and God uncaring / callous / insensitive (especially after everything God's done to save people from sin) because of the call to turn from sin... makes you pretty damned arrogant.
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Re: Nashville Statement (A Coalition for Biblical Sexuality)

Post by Crosser » October 15th, 2017, 11:16 am

EDAC wrote:Out of curiosity: did you actually read my article? (And, in case that wasn’t clear or you don’t recognize the byline, I’m the author.)

If not, please read it. Otherwise, your post comes across as incredibly insensitive — that article discusses, amongst other things, how close I was to killing myself before I was able to accept my orientation (in the words of the statement, adopted a “homosexual self-concept”). Many other people have faced the same struggle — but words from pastors, friends, and family pushed them too far and they aren’t here with us anymore. To follow that concept with a copy-paste statement of “you need to do this regardless of how difficult it is” comes as cross as incredibly uncaring / callous / insensitive.
Yeah, I read the entire article. It was well written and I did not mean any disrespect towards you, your opinion and your story. Nobody can deny the personal experience and journey you have gone through.

I think my take has more to do with placing someone's identity in their sexual orientation, which is something I would not encourage any Christian to do (whether heterosexual or homosexual). Having our identity in Christ alone is what I would encourage Christians to do.

We all experience different temptations that we don't desire to have as Christians. But that doesn't mean I place my identity in my struggles. Instead, my faith, trust and identity is in Jesus. And I honestly acknowledge the temptations in my life as just that: Temptations that I regularly struggle with. In short, I think it's a mistake for Christians to place their identity in anything but Jesus.

To be clear, I don't believe in the idea of "pray away the gay". But I do believe that the Holy Spirit gives us strength to overcome temptation when it comes. And the times where we mess up as beautiful but broken people (which is daily), I trust in Jesus that my sins, both in thought and deed, are covered.

I don't have any problem with someone acknowledging they have a sexual orientation that doesn't follow scripture. Actually, being honest enough to recognize that is a step forward in some regard. However, I wouldn't say they would place their identity in their sexual orientation.

Likewise, someone may find out their political views follow more Democratic or Republican views. But I wouldn't encourage anyone to place their identity as a Republican or Democrat. As Christians, our identity is in Jesus and anything else we relate to or struggle with are secondary at best. And we continue to live out the teachings of Scripture, regardless of those secondary things.

I appreciate your candor. And I hope you may read my words with grace, because it's a tough topic to place into words. The best thing I can encourage you to do, to understand my view, is to listen to the 20 minute podcast mentioned in the first post of this thread.

Much love man.
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