The Council of Biblical Manhood & Womanhood recently released a declaration of belief regarding sex & gender ethics on behalf of the entire realm of Evangelical Christianity. It is called the Nashville Statement. The reason for the ambiguous title is that according to Christian tradition when a council or synod occurs, the meeting place is often used to identify the creed or statement of faith thereby produced. For example, the Nicene Creed was formulated in Nicaea, Turkey. The Canons of Dort were forged in the city of Dordrecht, Netherlands (often called Dort in English). More recently, the Manhattan Declaration was articulated in New York.
These kind of declarations, a clarion call to truth, are not common in this postmodern era. However, they have a rich history throughout the church age. During the explosion of biblical knowledge during the Protestant Reformation many confessions and creeds were put to pen and parchment. Other times, declarations of faith responded to serious error taking place within the church, to stem the rising tide of heresy within the visible body. The aforementioned Nicene Creed came about in response to the Arian doctrine denying the Trinitarian nature of God. The Council of Nicaea convened and refuted the error with great success. The Nicene Creed is the standard by which most churches understand the doctrine of the Trinity today.
We now have a fresh statement, necessarily reiterating old truth that cements the church’s position on sexuality in juxtaposition to a burgeoning secular morality. A new sexual ethic has been forged from the still smoldering fires of the sexual revolution in the 60s. Homosexual behavior has, in just the past decade, been normalized and deemed morally pure. Marriage has been reformulated to include members of the same sex. The redefinition of sex and marriage has paved the path to the redefining of gender. Transgenderism and the subsequent proliferation of possible genders a person can identify as has opened the floodgates to a level of cultural stupor the likes of which history has never seen before.
The Nashville Statement has been forged in clarity, courageousness and compassion to shine a light into the encroaching darkness of ideological madness. ‘Why’, you might ask, ‘does the church need to address these issues?’ ‘Scripture teaches that Christians have no business judging those outside the church, but those inside. Let the world be the world, God will judge them’, you might say.
This is exactly what the Nashville Statement is intended to do – it is a declaration by the church, for the church. It is no longer merely a cultural issue. You may have heard the saying,
the boat in the water is good. Water in the boat is bad. The church in the world is good, but the world in the church bodes ill.
Well, the boat I’m in has sprung a leak and the water, once safely outside in the storm-tossed seas has poured into the hull breach and threatens to drag it down into the abyss.
The world’s shiny, polished new sexual ethic has infiltrated God’s church to transfix professing believers’ attention and lure them away from truth. The compromise has been as swift as it is staggering. Denominational conviction concerning marriage definition and gender identity has crumpled like an empty pop can underfoot. A quick search engine lookup will show how many denominations are now ‘affirming’ of the gay lifestyle. Major sects have long since been compromised, with many more wavering on the issue.
However, many of those mainline denominations have had Ichabod etched over their doors for decades and this latest apostasy comes as no real surprise. More worrisome is the cracks appearing in the armor of staunchly conservative churches such as the Southern Baptist Convention or even Reformed Churches. In just the past 5 years I’ve heard far too many stories of congregations within theologically conservative traditions affirming and accepting same-sex marriage and transgender ideology. The alert level has reached defcon 1.
The timing of the Nashville Statement is perfect. The church needs to shake off its spiritual malaise and fiercely embrace the truth, because only the truth, expressed in love, can make us free.
The statement consists of 14 separate articles, each with a an affirmation and denial concerning its specific subject matter.
Here is Article 1, which establishes the theme of the entire document:
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.
You can read the entire statement at the link below:
I have read the document, affirmed all its content and signed my name to it. The church has no authority to amend sexual morality to suit the prevailing zeitgeist. To do so is cowardly and unloving toward both God and neighbor. We serve an immutable God whose moral standards are etched forever in stone. God’s ethics reflect who he is and what he wills for his creation. We can either abide in Christ’s forgiveness and strive for holiness of life according to the Father’s standards or stiffen our necks in rebellion and live according to our own whims.
I trust in the Lord with all my heart and refuse to lean on my own fallible, sinful understanding.
The visible church is being divided asunder by the LGBT question. Truth is being sifted from error; the faithful separated from the false.
Which ‘truth’ do you affirm?
Click HERE for my response to the various counter-declarations to the Nashville Statement.