I will make a covenant of peace with them. It shall be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will set them in their land and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in their midst forevermore. My dwelling place shall be with them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Then the nations will know that I am the Lord who sanctifies Israel, when my sanctuary is in their midst forevermore.” - Ezekiel 37:26-28
Evangelical Christians at the dawn of the twenty-first century find themselves living in a period of history that shows God is using his Church to save the world from its fallenness. As Western Culture has become increasingly post-Christian, evangelicals have been increasingly corrupted by enlightenment influence and secularism in its pursuit of sexuality. The world and evangelicals have strayed away from God’s original intent for sexuality and healthy physical intimacy within friendship, community, and marriage.
By and large, the spirit of our age within the Evangelical Church and the World no longer discerns or delights in the original intent of God’s design for friendship, community, and marriage.
Many deny that God created human beings for his glory and that his good purposes for us include our personal and physical design as male and female.
The New Covenant that Jesus put in place is bringing humanity back to its original stance, a temple for God to dwell in.
But in the evangelical world, it has been common to think that human identity as male and female is highly achieved in sexuality in autonomous preference disregarding the New Covenant and the Great commission that Jesus put in place.
The pathway to full and lasting joy through God’s New Covenant has been replaced in the Church with the idolization of sexuality and family. God’s good design for his people to show the world justice, love, truth, and hope has been replaced by the path of shortsighted alternatives such as the nuclear family, love ONLY between a man and a woman, and a disregard for local church family inclusion.
This secular spirit of our age presents a great challenge to the Christian church. Will the church of the Lord Jesus Christ lose her biblical conviction, clarity, and courage, and blend into the spirit of the age? Or will she hold fast to the word of life, draw courage from Jesus, and unashamedly proclaim his way as the way of life? Will she maintain her clear, cunner-cultural witness to a world that seems bent on ruin and idolization of sexuality?
We are persuaded that faithfulness in our generation means declaring once again the true story of the world and of our place in it-particularly as male and female being one in Christ Jesus because of the New Covenant. Christian Scripture teaches that there is but one God who alone is Creator and Lord of all. To him alone, every person owes glad-hearted thanksgiving, heart-felt praise, and total allegiance. This is the path not only of glorifying God, but of knowing ourselves. To forget our King is to forget who we are, for he made us for himself. And we cannot know ourselves truly without truly knowing him who made us. We did not make ourselves. We are not our own. Our true identity, as a male and female person, is given by God and lived within the body of Christ, the Church. It is not only foolish but hopeless, to try to make ourselves what Jesus did not create us to be, in a relationship with him alone without the Church.
We believe that God’s design for his creation and his way of salvation serve to bring him the greatest glory and bring us the greatest good. God’s good plan provides us with the greatest freedom. Jesus said he came that we might have life and have it in overflowing measure. He is for us and not against us. Therefore, in the hope of serving Christ’s Church and witnessing publicly to the good purposes of God for human sexuality, community, friendship, and marriage revealed in Christian tradition and scripture, I offer you the following affirmations and denials that I hope are better than the Nashville Statement.
We affirm that God has designed a New Covenant for humanity to be a covenantal, procreative disciple making, lifelong union of men and women, that Jesus calls his bride who he is in love with. They are ONE and will seek out each other in love and care. This community will be made up of single men and women, children, widows, covenantal friendships, covenantal marriages, and holy celibates. Each relationship has the potential to signify the love between Christ and his bride the Church.
We deny that God wants us to value marriage over the Church, teach that marriage is the deepest form of intimacy, and value earthly covenants over the New Covenant. In the Old Covenant, sexuality only between a man and a woman was once very important so Israel can reproduce and have children to be the light of the World. Now in the New Covenant, Jesus wants his church to make new disciples so they can be the light of the world. This is the age of the Church and it’s function here on earth. Just as the Apostle Paul taught in his writings, sexuality is no longer needed but is still beneficial for the Churches mission when actually practiced selflessly for the Church and not for the sake of eros alone.
We affirm that God’s revealed will for all people is chastity outside of marriage and inside of marriage with fidelity within marriage and fidelity to the Church and friends.
We also affirm fidelity within friendship and the practice of laying down your life for your friends. We affirm that friends can make covenants before God and the Church to demonstrate the love between Friends that the Holy Spirit has been so kind to give.
We deny that any affections, desires, or commitments ever justify sexual intercourse before or outside of marriage covenants, and friendship covenants, nor do they justify any form of sexual immorality, such as making out, touching each other's body parts in a sexual passionate way even though no reproductive parts are being touched. Lust starts in the Heart.
We affirm that God created male and female (read Genesis) in his own image, equal before God as persons, and distinct as male and female.
We Deny that the divinely ordained differences between male and female render them unequal in dignity and worth.
We affirm that divinely ordained differences between male and female reflect God’s original creation design and are meant for human good and human flourishing.
We deny that such difference is a result of the fall or are a tragedy to be redeemed and go through sanctification that sometimes we will not understand.
We affirm that the difference between male and female reproductive structures are integral to God’s design for self-conception as male and female and should be allowed to function properly without human interference to stop the process of self-conception within the realm of marriage and sexuality. We will be consistent in our judgments and not condemn homosexuality and transgenders for “being unnatural” if we use methods that go against the integral reproductive structures. We will work on our own logs in our eyes before working on the eyes of others.
We deny that physical anomalies or psychological condition nullify the God appointed link between biological sex and self-conception as male and female.
WE AFFIRM that those born with a physical disorder of sex development are created in the image of God and have dignity and worth equal to all other image-bearers. They are acknowledged by our Lord Jesus in his words about “eunuchs who were born that way from their mother's womb.” With all others, they are welcome as faithful followers of Jesus Christ and should embrace their biological sex insofar as it may be known.
We also affirm that singles in the Church are also equal to all other image-bearers and should be treated with equal respect as married Church members.
WE DENY that ambiguities related to a person’s biological sex render one incapable of living a fruitful life in joyful obedience to Christ. We also deny the singleness disqualifies your role in the Church and if anything, it should be more valued as the Apostle Paul taught about singleness. “I wish you were single for the sake of the Gospel.”
WE AFFIRM that self-conception as male or female should be defined by God’s holy purposes in the New Covenant as he is redeeming humanity as revealed in Scripture. When we enter into same sex friendships, we need to remember we are fallen and that attraction towards the same sex is a fallen state. Also, a disregard for fidelity in friendship is fallen. That means we walk in a deeper community and go through the amazing redemption process the Holy Spirit has created within Church community. If we enter into a marriage covenant we need to obey the standards that God has biologically designed in regards to sex and procreation. Do not enter into marriage if you do not plan on fulfilling God’s purpose for marriage.
WE DENY that partaking in a same sex romantic relationship or partaking in a sex change is consistent with God’s holy purposes in creation and redemption in the New Covenant. Jesus wants us to be content with who we are, what we are, and to know we are being made into a new creation in him and not in our sexual identities. He wants us to focus on the Great commission.
WE AFFIRM that people who experience sexual attraction for the same sex may live a rich and fruitful life pleasing to God through faith in Jesus Christ, in strong, intimate, faithful, selfless, inclusive, family, Christian Community in a local Church and beyond, as they, like all Christians, walk in purity of life.
WE DENY that sexual attraction for the same sex is part of the natural goodness of God’s original creation, or that it puts a person outside the hope of the gospel.
We also deny that Christians with same sex attaction are always lusting and want a penis or vagina and boobs. We are not vampires.
WE AFFIRM that sin distorts sexual desires by directing them away from the marriage covenant and toward sexual immorality — a distortion that includes both heterosexual and homosexual immorality.
WE DENY that an enduring pattern of desire for sexual immorality justifies sexually immoral behavior.
We also deny a legalistic view of scripture in regards to direct actions that might not be mentioned in scripture, so if you are partaking in lustful physical connections only reserved for marriages, Stop, that is sexual immorality. Take it seriously. Stop making out late at night in your cars touching each other all over the place, save that for marriage. They call that Forplay.
WE AFFIRM that some think it is sinful to approve of homosexual immorality or transgenderism and that such approval will divide churches. We need to respect each other and go our separate ways and worship God as we believe to be right and allow him to be the final judge. Gay affirming Churches need to do the same and stop pressuring others to believe what they believe too. We need to know our boundaries and respect each other’s spaces.
WE DENY that we can make statements for all Christians since there are many Great intellectual Church bodies such as the Catholics and Orthodox Christians that have kept to historical Christian theology that differs from the enlightenment influenced American Evangelicals.
WE AFFIRM our duty to speak the truth in love at all times, including when we speak to or about one another as male or female.
We affirm that the Church has done horrible acts against the LGBTQ community.
We affirm that we have not practically loved and included Christians that struggle with homosexuality in our personal lives and have excluded them from healthy intimacy.
We affirm that the truth we want to talk about is a truth that makes us comfortable.
WE DENY any obligation to speak in such ways that dishonor God’s design of his image-bearers as male and female.
We Deny any form of unhealthy sinful rejection of those that struggle with homosexuality or deals with sexual identity issues.
We deny any form of sinful selfish marriages that work against the work of the Holy Spirit as he longs to sanctify the Church.
We deny any form of truth being told without any practical love and care being offered.
WE AFFIRM that the grace of God in Christ gives both merciful pardon and transforming power, and that this pardon and power enable a follower of Jesus to put to death sinful desires and to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord.
WE DENY that the grace of God in Christ is insufficient to forgive all sexual sins and to give power for holiness to every believer who feels drawn into sexual sin.
WE AFFIRM that the grace of God in Christ enables sinners to live in Church community as they process sexual identities issues and get their GOD LIKE needs met in the process, and by divine forbearance to accept the God-ordained link between one’s biological sex and one’s self-conception as male or female.
WE DENY that the grace of God in Christ sanctions self-conceptions that are at odds with God’s revealed will.
WE AFFIRM that Christ Jesus has come into the world to be King and plant his Church on Earth and bring justice, love, hope, healing, forgiveness of sins and that through Christ’s death and resurrection, eternal life is available to every person who repents of sin and trusts in Christ alone as Savior, Lord, and supreme treasure.
We also affirm that the Church is the hands and feet of Christ and is responsible to meet the needs of the lost, lonely, sexually fallen, sinners of the world and that they were not made to live alone with God, but through community in the church as Jesus loves her. We affirm our Lords teaching that marriage will not be in Heaven and that we will all be one in Christ experiencing a heavenly intimacy that we can partially experience now through Church fidelity.
WE DENY that the Lord’s arm is too short to save or that any sinner is beyond his reach.
If you were hurt by the Nashville statement I am sorry. I was too. I wrote this to remind myself I am responsable for my feelings and actions and I don’t need to agree with statements that Christians make. I also want to speak out to these church leaders that seem to be culturally insensitive when it comes to the timing, wording, lack of definition, theology, and inclusion of this statement. I am Side B. I do have a conservative stance on this topic. I long to be gentle in this conversation because there is great pain that not many Christians understand. I hope you find peace and hope in the New Covenant of Christ that is taking place in Church community. Without the Church we cannot experience sanctification. Jesus is coming for the Church, not individuals. Not the nuclear family.