Here are some thoughts on the Nashville Statement
I wonder, in this moment in time, with so many things going on—white nationalism on the rise in this country threatening people of color, increasingly severe storms causing havoc both at home and across the globe (most noticed in Houston), nations threatening nuclear war… in the midst of all these things… I wonder why the Nashville Statement was released?
You attack individual autonomy when it comes to issues of sex, gender, and orientation. I wonder if a similarly strong attack will be made regarding how individual autonomy shapes economic, ecological, and political life in this country? I shall not hold my breath.
You declare gay and trans lives to be shortsighted, ruinous, and dishonorable. Then you pat yourself on the back as an unashamed courageous and clearly counter-cultural force in this country. I wonder how such counter-cultural people have gained a seat at the table of the President of the United States, and I wonder still more why this document was released to coincide with his administration’s roll out of anti-trans and anti-gay agenda items?
I marvel at how you have sold yourself for pottage. You claim our “true identity” is as male and female—but scripture declares that our true identity is the one we have been given in baptism—we are Children of God.
In fact, you double down on this point and link a person’s gender, being male and female, to a person’s salvation. “Design” and salvation are tied together for you. There was a time when my denomination’s namesake, Martin Luther, stood against what he believed to be salvation by works. I think you go one step worse—salvation by right self-conception. As a Lutheran I must deny this—our actions, or thoughts, or anything this is ours, will not save us. We are saved only because God is gracious.
I have noticed you have dishonored every marriage that does not produce children and any remarriage after divorce. You also ignore the reality that when clergy perform marriages we do so partially as officials of the state. There is literally a human contract involved in what we do.
How often do you wed two virgins in your church? How many of you were virgins on your wedding night? I worry that these types of statements, that ignore the facts on the ground, often serve to make the church look foolish, out of touch, and easily dismissed. I remember being told not to lust by a pastor, that if I looked at a girl with lust I truly ought to pluck out my eye. I was a teenage boy going through puberty, this scared the hell out of me. When I finally went to a lay adult with my genuine struggle to be perfect, his response was, “just don’t listen to the pastor, no one ever actually does anything like that.”
In what ways are male and female distinct? Which differences are the ones that matter, which are the “divinely ordained differences”? I would venture to guess that decision will be made by mainly men, at least judging by the average signer of this statement.
I wonder, if sexual difference does not render inequality of dignity or worth, does that mean you will work to close the gender pay gap? That you will fight for the Equal Rights Amendment? That you will ordain women…
It seems to me that discerning what aspects of our present life are part of “the fall” and which are “divinely ordained” is not an easy thing to discern. After all, when God showed up on earth the religious leaders of his day crucified him, and the Apostle Paul, no slouch when it comes to biblical interpretation, attacked the early church on account of his reading of Deuteronomy—he who dies upon a tree is cursed. If you think God’s will is clear, you will likely crucify Christ and persecute his church.
Taking this affirmation seriously for a moment, this would mean part of a man’s self-conception ought to be non-monogamy, as our “reproductive structures” contain enough sperm to knock-up the whole planet a hundred times over. Natural Law arguments only work if you ignore nature.
You seem to mean well.
Again, you’ve tied self-conception to redemption, you lean toward salvation by self-conception. How does God save me based on my manliness?
I wonder as well, how this and article 5 play out. One looks to natural law, the other to scripture. For that matter, what all does the bible say about sexuality, gender, and orientation?
I wonder how many married gay people you’ve talked to? By and large their marriages and relationships with their partners have made their lives richer and more fruitful. I’ve seen the fruits of the Spirit blossom on account of homosexual relationships.
I also wonder how this article squares with your natural law arguments. If homosexual sex is found in most every animal in nature, how then is it unnatural?
Again, if article 5 means anything you have to take seriously sexual desire as natural.
If supporting homosexual marriage and transgender people is a sin, then I’ll sin boldly.
By the same token, there are ways in which fellow Christians can disagree, respect for the bound conscience of the neighbor. But if you aren’t practicing it in your statement, I shall not do so in my response.
This is a strange article. I hope it is not saying we ought to purposefully misgender people. Maybe its call for truth about one another as male and female calls us to fight toxic masculinity and sexism?
You all are pietists!
You seem to believe people might be holy before the general resurrection. Yet we are both justified and sinner—claiming otherwise leads people to hide their sins and foster hypocrisy. We’re only as sick as our secrets. Don’t make people sick with false promises.
Your ongoing assumption that you know God’s revealed will reeks of self-aggrandizement. At the same time you don’t know if you are affirming “natural law” or “scripture” and seem not to have actually thought through any of it beyond that you require gender, sex, and orientation to align for everyone in the way that it does for the majority of people.
Also, have you talked to transgender-folk about their struggles to “forsake transgender self-conceptions”? Have you talk to them about the liberation they have experienced when they’ve become who they believe God has called them to be?
I like The Denver Statement’s response to this: “WE AFFIRM that Christ Jesus has come into the world to save sinners and that through Christ’s death and resurrection forgiveness of sins and eternal life are available to every person; this is a supreme treasure.
WE DENY that God is a boy and has actual arms.”