Here’s what you need to know about the Nashville Statement
By now you may have heard about the outrageous Nashville Statement that has hit the Internet. Unfortunately, it’s not a sign that your time machine is finally working and has sent you back to the Stone Age. It really is 2017, and this is really a thing that people have created and signed their name to for the whole world to see.
The Nashville Statement is the work of the The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW). Yes, that archaic-sounding title really is the name of the group that created the Nashville Statement.
If you have not already read the statement, you can read it here in its entirety, though we really don’t encourage giving the CBMW any more web traffic. We have rounded up some of the most outlandish of the statement’s 14 articles, all of which follow the same format. Each article starts with one affirmation from the CBMW and one related denial.
“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,” reads Article 1 of the Nashville Statement. “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.”
Popular blogger, and self-proclaimed Jesus lover, Jen Hatmaker shared her thoughts on the matter, disagreeing with the Statement and sharing a thought that’s been on the minds of many others.
The fruit of the “Nashville Statement” is suffering, rejection, shame, and despair. The timing is callous beyond words.
— JenHatmaker (@JenHatmaker) August 29, 2017
Apparently, in a time of political distress, foreign conflict and life-impacting damage from natural disaster Hurricane Harvey, reminding the world that some people still think homosexuality is a sin is at the top of God’s to-do list in some people’s eyes.
“WE AFFIRM that self-conception as male or female should be defined by God’s holy purposes in creation and redemption as revealed in Scripture,” states Article 7. “WE DENY that adopting a homosexual or transgender self-conception is consistent with God’s holy purposes in creation and redemption.”
Renowned Catholic priest, author and adviser to the Vatican Rev. James Martin took to Twitter to condemn the Nashville Statement, while mimicking them by using their “WE AFFIRM, WE DENY,” format in his tweets.
“I affirm: That God loves all LGBT people,” Martin tweeted. “I deny: That Jesus wants us to insult, judge or further marginalize them.”
Sharing this message with his 140 thousand followers, it is nice to see that even the Catholic church has officials acknowledging that it’s 2017.
“WE AFFIRM that it is sinful to approve of homosexual immorality or transgenderism and that such approval constitutes an essential departure from Christian faithfulness and witness,” claims Article 1o. “WE DENY that the approval of homosexual immortality or transgenderism is matter of moral indifference about which otherwise faithful Christians should agree to disagree.”
Evangelical Lutheran Church of America pastor Marc Stutzel took to Twitter to proudly share that he goes against Article X daily. So do the 64% of Americans who feel same-sex marriage should be legal. In the eyes of the CBMW, apparently we’re all sinners. Quick, someone tell God that the majority of America is sinning.
Phew! Glad to know I’m breaking Article X everyday. Though, in the process, I’m affirming Article XI. #NashvilleStatement
— Marc A. Stutzel (@stynxno) August 30, 2017
“WE AFFIRM our duty to speak the truth in love at all times, including when we speak to our about one another as male or female,” reads Article XI. “WE DENY any obligation to speak in such ways that dishonor God’s design of his image-bearers as male and female.”
The statement was created by the CBMW at the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission’s annual conference in Nashville and signed by 150 Evangelicals. Its name comes from where the statement was created, and actually has nothing to do with the values of the city of Nashville, something Megan Barry, Mayor of Metropolitan Nashville and Davidson County, wants everyone to know.
The @CBMWorg‘s so-called “Nashville Statement” is poorly named and does not represent the inclusive values of the city & people of Nashville
— Megan Barry (@MayorMeganBarry) August 29, 2017
The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee has created a statement of unity, titled the Nashville Unites Resolution, asking for people to sign their document of what it really means to be Nashville.
“TODAY, WE MUST BE CATALYSTS FOR UNITY: We resolve that if fate leads someone to Nashville, we will embrace them as our own,” the statement calls. “We resolve that if someone speaks ill of our neighbors, we will remind them that is not our way. We resolve to challenge ill-informed or hateful speech before it becomes reality. We resolve that where there is conflict, we will settle it peacefully. No matter what the rest of the world may say or do, let us remember one thing: WE ARE NASHVILLE.”