CBMW’s co-founder John Piper said, “The Nashville Statement is a Christian manifesto concerning issues of human sexuality. Our true identity, as male and female persons, is given by God”, the manifesto’s preamble states.
The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood outlined the views in what it called “The Nashville Statement“, an attempt to provide guidance to churches on addressing issues of sexuality.
A nationwide coalition of 153 evangelical Christian leaders released a statement Tuesday affirming their conservative beliefs regarding human sexuality. “Consequently, confusion reigns over some of the most basic questions of our humanity”, said Denny Burk, president of CBMW.
Among other things, the articles say that: marriage is between one man and one woman; God’s will is for all people to remain chaste outside of marriage; people born with “a physical order of sex development” should embrace their biological sex “insofar as it may be known”; that “adopting a homosexual or transgender self-conception” is not consistent with God’s purposes; that people who are attracted to others of the same sex can live a life that pleases God, but the attraction is sinful and acting on it can’t be justified.
“We deny that God has designed marriage to be a homosexual, polygamous, or polyamorous relationship”, the statement reads.
For example, it affirms that “homosexual immorality or transgenderism” is a “departure from Christian faithfulness” and it is not an issue which “otherwise faithful Christian should agree to disagree”. It speaks with forthright clarity, biblical conviction, gospel compassion, cultural relevance, and practical helpfulness.
“They used Nashville in the context, and that’s not our Nashville”, Barry said. “The Sexual Revolution can not keep its promises, and the church must stand ready to receive with compassion the many who are in need of a better hope”.
Christian leaders and the general public were quick the criticize the Nashville Statement not just for its contents but also its release in the current political climate weeks after the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia and in the midst of Hurricane Harvey. The statement was also signed by Steve Gaines, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, and Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. The statement’s 14 sections condemn “homosexual immorality or transgenderism” and stress that sex should only occur between opposite-sex married couples. Nashville Mayor Megan Barry, who USA Today notes officiated some of her city’s first gay marriages, blasted the guidelines on Twitter as “poorly named” and “not [representing] the inclusive values of the city & people of Nashville”.