Why I Signed the Nashville Statement on Sexuality
By: Pastor Bill Nesbitt
Monday, October 16, 2017 - 05:55 PM
In her article, “Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing: How LGBTQ Oppression Masquerades as Love on non-affirming Christian Campuses”, Erin Green, a Christian LGBTQ activist, questions how Dr. Barry Corey, president of Biola University and 7 other faculty members, can say they love the LGBTQ community and still sign the Nashville Statement(I called Barry Corey’s office and his secretary said he did not sign it). Those who are called affirming Christians believe that homosexuality is within God’s will if represented by a faithful monogamous relationship. Those opposed are called non-affirming Christians.
The Nashville Statement is a coalition for Biblical Sexuality and asks, “Will the church of the Lord Jesus Christ lose her biblical conviction, clarity, and courage, and blend into the spirit of the age?” It contains 14 articles defining Biblical sexuality. Article 1 states:
We affirm that God has designed marriage to be a covenantal, sexual, procreative, lifelong union of one man and one woman, as husband and wife, and is meant to signify the covenant love between Christ and His bride the church. We deny that God has designed marriage to be a homosexual, polygamous, or polyamorous relationship. We also deny that marriage is a mere human contract rather than a covenant made before God.
I agree with those who signed the Nashville Statement, who see homosexuality as sin and that those who do not repent of it will not enter the kingdom of heaven (Lev. 18:22; Rom. 1:26, 27; 1 Cor. 6:9, 10).
I have signed the Nashville Statement because I believe the Bible. Affirming arguments do not stand up against the clear teaching of Scripture. One of those arguments is pederasty which did take place during the time of Christ. Pederasty is where adult men in ancient times forced young boys to have sex. But that was not the only kind of gay sex in Biblical times. Romans 1 speaks of lesbian sexual relationships as sin and history points out that dominance did not play a role. Lev. 18:22 does not qualify its prohibition against homosexual relationships. That means it is a general prohibition against all gay sexual relationships.
A few years ago, my son Mark came out as gay while a student at Biola University. As a result of my reading, along with my conversations with Mark, I now believe that many individuals are born attracted to the same sex. Not all individuals who live a gay lifestyle are born with a gay orientation but many are. One woman after being gang raped saw men as repugnant. I believe she chose relationships with women based on that heinous crime.
But what happened to her does not absolve her of her sin. The same is true for someone who is born with a gay sexual orientation. They still need to repent and either marry someone of the opposite sex or remain single. You might say that is cruel to demand that they abstain from intimacy for the rest of their life but what does the Bible demand from heterosexual Christians who have divorced unbiblically? I Cor. 7: 11 tells a woman who divorces her husband that she has 2 options: reconcile or stay single. The widow and the single woman who have never been asked to marry, must honor God with their bodies until they find the right man or stay single until the rapture (1 Cor. 6:20). Paul says in I Cor. 7:8, “But I say to the unmarried and to widows that it is good for them if they remain even as I.” That is because they then have more time for ministry.
Can someone who is attracted only to the same-sex be a Christian? Of course. But they must remain celibate or find a Christian of the opposite sex to marry. For the individual born with a gay sexual orientation it is then a choice whether to act upon those desires or not.
Why did I sign the Nashville Statement? Because it is Biblical. I can sign the Nashville Statement and still say I love my gay son but I love God more. Biblical love does not mean that you let culture define truth or that you must tolerate every new idea adopted by liberal Christianity.
Without a doubt my son’s declaration has humbled me!! Before he came out of the closet, I was not as compassionate toward gays as my Lord Jesus is. So, if I love Christ and my neighbor as myself, I need to tell them the truth and be available to walk alongside them while not compromising my faith. I need to call sin sin and I need to resist blending into the spirit of the age and stand apart from it in love.
I need to love homosexuals enough to tell them that Jesus loves them! I also need to make it clear that true happiness comes only through a life of obedience to Christ.