The Nashville Statement is an evangelical Christian statement of faith relating to human sexuality and gender roles authored by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW) in Nashville, Tennessee. The Statement expresses support for an opposite-sex definition of marriage, for faithfulness within marriage, for chastity outside marriage, and for a link between biological sex and "self-conception as male and female." The Statement sets forth the signatories' opposition to LGBT sexuality, same-sex marriage, polygamy, polyamory, adultery, and fornication. It was criticized by egalitarian Christians and LGBT campaigners, as well as by several conservative religious figures.
The statement was drafted in late August 2017, during the annual conference of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee. The statement was published online on August 29, 2017. It was signed by more than 150 evangelical Christian leaders.
The Statement includes a preamble and 14 articles. The opening paragraph reads, "Evangelical Christians at the dawn of the twenty-first century find themselves living in a period of historic transition. As Western culture has become increasingly post-Christian, it has embarked upon a massive revision of what it means to be a human being." The Statement presents one version of the complementarian view of gender and a traditionalist view of sexuality.
The Nashville Statement:
- Affirms that God designed marriage as a lifelong union between male and female, and that marriage "is meant to signify the covenant love between Christ and his bride the church";
- Denies that differences between men and women render the sexes "unequal in dignity or worth";
- Denies that LGBT identities are consistent with God’s purposes;[clarification needed] and
- Affirms 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 who repents of sin and trusts in Christ alone as Savior, Lord, and supreme treasure".
Notable signatories (Alphabetical by last name)
- Rosaria Butterfield, former lesbian and English professor
- Francis Chan, preacher and author
- William Lane Craig, philosopher and Christian apologist
- James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family
- Ligon Duncan, chancellor of the Reformed Theological Seminary
- Ronnie Floyd, senior pastor of Cross Church, Arkansas
- John Frame, theologian
- David A. French, columnist for the National Review
- Steve Gaines, president of the Southern Baptist Convention
- Jack Graham, pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church, Plano, Texas
- Jeff Iorg, president of Gateway Seminary
- Richard Land, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary
- Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
- J. P. Moreland, philosopher, theologian, and Christian apologist
- Russell D. Moore, theologian and preacher
- J. I. Packer, professor of theology, Regent College
- Paige Patterson, president of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
- Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council
- Vaughan Roberts, British rector
- James Robison, televangelist
- John Piper, theologian
- Thomas R. Schreiner, New Testament scholar
- Donald W. Sweeting, president of Colorado Christian University
Criticism and responses
- An opposing statement was published on August 30, 2017 by Christians United, a group of signatories. Brandan Robertson drafted the Christians United statement, and the Rev. Steve Chalke and other edited it. Signatories included John C. Dorhauer, the General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ; Yvette Flunder; and Jayne Ozanne.
- Nashville mayor Megan Barry stated "[the] so-called 'Nashville statement' is poorly named and does not represent the inclusive values of the city & people of Nashville".
- The Episcopal Bishop of Central Florida, Gregory Brewer, described the statement as "tone deaf to the nuances of Jesus".
- Jesuit priest James Martin, replied to the Nashville Statement with his own set of affirmations and denials, beginning with "I affirm: That God loves all LGBT people".
The Statement was opposed not only by LGBT advocates, but also other conservative Christians, including Matthew Lee Anderson of Mere Orthodoxy, who took issue with the Statement despite agreeing with its authors on the issue of same-sex marriage, and Catholic intellectual Ryan T. Anderson, who "[feared] that 'evangelical leaders either don't know what the word chastity means or don't defend its requirements in marriage.'"
Other complementarian statements
- Beaty, Katelyn (31 August 2017). "Why even conservative evangelicals are unhappy with the anti-LGBT Nashville Statement". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
- Cruz, Eliel (1 September 2017). "The Nashville Statement Is an Attack on L.G.B.T. Christians". New York Times. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
- Williams, Hattie (1 September 2017). "Nashville statement on sexuality prompts response from LGBT-supporting Christians". Church Times. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
- "Nashville Statement". CBMW. Retrieved 2018-02-26.
- "Nashville Statement". CBMW. Retrieved 2017-09-19.
- "Evangelicals and the Nashville Statement: What is the point?". Christian Today. 31 August 2017. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
- Meyer, Holly (30 August 2017). "What is the Nashville Statement and why are people talking about it?". The Tennessean. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
- Showalter, Brandon (30 August 2017). "Broad Coalition of Evangelicals Releases 'Nashville Statement' on Human Sexuality, Identity". The Christian Post. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
- Sopelsa, Brooke (31 August 2017). "'Nashville Statement': Evangelical Leaders Release Sexuality Manifesto". NBC News. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
- Bucher, Chris (30 August 2017). "READ: The Nashville Statement on LGBTQ & Transgender Acceptance". Heavy.com. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
- Kumar, Anugrah (September 2, 2017). "Former Lesbian Explains Why She Signed the Nashville Statement". Christian Post. Retrieved September 3, 2017.
- Anderson, Rod (2 September 2017). "What Is the Nashville Statement?". The Christian Post. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
- "The Nashville Statement" (Podcast). September 22, 2017. Retrieved September 23, 2017.
- Meyer, Holly (30 August 2017). "What is the Nashville Statement and why are people talking about it?". USA Today. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
- "Initial Signatories". Nashville Statement. Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
- Toumayan, Michael (31 August 2017). "Hundreds of Christian Leaders Denounce the Nashville Statement in an Open Letter". The Human Rights Campaign. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
- "The Statement". Christians United. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
- Blumberg, Antonia. "Hundreds Of Christian Leaders Denounce Anti-LGBTQ 'Nashville Statement'". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
- Schmidt, Samantha (30 August 2017). "Evangelicals' 'Nashville Statement' denouncing same-sex marriage is rebuked by city's mayor". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
- Martin, James (30 August 2017). "Seven simple ways to respond to the Nashville Statement on sexuality". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
- "Why I Won't Sign the Nashville Statement - Mere Orthodoxy". 30 August 2017.
- "Nashville and Sodom - Aaron Taylor".