On Tuesday, the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW) released the “Nashville Statement,” a declaration of biblical Christian principles on sexuality. To an orthodox Christian, the statement was nothing new, but it made liberals lose their minds.
“Evangelicals are worried about an imaginary ‘biblical sexuality’ instead of the actual biblical flood in Houston,” quipped stand-up comedian Sean Kent.
Many others also cited Texans’ struggle with Hurricane Harvey, as if the disaster should have silenced Christians from speaking on biblical doctrine.
“Quick, Texas needs us! Get our hate-filled manifesto out there before the gays cause another hurricane,” another liberal stand-up comedian, Trae Crowder, tweeted.
"Quick,Texas needs us! Get our hate-filled manifesto out there before the gays cause another hurricane." –#NashvilleStatement idiots, I bet
— Trae Crowder (@traecrowder) August 29, 2017
As Crowder’s comment suggested, most of the freak-out centered around the idea that the Nashville Statement was “hateful.”
Rachel Held Evans, a Christian author who supported Hillary Clinton last November, took a personal approach. “Tonight I had dinner with a group of Christian women united by their love for their LGBTQ kids. They know the harm of” the Nashville Statement.
Tonight I had dinner with a group of Christian women united by their love for their LGBTQ kids. They know the harm of #NashvilleStatement.
— Rachel Held Evans (@rachelheldevans) August 30, 2017
Marieke Nijkamp, another successful author, declared the Nashville statement “a vile, hateful, and deeply unchristian piece of trash.”
The #NashvilleStatement is a vile, hateful, and deeply unchristian piece of trash.
— Marieke Nijkamp (@mariekeyn) August 29, 2017
Scott Dworkin, founder and president of the Bulldog Finance Group and a senior advisor on the campaigns to draft former Vice President Joe Biden and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, called the statement “un-American toilet paper written by Trump fans who use religion as a cover for their bigotry & their hate of equality.”
#NashvilleStatement is un-American toilet paper written by Trump fans who use religion as a cover for their bigotry & their hate of equality
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) August 30, 2017
LGBT activist Charles Clymer — whose pronouns are “they/them” — tweeted, “my thoughts and prayers are w/ the people of the City of Nashville in light of their good name being smeared,” in mock solidarity with the city, as if it were suffering a tragedy like Hurricane Harvey.
Further, my thoughts and prayers are w/ the people of the City of Nashville in light of their good name being smeared. #NashvilleStatement
— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) August 29, 2017
He further added, “I believe Jesus Christ loves me and wants me to be my true self, and no collection of hateful cowards can erase that.” Ironically, the Nashville Statement signers would agree, they would just disagree on what Clymer’s “true self” is — a person defined by LGBT gender and sexuality, or one defined by the image of God, his sin, (with God’s help) his repentance, and his true identity in Jesus Christ.
I believe Jesus Christ loves me and wants me to be my true self, and no collection of hateful cowards can erase that.#NashvilleStatement
— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) August 29, 2017
Shannon Watts, founder of the anti-Second Amendment group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, tweeted, “It is very important that it points out hypocrisy of signers who voted for thrice married, pussy grabbing philanderer.”
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) August 29, 2017
Interesting take, since key signers of the Nashville Statement, including Russell Moore, Wayne Grudem, and David French publicly denounced Trump. Evangelicals may have overwhelmingly voted for Trump in November, but 79 percent is not 100 percent — and a Barna Research study showed that it was “notional Christians,” rather than biblical Christians, who propelled Trump to victory.
In an astonishing display of ignorance, Dan Baer, a Democratic candidate for U.S. Congress in Colorado, tweeted, “I wonder which Nashville Statement signatories have condemned racism, sexual assault, & greed as clearly as they condemn my loving marriage.”
I wonder which #NashvilleStatement signatories have condemned racism, sexual assault, & greed as clearly as they condemn my loving marriage.
— Dan Baer (@danbbaer) August 29, 2017
It turns out that the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood put out a statement against abuse in 1995, declaring, “We are against all forms of physical, sexual and/or verbal abuse.” That statement further added that “biblical teaching on relationships between men and women does not support, but condemns abuse.”
“We believe that abuse is sin. It is destructive and evil. Abuse is the hallmark of the devil and is in direct opposition to the purpose of God. Abuse ought not to be tolerated in the Christian community,” the CBMW went on. Is that enough, Baer? The statement also called for churches to “respond with firm discipline of the abuser and advocacy, support and protection of the abused.”
As for racism, many of the most prominent signers of the Nashville Statement — especially Russell Moore, Steve Gaines, Albert Mohler, and others — are leaders in the Southern Baptist Convention, which adopted a scathing denunciation of both racism and the alt-right in June. “RESOLVED, That messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention … decry every form of racism, including the alt-right white supremacy, as antithetical to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Indeed, these denunciations make the Nashville Statement seem weak by comparison. “We affirm that sin distorts sexual desires by directing them away from the marriage covenant and toward sexual immorality — a distortion that includes both heterosexual and homosexual immorality.”
While the statement declares that “it is sinful to approve of homosexual immorality or transgenderism,” it adds that “people who experience sexual attraction for the same sex may live a rich and fruitful life pleasing to God through faith in Jesus Christ,” and that those born with sexual disorders “have dignity and worth.”
For a “hateful,” “harmful,” “vile,” “unchristian” piece of “bigotry,” that seems tame, even measured. If the Nashville signers are all bigots, why did they condemn heterosexual sexual immorality, too?
Contrary to the liberal outrage, each of the declarations in the Nashville Statement has the solid backing of the Bible and Christian tradition.
As the Daily Wire’s editor in chief Ben Shapiro tweeted, “Did I miss the part of the Nashville Statement where any serious Christian doctrine changed in the slightest?”
Did I miss the part of the #NashvilleStatement where any serious Christian doctrine changed in the slightest?
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) August 30, 2017
Princeton Professor Robert P. George captured the Left’s outrage well. “Shock! Evangelical Christians affirm Christian moral teaching! Decline to embrace dogmas of secular progressivism!”
Shock! Evangelical Christians affirm Christian moral teachings! Decline to embrace dogmas of secular progressivism! #NashvilleStatement
— Robert P. George (@McCormickProf) August 30, 2017
Christians have long taught that: 1 — humans were made male and female in the image of God, 2 — humans sinned, 3 — this led to confusions and perversions like homosexual activity and transgenderism but also heterosexual sinful desires, 4 — Jesus came to save people from their sins, and 5 — that marriage between one man and one woman is the only moral outlet for the good gift of God that is sex.
It is unreasonable for the Left to expect Christians to abandon these positions in the name of “progress,” especially since the science on them is still out. The kind of outrage evinced by the liberal response is little more than moral preening, a narcissistic desire to condemn everyone who disagrees as a “bigot” or “hater.”
Conservative blogger Erick Erickson did not mince words. “The meltdown over the Nashville Statement is nothing compared to the wailing and gnashing of teeth the same people will make on Judgment Day.”