It’s a sad day when the evangelical “church” needs a coalition for Biblical sexuality. Perhaps sadder yet is having a need for this group to write a definitive statement on Biblical sexuality, simply laying down God’s stated boundaries, and calling upon Christians to sign on in agreement. Arguably the saddest thing of all is that this document would be a source of contention among “Bible-believing Christians.” This document is known as the Nashville Statement, getting its name from the city in which it was drafted.
Tennessee’s Mayor Megan Barry was quick to denounce the church and distance her state’s political stance from this theological issue, stating: the “‘Nashville Statement’ is poorly named and does not represent the inclusive values of the city & people of Nashville.” Of course that’s no surprise; since, as a Metro councilwoman, she officiated some of the city's first same-sex marriages when they became legal in Tennessee. What does strike me as odd are the many evangelical pastors and Christians who also wish to distance themselves from the Nashville Statement, casting derision at it.
In the midst of its preamble the Nashville Statement says:
“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?”
Following the preamble are fourteen Articles of belief, each consisting of an affirmation and a denial. For example: Article 2 states:
WE AFFIRM that God’s revealed will for all people is chastity outside of marriage and fidelity within marriage.
WE DENYthat any affections, desires, or commitments ever justify sexual intercourse before or outside marriage; nor do they justify any form of sexual immorality.
Here are some of the reasons I have heard for not supporting the Nashville Statement:
· The leadership in some denominations are more supportive of the “Love Wins” belief and don’t want to sign on because they are fearful of offending people, continuing to extend a hand to the LGBT group.
· One “holiness” denomination pastor stated that with “North Korean missile testing, the hurricane…this was just poor planning on the part of the writers.”
· Others have stated that they are too busy with more pressing matters.
· One female pastor wouldn’t sign it because “all these signers are against ordained women because they’re all Baptists and reformed.”
I’m sure there are other reasons, but these probably sum up a major portion of most objectors. Some potential responses to these might be:
· Should we offend God instead of people by putting their feelings above His facts, commands, and truth about their sin?
· Have you ever considered that some of these issues have come upon us due to our disobedience and rejection of God’s truth? (See our articlefrom yesterday)
· Is there really any more pressing matter than setting our moral compass aright, fixing it upon and guarding the precious treasure of Scripture?
· Signing such a statement is not agreeing with every tenet of other denominations; it’s agreeing on God’s Holy Word regarding human sexuality. This is about standing for truth.
Pastors and laypeople alike must be willing to stand for what is right! There should be no greater concern for us than glorifying God and magnifying Jesus. What is happening to so many? There is no greater danger than that of becoming or staying lukewarm. Take heed of Jesus’ warning—HE WILL SPIT THE LUKEWARM OUT! Why do we get so sidetracked with nonessentials?
“Nonessentials” are those things which don’t deal with God’s glory and the name of Jesus. After all we are told that in ALL we do, do it to the glory of God and in ALL we do, do it in the name of Christ.
We urge you to read this Nashville Statement and if you are in agreement with it, sign it.
To hear Al Mohler speak about it click here and here.
Inform your pastor and friends about this important document. Urge them to read it and have discussions about it. Direct them to www.cbmw.orgto learn more about the Nashville Statement or to learn more about The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW).
Our hearts should break over the brokenness of those who have been deceived by Satan regarding their sexuality (whether heterosexually or homosexually speaking) and the sins of immorality. We should realize in horror that we, as a nation and many churches, have neglected God’s Truth and have run contrary to His ways. Rather than looking at God’s Word and such “Statements” with disdain, we should look upon ourselves disparagingly when we have remained silent, repent of our silence, and ask God to give us hearts of boldness and compassion. When we look at our feet and see that they are standing with the world rather than the Word, let us make haste to return to standing on the Word of God (Psalm 119: 59-60).
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