Nashville Statement (A Coalition for Biblical Sexuality)

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EDAC
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Re: Nashville Statement (A Coalition for Biblical Sexuality)

Post by EDAC » October 15th, 2017, 11:37 am

No hard feelings, Crosser. I didn’t figure that you were trying to be insensitive, but wanted to point out that it did come across that way so you knew ;). Unfortunately, the way the church has delivered some of this message in the past has actually driven teenagers to suicide — something I’m acutely aware of and sensitive to.

The fact that the church’s teachings has been driving teenagers to suicide is a huge problem. It means the church has something wrong — because the church’s teaching should NEVER do that. The fact that it is happening means that either the teaching or the delivery is wrong — and that’s something that many churches completely ignore, and instead go right to what MJCaboose said — and so more kids kill themselves or leave the church because of it.

I always find the discussion about “identity” less-than-helpful because it usually relies on oversimplifying the issue, assuming that a person only has one identity, leading to the conclusion accepting an identity or self-concept of gay “replaces” ones identity in Christ. I don’t think that view does justice to how complex the concept of identity actually is — we can have more than one. The fact that someone “identifies” as gay does not mean their primary identity is not in Christ. Each role/identity/descriptor describes a part of a person’s experience. Even the phrase “gay Christian” puts gay in the adjective role — subordinate to the noun, Christian. Being Christian is supposed to be the most important part of our identities — but it doesn’t have to be the only thing (although it should guide everything else).

One additional note — I don’t accept comparisons of homosexuality to lying, hating, etc. because I don’t think that it’s a fair analogy. The Bible says that lying is sin. The Bible says that hating others is sin. The Bible never, however, says that being attracted to the same sex is sinful. It says that same-sex sexual acts are — but not the attraction itself. That means that my experience of lust is different — but the temptation is in the lust, not in the specifics of who it is directed at.
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Re: Nashville Statement (A Coalition for Biblical Sexuality)

Post by Crosser » October 15th, 2017, 11:52 am

I do agree that clarification and being specific when discussing these topics are very important and I appreciate the clarifications you've offered. I agree with a few of the points you've said and I disagree with other parts, however, I'm short on time to go into those details right now.

I do want to stress one thing when discussing sensitive topics, especially for Christians. That is that we should show love towards everyone. And to clarify, I think love requires both truth and compassion to be expressed. Some Christians always hammer truth hard and show little compassion. And some Christians always pour out lots of compassion, but offer very little truth. May we all look to imitate Christ, who showed love towards others with both truth and compassion.
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Re: Nashville Statement (A Coalition for Biblical Sexuality)

Post by NeoJabez » October 15th, 2017, 1:22 pm

I'd just like to interject that it's a pleasure to see you around, EDAC!

Crosser, your last paragraph is, I think, exactly the point EDAC is trying to bring out in stark detail. The church says, "Gay bad." But then the church doesn't offer any sort of mechanism to allow gay people to help themselves within the church. "Praying the gay away" seems a little limited. When you're a straight Christian, there are programs to help you find other Christians to date, in hopes of Godly Marriages. There are classes taught that teach how relationships should work. I don't know of any churches that teach how to be gay by definition but celibate by choice.

MJCaboose, I totally get where you are coming from, and actually used to toe the exact same line, but in knowing EDAC, I've come across slightly adjusted thinking on the matter, allow me to elaborate:

EDAC is pointing out that the disconnect for young gay people is so large, that they are more willing to die than to live learning how to "fit", whether that means fitting into their families, fitting into their churches, or just being able to look at their own lives and deem them worth living.

They aren't dying for a cause or belief, or for testimony, like the Apostles. They aren't dying as a sacrifice for others. They aren't even dying to make a point, whether you believe 'gay is a choice' or whether it's a sort of 'identity lie' or similar...People are still dying. I think that's the underlying point here. You may disagree with EDAC's 'take' on things, his perspective, but the end result is that dozens, if not hundreds of deaths could have been turned into "lives after Christ", if only we could find a way to show love to ALL SINNERS, even those who happen to be gay.

A recent quote I cam across from H.B.Charles, Jr.: "Truth without love is brutality, love without truth is hypocrisy." (Oddly, Pastor Charles is one of the original signatories of the Nashville Statement.)

Let me be transparent here:

I have always been vehemently of the opinion that gay is a choice, not some unchangeable thing some are born to be. I have always believed precisely as MJC put it, that is that Christ's Work is enough for all sin, and that you shouldn't play with fire, and not expect to be burned. (In a nutshell.)

Having said that...At one point in my life, I sold guns. I would direct buyers through pages and pages of paperwork, talk with them while their initial ATF/FBI background check zipped through the NCIC (National Crime Information Center), and all the while sort of 'assess' their mental state. (For those that wonder, yes, I worked totally above board, legally, for a major retailer who sold firearms.)

Myself and an associate of mine once sold a gun to a young man who had just been brought on at the new major chain electronic and computer store down the street as a department manager. He was full of conversation about the new job, very vocal about his team and how excited he was to be accepted as a department manager, even though he was only 22 or so.

All of his checks came through, and he purchased a double-barrel, breech-loaded 20 gauge shotgun, for his cousin...as a gift.

The very next week, my associate and I were questioned by police detectives, as our young customer had gone under a bridge near his home and committed suicide with the weapon we sold him.

That wasn't the worst part. It's tragic enough that we were given NO CLUE that he was buying the gun specifically to take his own life. He was quite literally one of the best actors I've ever seen in my life. It's tragic enough that a young life was gone in an instant with no hope of learning and developing more in Christ.

What's most tragic is the statement my associate heard during the police interviews. The police detectives showed up with some family members, and one was an aunt with her son. Her son was about 45-50, and was the much older cousin or uncle of the young person who took his life.

My friend and co-worker said that this man said it was "a good thing _____ shot himself before someone else in the family did it for him"...This guy was so against anything gay, he acted like his own blood kin was some kind of cancer in his family.

I know that some people really look at homosexuality that way. I know why. I totally get it. But if you treat ANYONE like a cancer, and not like a child of God, I think maybe God will turn that same treatment upon YOU, and with totally understandable reasoning.

Forgive me if I've put words in anyone's mouths, just analyzing out loud. lol

Please, as a friend recently told me, always be aware of your audience...You don't know all the struggles or testimony or situations that others have been through. I honestly believe that EDAC is trying to find a true, Biblical way to talk to people about these issues, not spur up controversy for it's own sake. These issues apply directly to his life! His very life! Please discuss them with grace and love, though it may be the hardest thing you've ever done!
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Re: Nashville Statement (A Coalition for Biblical Sexuality)

Post by Goatman » October 15th, 2017, 1:49 pm

If my identity is in Christ alone does that mean that when someone asks me about myaelf, all I should say to them is that I am a Christian? That's a wee bit unrealistic methinks.

The Nashville Statement's identity clause is extrabiblical. It's purely theological in nature. There is nothing in Scripture that calls identifying your attractions bad. To look on another to lust is bad. To lay with another man as you would a woman is bad. But to recognize your struggles and describe yourself by them?

I'm sorry, but when telling someone to face suicidal ideation rather than to be honest with themselves about their struggles, that is unholy.

Christ's work is enough for all sin. But involuntary attraction is not sin, and that's all that the term "gay" describes, no matter how the Church wants to misconstrue it to mean promiscuity.
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Re: Nashville Statement (A Coalition for Biblical Sexuality)

Post by Crosser » October 15th, 2017, 4:48 pm

Goatman wrote:If my identity is in Christ alone does that mean that when someone asks me about myself, all I should say to them is that I am a Christian? That's a wee bit unrealistic methinks.
No, of course not. The point is that I can describe myself in many ways, but that we, as Christians, should find our identity in Christ. And all other things (secondary in nature) are simply things we can describe ourselves as when it comes to different things pertaining to our interests, hobbies or even struggles.

For instance, could someone who struggles with orgy-like thoughts still be saved and trust in the Holy Spirit for power to withstand temptation of such thoughts and trust in Christ for to cover them for any sinful thoughts that may have taken place? I would said yes, and that's simply recognizing our fallible nature as human beings and trusting in Christ for my salvation. (But keep in mind, Romans 6 in balance with this point).

But I would not place "orgy" in with my identity, especially when describing my primary identity, which is in Christ. So I wouldn't say, "Hey, I'm a orgy-minded Christian". Instead, I would say something to the affect of, "Hey, I'm a Christian, but I struggle with many things. One of those struggles are in regards to orgies..." (of course I wouldn't probably be so forward myself, but you get the picture).
Goatman wrote:The Nashville Statement's identity clause is extrabiblical. It's purely theological in nature. There is nothing in Scripture that calls identifying your attractions bad. To look on another to lust is bad. To lay with another man as you would a woman is bad. But to recognize your struggles and describe yourself by them?
I don't have a problem describing ones struggles with someone. As long as that's made clear. Identifying yourself as a "list-sins and-temptations-here Christian" is what I think is a mistake. My broader point was already made in the above paragraph.
Goatman wrote:I'm sorry, but when telling someone to face suicidal ideation rather than to be honest with themselves about their struggles, that is unholy.
Those two ideas are not mutually exclusive. And the idea itself is a straw man.

But I do think it's a good thing for us as Christians to be open and honest with our interests, disinterests, shortcomings, temptations, sin, etc. I think, as a Christian, being held accountable to another believer you trust is also a good thing. So we may be in full agreement on this particular point if my clarification is correct. If I'm wrong here, then feel free to clarify what your originally mean here.
Goatman wrote:Christ's work is enough for all sin.
Yup! Amen! :thup:
Goatman wrote:But involuntary attraction is not sin, and that's all that the term "gay" describes, no matter how the Church wants to misconstrue it to mean promiscuity.
We all have "involuntary attractions" towards many different types of temptation and sin. All of us. But I simply think it's a mistake to wear your temptation or sin as your primary identity. Instead, I think placing everything else as secondary description or aspect of ones own life is a better way to communicate. Then give each aspect listed with proper detail on how they relate to you as an individual.

I hope that all made sense. :blush: Again, it's tough to describe what I mean on a forum post (with limited time). So I apologize if any points I made aren't understood.
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Re: Nashville Statement (A Coalition for Biblical Sexuality)

Post by loot » October 23rd, 2017, 2:53 pm

Excellent, wholeheartedly support this. They will definitely catch flak from the public but these days that's a sign you're on the right path.

"Nice", "good" and "kind" are completely distinct concepts, often with very little overlap, and modern self-professed Christians are too hung up on the first to do proper duty to the other two.

Paraphrased from a Catholic friend of mine: Is it true compassion to allow, or even encourage, people to pursue a life that you know is going to be mentally, physically and spiritually debilitating because it's easier than taking a hard line? It's considered inhuman to tell homosexuals that their desires are disordered but every urge we have toward sin is disordered - and indulging them damages our relationship with God and our neighbors. Homosexuals are owed the same compassion as any other sinners, but also the same truth that we all need to repent of our sins.
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Re: Nashville Statement (A Coalition for Biblical Sexuality)

Post by loot » October 23rd, 2017, 2:55 pm

I have sympathy with the idea that gays have been handed a huge burden. If that's the case, the Church's responsibility is not to take winking measures toward acceptance but to say, your goal should be to stay chaste or to find a normal life situation somehow. We will give you all the support you need to do that. Those are not the most politically popular options, but that's not the point.
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Re: Nashville Statement (A Coalition for Biblical Sexuality)

Post by Imagine Wagons » October 24th, 2017, 3:07 pm

Im going to Chime on here as well. There are somethings that I agree with and somethings that I dont agree with about this "Nashville statement". I really dont think that this is a statement per say but rather a doctrine for the City of Nashville. Now thats where things get fishy, my church that I go to believes that a person who has same sex attraction can serve as long as they dont participate. Which I agree. This is one of the many reasons why as I changed churches because of their doctrine. Anyway! The reason why I dont agree with this is because this is extremely dangerous for Christians as this is going to be brought up in a lot of counter arguments. I personally believe that we need not to show intolerance to those who have homosexual relationships or have same-sex attraction but rather be tolerant and set boundaries to those who are.
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Re: Nashville Statement (A Coalition for Biblical Sexuality)

Post by Sabalanor » November 1st, 2017, 11:24 am

Don't have much time here, but something I try to think about in "all things controversial"...

Who did Christ criticize/judge/argue against more? Was it the "sinners" or those who tried to hide behind their interpretation of doctrine/scripture of the time?

Every instance of calling people out that I see in Christ is of those who thought themselves as better than others or more correct than other people. Not to say that sin isn't sin, but that Christ showed that it is better to love others than to necessarily "follow rules." His comment about the greatest commandant was about loving God with everything, and then loving others as yourself. This then could go into "i'd want people to call out my sin..." argument, but that is not the point I'm trying to make. I don't think the way to love others and bring them to Christ is to tell them they are wrong or bad. That is God's work, and not mine. I'm here to try to love people and point them to Christ, who can then "correct" them however they seem fit through that relationship.

Christ hung out with the sinners in their settings, and even Paul implicated saying act as the Romans in Rome, so that these people can relate to you and then be shown the love of Christ. He did call out his disciples at times when they were being silly, but ultimately it was about getting people to follow him first.

BTW, I wholeheartedly agree with the statement that if the message from the Church is driving people to commit suicide or away...something is amiss. Christ was sought after by people who "heard" of his message.
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