The Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood came out with a statement that is being called the Nashville Statement. It was named for the location of the council that produced it, much like ancient creeds were designated by the location of their formation. It has been signed by many evangelical leaders and pastors and you can find it here.
But for those who maybe are not quick to click the link above and check it out. Here are 5 reasons I think you should. Yes, you. Whoever you are. Even if you have a strong opinion that you will disagree with it from the beginning, or even if you think it is just going to say what you already believe.
1. It Reflects a Biblically-centered view of God-given human sexuality.
Some will disagree with this before reading the Nashville Statement. Others will disagree with it after reading it. But I want to speak for a moment as a pastor and a follower of Jesus. I have read the Bible from cover to cover many times. I prepare sermons and speak from the text of the Bible every week. And when I read this statement, I see it reflect what I believe that Scripture TEACHES about human sexuality. The Nashville Statement doesn’t begin with the goal of making everyone comfortable. It begins with the premise that there is a true standard of human behavior and belief that rests outside of our guts, outsides of our hearts, and outside of our preferences.
The conviction of those signatories is found in the preamble of the Nashville Statement:
“We are persuaded that faithfulness in our generation means declaring once again the true story of the world and of our place in it—particularly as male and female. Christian Scripture teaches that there is but one God who alone is Creator and Lord of all. To him alone, every person owes glad-hearted thanksgiving, heart-felt praise, and total allegiance. This is the path not only of glorifying God, but of knowing ourselves. To forget our Creator is to forget who we are, for he made us for himself. And we cannot know ourselves truly without truly knowing him who made us. We did not make ourselves. We are not our own. Our true identity, as male and female persons, is given by God. It is not only foolish, but hopeless, to try to make ourselves what God did not create us to be.”
The starting point and goal of the Nashville Statement is to highlight the glory of God in His good creation.
2. It will be a document that frames the cultural discussion for a generation.
Some have already spoken out against the Nashville Statement by saying that it is getting too much attention. I can understand this tactic for attempting to marginalize something we may not agree with, but this statement is not going away.
At the bare minimum, it would be good to read this to find out what a large swath of Americans see as reality. If you fear being micro-agressed . . . Take this challenge as an opportunity to read something you don’t like while trying to remain civil. Attempt to understand the heart and meaning behind the statements.
This statement will be around for a while, and will prove to be a frame around one side of the discussion for years to come.
3. It is a document written with truth and compassion as guiding principles.
Again, many will and HAVE disagreed with this. Some, even in the Christian community have charged this document with bigotry and hatred. Some have even said that it will bring physical harm to some. I read it, and found it to be a cautious expression of God’s standard for human flourishing. To cast aspersions of bigotry, is to assume motivations that I cannot see. Someone could make these same statements from bigotry and they would be sinful. But I will take the framers of this writing to be honest, when they say that they were motivated out of love for God and love for others in the crafting of the Nashville Statement.
4. Even if you disagree with it, you should still read it first.
Some will criticize what they think this document says without reading it first, and that is ignorant and immature. To disagree with something that you haven’t read is shameful, and we have all done it at some point in our lives. Don’t do this. Read the Nashville Statement.
5. It is short
It won’t take you very much time at all to read it. Go ahead and read it right here: Nashville Statement.