Just this past week, the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (www.cbmw.org) released the Nashville Statement, a set of affirmations and denials regarding the LGBTQ+ issue. Succinct, direct, and, most of all, biblically based, the statement really does nothing more than to combine, in one place, what has been the position of the church for nearly 2000 years. As such, you wouldn’t imagine that 1) it was necessary in the first place and 2) that it would be newsworthy. In our current cultural climate, however, you would be wrong on both counts.
First, there was a need for this statement because in the past couple of decades (with increasing speed and intensity over the past few years), our culture has advanced a particular worldview regarding LGBTQ+ issues that is contrary to both the clear teachings of Scripture as well as the clear example of creation. Sadly, the Church was ill-prepared for this advancement, evidenced by two equal, yet inappropriate, reactions. On the one hand, many in the Church reacted by demonizing those who are struggling with sinful desires that manifest in same-sex attraction, gender dysphoria, transgenderism, and the like. Rather than offering the hope of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, they offered condemnation without hope. On the other hand, many in the Church accepted the society’s mantra that should they stand for biblical truth, they would be on the “wrong side of history.” Rather than standing firm for the faith that was once-for-all delivered to the saints (cf. Jude 3), they sacrificed the truth in return for the hope of cultural acceptance – which, it should be noted, has not nor ever will come.
Second, the newsworthiness of this statement is not found in Christians holding to an orthodox position (even if that number seems to be dwindling, we can find comfort in the truth that there will always be a remnant of the faithful – cf. 1 Kings 19:9-18), but it is found in the sustained effort to paint anyone who dares to hold to biblical truth on LGBTQ+ issues in the worst possible light. Terms like bigot, homophobe, hatemonger, and even ones that are unsuitable for the pastor’s weekly thought are assigned without thought or reservation for those who say, “The Bible says…” I know this bothers many of you deeply, but I want to offer you this word of encouragement from our Lord, found in John 15:18-19 (ESV): “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” Expect that your stand will result in the hatred of the world, expressed through many forms of media, but stand firm nonetheless because in so doing you will be pleasing your Lord!
I encourage you to go online (to the website noted above) and read the Nashville Statement. It will not take you very long to do so (each article is only a sentence or two long). Then, prayerfully consider becoming a signatory to the Statement, indicating that you stand in unity with both biblical truth and your faithful brothers and sisters in Christ. I have signed it, knowing not only what may come of it one day here on earth, but more importantly what will come of it when I stand before my Master on that Day. Just something to think about…