The Nashville Statement and the boy who cried wolf

Google “Nashville Statement” (or Bing, or DuckDuckGo – whatever your search engine of choice is).  After a listing for the site, (sometimes even before it) among the first entries you’ll find are a number of articles very critical of the statement – some complete with name calling.  Produced by the CBMW (Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood)  on biblical sexuality, the document called the Nashville Statement was released in 2017 and is a follow up to the 1987 Danvers statement on male and female distinctions, roles, and inherent equality before God. But in this age of gender confusion and so called gay “marriage” being legalized in country after country[1] – a statement on Biblical gender identity was clearly needed.

GMarriage

Before I go on to samples the aforementioned critical articles, let me adopt a convention that will simultaneously allow me to maintain the true meaning of the word marriage – as being between a single man and a single woman, without having to use quotes to separately identify the Godless union between those of the same sex, which some call “marriage”, and which the government has declared is legal, but is not marriage. Quotes are used both to distinguish, and to identify that it’s the precise word some use to describe the union, (however inaccurate it may be).  The the literary [sic] – meaning “exactly as it appeared in the original” – is probably a better designator, though its usage in this context would be unconventional. But to avoid both quotes and [sic] I will use the designation gmarriage – for government-defined-marriage as described by statistician and cultural commentator William Briggs:

“Before we begin, it’s gmarriage to indicate government-defined-marriage, which is not actual marriage. The neologism allows us to save the language, a precious thing, while avoiding the exhausting process of using scare quotes around locutions like same-sex “marriage”. The g is silent, as in gnostic.”[2]

Samples of the Hysteria

So having defined gmarriage, on to the articles. The prominent positioning of such critical articles in major search engines is indicative of the popularity of the negative sentiments expressed in such articles. And what are those sentiments?  The head line of the New York Times article is telling: “The Nashville Statement Is an Attack on L.G.B.T. Christians.”  And if you didn’t catch the drift from the title, you can’t miss it in this statement about it containing “hateful beliefs”:

“The Nashville Statement’s harm is more than symbolic. The hateful beliefs it endorses have real-life, devastating consequences.”[3]

And by the way, if you’re wondering if you can be an LGBT Christian, the Nashville statement answers that question  in the denials of Articles 2 and 7.[4]

The USA Today editors apparently wanted to make sure the search engines captured their anti-Christian sentiments. In the listing that search engines  present when you search for “Nashville statement”,  USA today listed the title of the article as:

“Conservative religious leaders sign anti-LGBT statement on sexuality”

But when you get to the article, the title is listed as the more accurate  (and more neutral):

“More than 150 evangelical religious leaders sign ‘Christian manifesto’ on human sexuality.”
[5]

So USA Today decided to use the properties of  web pages (specifically the HTML title tag, and the SEOTitle tag) to present the anti-Christian headline they wanted the search engines to pick up and display to the world when searching for Nashville statement.  What’s the problem with the title, you wonder? It’s the same problem the Pro-Life movement has been battling for years.  The Pro-Life movement is just that:  pro-life, and that’s what they’d like to be called and referred to as. But anti-Christian magazines and sources like to present them as the negative title “anti-abortion.”  Pro-abortion forces balk at being called “pro-death” or “baby killers”, so they understand the importance of titles, as I’m sure the media does with this issue.

The Nashville statement is a Pro-Biblical Marriage statement. That’s how it should be referenced. Yet LGBT forces and secular commentators refuse to call it that and insist on referring to it by the pejorative “anti-LGBT.”

But the New York Times and USA Today are playing softball when it comes to presenting the statement  and its supporters negatively. If you want to see big league hardball anti-Christian sentiment, look at the Salon.com article. Here’s the headline:

“Evangelicals’ bigotry-filled Nashville Statement is denounced for its anti-LGBT message “

And the first sentence:

“A group of evangelicals have developed a so-called “Christian manifesto,” which proudly pronounces their prejudices against members of the LGBT community.”
[6]

So in the first two sentences, the Salon has called evangelical Christians (like myself) “bigotry-filled” and “prejudiced against members of the LGBT community.” And since their blatant bias is right there in the title, they don’t bother with playing games with the search engine optimization (SEO) tags.

Why the hysteria among secular media and commentators about the Nashville statement? The history of the drive for gmarriage is instructive.  Legalized gmarriage was never the end goal in itself. As some in the LGBT community have begun to admit the end game of gmarriage is the destruction of the institution of marriage itself, also referred to as the “Disestablishment” of marriage.[7] We’ll see a similar goal for gender.

Next up: Ggender

So now when it comes to gender, we see the same game plan unfolding. Instead of gender, they want ggender – government-defined-gender (once again the first g is silent)  – which they are already beginning to get. For example, in New York, if you mis-gender a person in the course of your business you can be fined up to $250,000.[8]. This is of course merely a stepping stone on the way to the destruction of all concepts of gender – if the hardcore LGBT advocates have their way. In their eyes the 58 genders Facebook lists is insufficient[9]; they want to do away with gender altogether.

But standing in the way of the destruction of gender (that is real gender, not ggender) are statements like the Nashville Statement – and those Bible believing Christians and others who support it. And just as the secular idea of tolerance is you must only speak and believe what they tell you to speak and believe. (Anything else is “intolerant.”)  Likewise their idea concerning gender is you can’t impose your ideas of “binary gender” on me. Gender is  fluid. Gender is a human construct.

But is it? Fluid and a construct that is. Who gets to decide? That would be the creator of gender, the creator of humans: God.  As Biblical apologist Ken Ham is fond of saying, if you want to understand the meaning of anything, you have to go back to its origin to which it’s tied:

“Well, the meaning of anything is tied up with its origins. If you want to understand the meaning of anything, you must understand its origins -its basis. Genesis is the only book that provides an account of the origin of all the basic entities of life and the universe-the origin of life, of man, of government, of marriage, of culture, of nations, of death, the chosen people, of sin and clothes: so it goes on and on.”[10]

The LGBT gang know this. Which is why they hate it when the unchanging purpose of God for humans is upheld and defended. They have rejected God’s design for themselves, and want you to play along with their delusion and rebellion. They’ll call you a “bigot” or “prejudiced” or “homophobic” if you refuse to play along. They also understand that to redefine gender on their way to destroying it, they must destroy the solid foundation it is built on: the biblical text.

Thus they want to see Biblical standards cast down and rejected so they can set up their own. In effect, they want to play God. Just as Charles Lyell wanted to “free science from Moses”[11], and thereby reject the Biblical creation account in order to usher in secular ideas of millions of years for the age of the earth. (That, in passing, laid the ground work for an old earth belief that allowed Darwin to build upon with his theory of the Origin of Species). In the same manner LGBT advocates want to free marriage and gender from the Bible so they can usher in their own definitions. But all the attempts at redefinition are rejected in the Nashville statement, another reason why they so vehemently speak against it.

So what is the true origin of gender? That goes back to the account of the creation of man and woman in Genesis 1.26-28

26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

We see in this account of the origin of humans, that:

  • Humans are made in the image of God
  • Both man and woman are in the image of God and are thus both equal in value before God.
    (That is not to imply they don’t have different roles. See the
    Danvers statement on that.)
  • They are to rule over all other creatures on the earth
    (No animals don’t have equal rights)
  • They are male and female by God’s design and purpose, not as a result of the fall (which had not occurred yet)
  • The two together are instructed to be fruitful and increase (something homosexual couples cannot do) , to subdue the earth and rule over it. (The first hint of distinction in roles)
  • In passing, this happened on the sixth day (Gen 1.31), thus God did not use evolution. Nor are animals made in the image of God, which is the primary distinction between man and animals.

Apart from God’s charge to rule over the earth (and my passing statement on evolution), the Nashville statement accurately covers all these truths and their associated issues and more.  In fact it is my studied opinion as a seminary graduate with a master of divinity and an evangelical, ordained minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ, that the Nashville statement accurately captures God’s intent expressed both through his word the Bible, and in his purposeful creation of humans as male and female. Further as the statement points out, men and women have a divinely intended link between their God ordained sex, and the expression of that sex through their gender identity (which the Nashville statement calls “self-conception” (Articles 7, 13)). Since the statement accurately represents the biblical teachings, I too have signed the statement.

Some have quibbled over the format of the statement, which consists of a series of affirmative statements, followed by denials of related issues. This is to exclude the games people play when trying to get around a clearly intended instruction. They’ll play “Well, you said this, but you didn’t say not to do that.”  So CBMW covered both. It’s worth noting that that format is also the format the Apostle John – writer of the gospel and the epistles – also often  used: an affirmation followed by a negatively started rephrasing of the same truth. For example, John teaches Jesus created everything – and he states it positively and negatively:

Through him [The Word, Jesus] all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
John 1.3

John uses the same technique when saying, within God there is no sin, or darkness:
God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.
1 John 1.5

We also see John recording the words of Jesus phrasing the fact that he knows God personally the same way: stated both positively, and negatively:
Though you do not know him, I know him. If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and keep his word.
John 8.55

Thus for those objecting to the positive and negative statement format – it says more about the frame of mind of those objecting – that they’re either perturbed that the statement leaves no wiggle room or they’re ignorant of this common way of affirming biblical truth (or both).

The Conclusion of the Matter

As the preacher (Eccl 1.1 (KJV))  might say, all has been heard, here is the conclusion of the matter (Eccl 12.13): There are only two genders: male and female. And only one male and one female may marry. Those objecting to the Nashville statement confirmation of this think their issue is with conservative Christians, but really their issue is with God and his ordained order. Objectors are following in the footsteps of Satan, trying to destroy God’s created ordered. (John 10.10). If I may use the mixed metaphor depicted above – those calling the Nashville statement “bigoted” and an “attack” on LGBT, etc. are really like the boy who cried wolf. As in that story at first cry there is nothing there, but later there is. But in this case, the something that’s there is the Good Shepherd (John 10.11, 14) tending his sheep, and the boy is foolishly calling the Good Shepherd (and by association his sheep and all who follow him) a devouring wolf.

Critics who deride supporters of the Nashville statement are thus in the role of the boy who cried wolf, seeing the under shepherds and calling then  wolves. In doing so, they are calling the Good Shepherd – God himself “bigoted” and “prejudiced” and so are  unwittingly doing the work of the slanderer, thief and father of  lies who comes only to kill, steal and destroy. (John 8.44, 10.10) A word to the wise – it is not a good thing to call the holy creator of the universe “bigoted” and “prejudiced” by virtue of calling his teachings that.  Those wanting to destroy marriage and gender would be well advised to repent of that desire and stop the slander against the Shepherd – lest they suffer the same fate as the father of lies. (Rev 20.10)


Duane Caldwell | posted September 19, 2017 | printer friendly version
 


Notes  

1  The US Supreme court legalized gay “marriage” in June 2015; it was passed by the parliament in July of 2013 in the UK, (except for Northern Ireland). Gay rights advocates are currently trying to get gay “marriage” legalized in Australia, currently with a non-binding vote to gauge interest authorized by the Australian high court after a previous attempt failed to pass the senate.
Back

2. William Briggs, “Stream: Why Gmarriage Is Worse Than You Think”, WmBriggs.com , June 28, 2015, http://wmbriggs.com/post/16297/;
The Stream 6/27/15 
https://stream.org/gmarriage-worse-think/

Back

3. Eliel Cruz, “The Nashville Statement Is an Attack on L.G.B.T. Christians”, The New York Times, 9/1/2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/01/opinion/nashville-statement-lgbt-christians.html?mcubz=0
Back

4.  To summarize, you cannot be an obedient Christian, walking in the will of God and also be practicing the LGBT lifestyle.  The Bible puts it this way: Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. (Rom 8.8) and It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; (1 Thess 4.3)  And in case you’re wondering, yes the Bible specifically lists homosexuality as a sin. (Lev 18.22; 1 Cor 6.9-10)

Back

5. The Google listing is:
“Conservative religious leaders sign anti-LBGT statement on sexuality”
as the article appears:
   “More than 150 evangelical religious leaders sign ‘Christian manifesto’ on human sexuality”
Holly Meyer, The Tennessean, USA Today Network, Aug 29, 2017,
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/08/29/evangelical-manifesto-human-sexuality/614201001/
Back

6.Matthew Rozsa, “Evangelicals’ bigotry-filled Nashville Statement is denounced for its anti-LGBT message” Salon, 8/30/2017, http://www.salon.com/2017/08/30/evangelicals-bigotry-filled-nashville-statement-is-denounced-for-its-anti-lgbt-bigotry/
Back

7. On LGBT activists wanting to destroy marriage:
Mike Opelka, “Lesbian Activist’s Surprisingly Candid Speech: Gay Marriage Fight Is a ‘Lie’ to Destroy Marriage”, TheBlaze, 4/29/2013,
http://www.theblaze.com/news/2013/04/29/lesbian-activists-surprisingly-candid-speech-gay-marriage-fight-is-a-lie-to-destroy-marriage/

Leo Hohmann, “LGBT activists: Marriage was never the ‘end game'”, WND, 6/30/2015, http://www.wnd.com/2015/06/lgbt-activists-marriage-was-never-the-end-game/
Back

8. Bradford Richardson, “New York businesses face hefty penalties for ‘misgendering’ customers”, The Washington Times, May 18, 2016, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/may/18/de-blasio-fine-businesses-wrong-gender-pronouns/
Back

9. Russell Goldman, “Here’s a List of 58 Gender Options for Facebook Users”, ABCNews, Feb 13, 2014
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/02/heres-a-list-of-58-gender-options-for-facebook-users/

Back

10.  Ken Ham, “The Relevance of Creation”, Answers In Genesis, Nov 1, 1983, https://answersingenesis.org/why-does-creation-matter/the-relevance-of-creation/
Back

11. Lyell wrote:”I am sure you may get into Q.R. [Quarterly Review] what will free the science from Moses”
David Catchpoole and Tas Walker, “Charles Lyell’s hidden agenda—to free science ‘from Moses'”, Creation.com, 19 August 2009,
https://creation.com/charles-lyell-free-science-from-moses
Back


Images:

All images – used by permission from the license holders as noted below
The boy who cried wolf on the Good Shepherd – By Duane Caldwell
 © 2017

Little Red Riding Hood and the big bad wolf © heywoody | Fotolia (used by permission)
Fable the Boy who cried wolf © Lorelyn Medina | Fotolia (used by permission)
Illustration – Jesus is the good shepherd © martinussumbaji | Fotolia (used by permission)

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*