Thursday, September 7, 2017

My last comment on the Nashville Statement

I'm not going to say a lot more about the Nashville Statement, especially after having read this response, which follows my thought closely. Some people seem pretty angry about it, and it sure seems to represent (and has been received as) a kind of line in the sand.

It's a theological statement first and foremost, and any engagement with it is going to have to be theological as well. Is it truly Biblically-founded, as it claims to be? I'm not one to say. I simply haven't thoroughly studied the issue. But what I think needs to be said is that the statement is more or less useless in terms of our relationships and interactions with folks outside the church.

I sometimes think that seminary professors and many pastors believe that the rest of us have frequent opportunities to have deep theological conversations with our friends and co-workers, etc. The fact is, even if there might be a remote chance that I get into a conversation about homosexuality, the Nashville Statement will be almost utterly useless to me. It might help me to explain the conservative Christian view, which is, you know, one Christian view. But it would not help me at all as a means to make Jesus understood to anyone.

That's the rub, really. The statement is a coldly rational piece of legalism that seems to have nothing at all to do with faith in Jesus. As a Jesus-follower, I might find it to be a good starting place to understand what the Bible says about sexuality, but I might want to consider other views as well. In the meantime, there is the Way of Jesus, which seems very different than this. When you examine how Jesus responded to the woman at the well, and compare that to the Nashville Statement, you might just see what I mean.

So in the end what we have is a statement of one Biblical perspective, which is sure to prompt a counter-statement or two from alternative perspectives, all of which will probably be forgotten before long. Maybe a few theo-bros will discuss it down at the Starbucks, but to everyone else, it is strangely divorced from the ground where we live and walk and talk and hope to make Jesus known.

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