Nashville Statement

15 Reactions For And Against the Nashville Statement

on August 30, 2017

Prominent Evangelicals from several denominational backgrounds signed on to the Nashville Statement, an annunciation of biblically orthodox views on human sexuality. IRD Evangelical Program Director Chelsen Vicari reported that more than 150 key signatories had added their names to the declaration as of yesterday.

The Nashville Statement quickly sparked reactions across the board, both for and against. Spearheaded by Denny Burk, president of the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW), the statement immediately drew support from prominent orthodox Evangelicals.

In contrast, theologically progressive Christians condemned the declaration. Even some progressive secular voices, like the mayor of Nashville, voiced their disapproval.

For those interested in the debate, read these 15 reactions on each side of the discussion listed below. Also, read the entire Nashville Statement here.

Proponents of the Nashville Statement:

(1) CBMW President Denny Burk

“This is a statement for our time–a manifesto of Christian conviction a/b our creation as male and female. Join us…”

(2) Founder of Desiring God & Baptist Pastor John Piper

“With sorrowful joy I celebrate the beautiful light of the Nashville Statement shining in our tragic sexual darkness.”

(3) Author & Evangelical Pastor Alistair Begg

“This is a clear, courageous, compassionate statement on human sexuality. … 

(4) Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary President Daniel Akin

“There is much need for biblical clarity & compassion in the discussion on sexuality. This statement helps…”

(5) Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Albert Mohler

“The Nashville Statement makes a clear declaration of God’s purpose in creating human beings as male and female.”

(6)Resurgent’ Founder Erick Erickson

“No Christian truly committed to the faith could object to the wording of the Nashville Statement.”

(7) ‘TheBlaze’ Columnist Matt Walsh

“Christianity is not a buffet. You can’t take some and leave some. Affirm it all or reject it all. No in between.

(8) Princeton Professor & Former USCIRF Chairman Robert P. George

“Shock! Evangelical Christians affirm Christian moral teachings! Decline to embrace dogmas of secular progressivism!

(9) Columnist & Author Ben Shapiro

“Did I miss the part of the where any serious Christian doctrine changed in the slightest?”

(10) Writer & Syracuse University Professor Rosaria Butterfield

“I am signing The Nashville Statement because I stand with Biblical orthodoxy, the only witness for hope and peace and God’s blessing. By God through the merit and power of Jesus Christ, here I stand.”

(11) National Religious Broadcasters President Dr. Jerry Johnson 

It is time to address the sexual heresy of our age. Read this.”

(12) Center for Public Theology Director & Southwestern Seminary Professor Owen Strachan

“I’m thankful for the ‘Nashville Statement’ on biblical sexuality. Honored to sign it. You should, too.”

(13) Former Southern Baptist Convention President Dr. James Merritt

“I’m proud to join this coalition of evangelicals signing the historic Nashville Statement.”

(14) Reformed Theological Seminary Chancellor & CEO Ligon Duncan

“I joined @SamAllberry J.I. Packer Vaughan Roberts @christopheryuan & many others signing The Nashville Statement … – at Reformed Theological Seminary”

(15) ‘Caffeinated Thoughts’ Editor & ‘Caffeinated Thoughts Radio’ Host Shane Vander Hart‏

“For all of the liberal outrage the does not say anything new. It simply affirms ancient

Opponents of the Nashville Statement:

(1) Nashville Mayor Megan Barry

“The @CBMWorg’s so-called ‘Nashville Statement’ is poorly named and does not represent the inclusive values of the city & people of Nashville”

(2) Evangelical Author Jen Hatmaker

“The fruit of the ‘Nashville Statement’ is suffering, rejection, shame, and despair. The timing is callous beyond words.”

(3) Jesuit Priest & Author Fr James Martin

“Re : I affirm: That God loves all LGBT people. I deny: That Jesus wants us to insult, judge or further marginalize them.”

(4) RNS Senior Columnist Jonathan Merritt

“I would not have signed this for many reasons, but my dad @drjamesmerritt did. I love, respect, and look up to him. I also disagree with him”

(5) Reconciling Ministries Network Communications Director M Barclay

“The is sad and boring and daft. Queer and trans folx are beloved and beautiful and God celebrates us in our us-ness.”

(6) Lutheran Pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber

“Just read the Perfect example of ignoring the hearts and lives of real people so you can adhere to an idea or doctrine”

(7) Author & Pastor John Pavlovitz

“I have my own statement on the . It could be lots of words but honestly I could probably narrow it down to just a finger.”

(8) Christian Author & Speaker Brian McLaren

“Need a popular way to avoid talking about race and greed? Keep focusing on sex.”

(9) Religion Journalist Cathleen Falsani

“Really, evangelicals? With all the pain, chaos & cataclysm right now, you thought *now* was the time for this crap?”

(10) Singer, Actor & Activist Malynda Hale

“I find it funny they are quick to denounce homosexuality but when it comes to racism and white supremacy… SILENCE.

(11) Writer & Purdue Professor Roxane Gay

“The Nashville Statement is a shameful document that is antithetical to true Christianity and the teachings of Jesus.”

(12) Christian Author & Activist Shane Claiborne

“After & , a bunch of mostly-white, mostly-male evangelicals release a ‘manifesto’ on sexuality.

(13) Candidate for U.S. Congress & Former U.S. Ambassador Daniel Baer

“I wonder which signatories have condemned racism, sexual assault, & greed as clearly as they condemn my loving marriage.”

(14) Human Rights Campaign

“Faith should be welcoming and accepting, not used as a tool to discriminate against LGBTQ people

(15) Huffington Post Queer Voices

“Evangelical leaders release anti-LGBTQ statement on human sexuality”

  1. Comment by William West on August 31, 2017 at 11:10 am

    Being a true Christian and follower of Jesus Christ is not an inclusive endeavor. Jesus said in Luke 12: 51-53
    Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.

    From now on a household of five will be divided, three against two and two against three;

    a father will be divided against his son and a son against his father, a mother against her daughter and a daughter against her mother, a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”

  2. Comment by Frank Brown on September 1, 2017 at 1:33 am

    As these truthful words of Christ become more apparent with each passing day, I pray that God’s Spirit will empower each of us to “speak the truth in love” and that “our speech will always be seasoned with grace.” In the midst of the division, may disciples be added to Christ’s Kingdom.

  3. Comment by Ashley Dunlap on September 1, 2017 at 7:22 am

    Jesus also replied that if you love your neighbor as you love yourself, you have fulfilled the Law. That is the greatest commandment (Matthew 22:35-40) Jesus brought division because he went against the religious leaders of his day. He condemned them for their hypocrisy. I would go out on a limb to say that he would also condemn this. Because while they are calling out the moral neutrality of some Christians with the LGBTQ community, they choose to remain neutral on racism, greed, and pride.

  4. Comment by Dwight Caudle on August 31, 2017 at 5:51 pm

    These professing Christians are nothing more than wolves in sheep’s clothing. Taking scripture out of its historical and cultural context in order to spread hate in the name of a loving God is cruel and far worse than any stumbling block I have ever seen. Shame on you. The blood of LGBT people who commit suicide because of your statements will be upon your hands.

  5. Comment by highplainsparson on September 1, 2017 at 11:23 am

    You didn’t name any conservative objections to the Nashville Statement. Here are mine:

  6. Comment by The Reverend Canon Anthony Ferguson on September 1, 2017 at 6:21 pm

    I totally agree with the Nashville Statement but it is essentially meaningless unless and until God’s people actually follow Jesus and glorify Him. They and they alone are light and salt to the world. Let us see both Christian word AND deed.

  7. Comment by David Wink on September 1, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    It is so evident that God has spoken through this Nashville Statement and yet so sad that there are still those who choose not to listen.

  8. Comment by Salvatore A. Luiso on September 1, 2017 at 9:14 pm

    Does anyone know why this declaration about such a vital and currently controversial subject contains almost no citations of Scripture?

    Could it be to avoid accusations of quoting the Bible out of context–which is something of which the Apostles Peter and Paul, and Matthew the Evangelist, could also be accused?

    Without citing an external authority, e.g. the Scriptures, the authors of the Nashville Statement can be accused of merely asserting their own personal opinions as authoritative.

  9. Comment by Julia Hufford on September 3, 2017 at 1:17 am

    I believe this is a ‘declaration’, not an apologetic’.

    To assume that there is no Biblical basis for the position of the signatories to this declaration is equivalent to those who discard ‘original intent’, with our Declaration and US Constitution.

    They don’t read ‘the Federalist Papers’, which explain the intent of their words, because they either are to Lazy, or fear having their desired interpretation of the Constitution disproven.

    Words have meaning; especially when they describe that which ‘constitutes’, a nation, or, in the case of God and Mankind, what God defines as His ‘Covenant’, with us. (Example: “…if you will…than will I…” in the Old Testament)

    I would encourage you to ‘google’ each signatory to the Nashville Declaration, upon which I suspect you will find their Biblical rationale for signing onto it.

    IF you want to know…

  10. Comment by John Goetter on September 1, 2017 at 10:15 pm

    I have to agree with the comment from Frank Brown, “…that God’s Spirit will empower each of us to “speak the truth in love” and that “our speech will always be seasoned with grace.”

  11. Comment by Peter Schellhase on September 2, 2017 at 10:12 am

    What about Matthew Lee Anderson, Aimee Byrd, and other conservative evangelicals who have criticized the Nashville Statement?

  12. Comment by frogman on September 4, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    What about them? Anderson’s criticism leaves me wondering if he read the same Nashville Statement I did. How did he manage to miss what I saw without thinking about it? Byrd’s strikes me, for the most part, as her grinding an axe with Denny Burk et al. over theology that has nothing to do with the Nashville Statement. Both Anderson’s and Byrd’s criticisms are, in any case, in-house as compared with those coming from the other (pseudo-Christian, in significant part?) side the discussion. “Faithful are the wounds of a friend.” I would at least hope they remain friends.

  13. Comment by Lynn on September 3, 2017 at 8:09 pm

    There is an eternal piece to earthly life and we are lacking love if we do not share that the creator of the universe has told us in his word the destination of sinners of whom sexually immoral are part, who continue in their sin. The loving part is wanting all to know our Heavenly Father and turn from sin, follow him and be spared from eternal punishment. Dare we remain silent in fear of the constant onslaught of those claiming hate as the motivating factor here? I don’t consider that type of concern to be hate.
    Our God is very loving but he is also HOLY and desires us to walk according to his word. Christ was hated in his day(John 15:18-22) and told his followers “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you…” They hated him because his teaching revealed their sins that they weren’t willing to hear about.
    My last comment on this is to question if we TRULY want to know what God thinks. Can we cast aside all of our own ideas and fall on our face in total honesty before our God and ask him to reveal to us if we are not understanding him correctly. If we REALLY want to know God’s heart he will reveal it as we HONESTLY seek his face. If we aren’t really seeking the truth then we each become responsible for answering to God for our choices. Make no mistake God is not shuddering and cowering somewhere because people have chosen to disobey his word. He extends his love and grace to all who will believe and follow him but we dare not diminish his call to holiness.

  14. Comment by frogman on September 4, 2017 at 6:56 am

    The Nashville Statement, some Gnashville responses (which, tellingly, mention Dobson as a signatory but not J. P. Moreland). Reminds me of Hitler’s Germany, its Confessing Church & the German Christians. God save the latter, please, & the rest of us from them. And God help us all.

  15. Comment by Texmom on September 5, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    It’s pretty clear; those FOR, simply following Biblical teaching. Those AGAINST, following popular culture and attempting to shut down anything that doesn’t maintain their level of coolness within that culture.

  16. Comment by Penny on September 7, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    Having corrupted the word of God, it does not surprise me that those who are most viciously opposed to his word are accusing the followers of his word of hypocrisy and inaccuracy. The progressives are the modern day Pharisees and that is why they accuse the rest of the Christian body of being that very thing.

  17. Comment by Scott on October 30, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    Yes, Penny. Jesus absolutely condemned the Pharisees for welcoming all into the loving embrace of their Father and for emphasizing the humanity of the outcast and the marginalized. That’s what the Pharisees were known for. Jesus saved his highest praise for those who condemned the sins of others and used ancient “rules” as a measuring stick for righteousness.

  18. Comment by Mark Gruben on April 17, 2018 at 7:01 pm

    The biggest problem I have with the Nashville Statement is the notion that these issues are not debatable, but absolute truth. It reminds me of the parent who, when asked why, says, “Because I said so.”

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