Somewhere between me getting to the boxing gym and sitting down to dinner, social media hounds found the Nashville Statement. For the last two days everyone from every side has launched their opinion on it, given pushback, critiqued, and been offended by it.
But I’ve figured out something about statements like this. When you say something strong and Biblical, everyone has an opinion. Is CBMW perfect? By no means! They still have issues with Trinitarian doctrine. Eternal Submission of the Son is wacky, no matter what Grudem argues. And yes, many Christians have taken complementarianism and turned it into a new patriarchy. So yes, there are issues with the group. But let’s remember that God uses us crooked sticks to draw straight lines.
So now everyone’s coming and offering up these emotional critiques of this statement. Notice I said emotional critiques. Not hermeneutic critiques, not exegetical critiques, not historical critiques. But emotional ones.
This has been the flaw of mainline Protestantism for decades; that there is no real hermeneutic. It is whatever we make it. There are no real standards of exegesis or history because there’s no real doctrine, because there’s no real salvation, because what ails us isn’t in our hearts, it’s what’s outside of us.
Conservative Christians have been saying this for the last sixty years. Isn’t interesting, we are at the the same place we were two generations ago. Culturally, racially, and theologically we are having the same fights. Social media just put it in our face, turned the volume up, and boost the vitriol.
Because the overwhelming arguments have been emotional, I cannot take them seriously. Emotions do not carry the same weight as Scripture.
“But why make a statement about THIS? Who not about white supremacy or racism?” Because these things aren’t mutually exclusive. Because, while yes condemning racism is a good thing and for many denominations(including my former one) still has not happened, we cannot make it an idol. The primary work of the Church is not to condemn racism, but to proclaim the Gospel that calls both racists and the LGBT to repentance and to put their faith in Christ, just as it does for all sinners. But we’ve elevated homosexuality above racism. Here’s what I mean: take Article 10 of the Nashville Statement. Replace the language if homosexualty with “racism”. Any one who pushes back on this new statement gets RIGHTLY condemned and run out of town. So why do we do it with this sin?
Because at the end of the day, we don’t want to just say that homosexuality is a sin.
But my confusion is why the world is so shocked at what has been said. This has always been the orthodox Christian position. The Church has always held that homosexuality is against the teachings of Scripture. It has always taught the heterosexual monogamous relationships are God’s design for marriage. Only for the last half century has this been in question. So yes, I agree, this does strike at the heart of how we will interpret Scripture and form doctrine. One of the critiques I got was that I was interpreting Scripture as a 21st century cis white man; as if I’m inherently flawed because of my skin color and gender indentity. But Augustine, Moses, Paul, Peter, Gregory, Athanasius, Polycarp, John, and Christ weren’t 21st century white men. But Scripture doesn’t change with the culture. We don’t ignore the parts we don’t like. So while my liberal friends like to quote Christ when it comes to taking care of the poor, they seem to leave off the part where he says “Repent, the Kingdom of God is at hand”
Certainly, Evangelicals need a clear, gracious strategy of ministering to those who struggle with same sex attraction. Yes, absolutely the LGBT are made in the image of God and the hand of the Lord is not short to save. But we have to decide today, right now, are we going to change our doctrine to excuse sin
or are we going to cling again to the Scriptures and say “Here I am, I can do no other. God help me”