In this blog I am wading into some turbulent waters regarding human sexuality. The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW) released a new declaration, reasserting the significance of biological sex and traditional marriage over society’s growing LGBT acceptance. “The Nashville Statement” has generated a mixed reception from evangelical leaders. The statement defends the importance of our creation as male and female, as it relates to issues regarding marriage, same-sex attraction, relations, and self-understanding, and transgender persons and transgenderism. I encourage you to read the statement for yourself – Nashville Statement. org.
After some hesitation I want to express public approval of this statement. The preamble states that our culture, “has embarked upon a massive revision of what it means to be a human being.” Human identity as male and female is not longer seen as God’s plan, but rather, “an expression of an individual’s autonomous preferences.” The question is asked, “Will the church…lose her biblical conviction, clarity, and courage, and blend into the spirit of the age…. .. 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.”
Samuel D James expresses my sentiments when he observes, “The Nashville Statement is an attempt – an imperfect one! – at theological clarity. It summarizes in direct language what these evangelicals believe about sex, marriage, and identity. If it fails to speak accurately for every participant in this theological conversion, then we must acknowledge our own limitations and yearn for the day when we all shall know as we are known.” Knowing it is difficult to deal with the complexities of transgenderism in a concise declaration, the statement attempts to apply a “integrity lens” to the integrity of sex and gender as created by God.
This statement is a “line in the sand.” Those who hold an orthodox faith have been too passive in the past regarding the sexual revolution and its effects upon our culture. While the content might seem too direct and uncompromising, it is a statement that is needed at this time in the life of bible believing Christians. The president of CBMW observed the statement to be an “effort to produce a statement of evangelical unity on these matters that can serve as a reference point for the churches and Christian organizations that are looking for confessional language on these issues.”
My hope is that all the men who read this blog, will read the statement. In my opinion it give biblical understanding to “the hyper-activity that is afflicting people on all sides of debates surrounding sex and sexuality.” “We aren’t expressing some peculiar or eccentric claims of Christian theology,” noted Alastair Roberts, “but upholding creational realities that have been generally recognized across human ages.”
The Nashville statement is needed for clarification, when compared to a statement put out by a group calling itself “Christians United in Support of LGBT+ Inclusion in the Church.” Their statement declares “A new day is dawning in the Church, and all Christians are being called to step out boldly and unapologetically in affirmation and celebration of our LGBT+ siblings as equal participants in the Kingdom of God.” While the Nashville Statement might be too blunt, lacking pastoral empathy, its value, in my opinion, is in presenting a clear biblical expression of human sexuality.
Human sexuality and identify is not something we can agree to disagree on. Paul exhorts us in I Thess. 4:3-4 “Keep yourselves from sexual promiscuity. Learn to appreciate and give dignity to your body, not abusing it, as is so common among those who know nothing of God.”