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Dutch Authorities Threaten Criminal Charges for Pastors Who Signed Biblical Marriage Statement

What happens when a nation abandons God and replaces Him with full-throated secularism? In the Netherlands, it has meant the unleashing of a torrent of hostility toward religion in general and biblical Christianity in particular as the keepers of the nation's secular ethos seeks to marginalize those who would speak openly about biblical truth. Case in point, the overweening reaction to a group of pastors signing a simple statement of faith about marriage and gender. Authorities in the Netherlands are reportedly investigating whether the 250 evangelical pastors who signed the Nashville Statement on biblical sexuality have violated the law after objections were raised by so-called "equality organizations."

The Nashville Statement, which was released in the U.S. in 2017 in response to the rising tide of secularism and the erosion of the Christian consensus on the issues of gender, marriage, and sexuality, affirms what the Christian church has accepted throughout its 2000+ years of existence — namely that marriage is between one man and one woman and that humans, made in the image of God, were created male or female with divinely ordained differences. Not intended to be a political treatise, the Nashville Statement was intended to be an instructive document for the church and Christian ministries.

Signatories in the U.S. include prominent Christian leaders John MacArthur, Albert Mohler, Denny Burk, James Dobson, John Piper, D.A. Carson, the late R.C. Sproul, and thousands of others. As of the date of publication, there are 22,000 Christians who have signed the document.

Last month a group of 250 pastors in the Netherlands signed a translation of the Nashville Statement, affirming their agreement with the biblical definitions of marriage and gender put forth in the document. Denny Burk, president of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood and an original signer of the Nashville Statement, told PJM that the leaders of the effort published a website with the Dutch translation of the statement, along with the names of the signatories. "Those signatures have since been removed, but they were there long enough for the press to get a hold of them," said Burk.

That decision to publish the website ignited a firestorm in the largely secular nation, prompting liberal churches to condemn the pastors. Many proclaimed their solidarity with the sexual revolutionaries by flying rainbow flags on their buildings. The Hague also joined the fray, flying a rainbow flag of their own in response to the pastors' decision.

Dutch News reported this week that the prosecution service is "examining whether the Nashville Statement on marriage and sexuality breaches the law after a recent Dutch translation was condemned by equality organisations." The article goes on to say that the document was signed by "hardline Protestant ministers," an apparent pejorative reference to "biblically faithful" Christians. A spokesman for the public prosecution service told Dutch News that they were "examining the statement to see if there was any basis for a criminal investigation" but did not indicate how long the investigation might take.