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 a 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 adopting a homosexual or transgender self-conception is consistent with God's holy purposes in creation and redemption."(art. VII b)
- Denies "that the approval of homosexual immorality or transgenderism is a matter of moral indifference about which otherwise faithful Christians should agree to disagree."(art. Xb)
- 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".
In alphabetical order:
- Rosaria Butterfield, English professor
- Francis Chan, preacher and author
- William Lane Craig, philosopher and Christian apologist
- James Dobson, minister, founder of Focus on the Family
- Ligon Duncan, Presbyterian theologian, chancellor of the Reformed Theological Seminary
- Erick Erickson, radio host at WSB in Atlanta
- Ronnie Floyd, senior pastor of Cross Church, Arkansas, former president of the Southern Baptist Convention
- John Frame, Presbyterian theologian
- David French, attorney, former National Review contributor
- Steve Gaines, president of the Southern Baptist Convention
- Jack Graham, pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church, Plano, Texas
- Kees van der Staaij, Leader of the Reformed Political Party
- Ken Ham, founder, CEO, and president of Answers in Genesis
- Jeff Iorg, Southern Baptist pastor, president of Gateway Seminary
- Richard Land, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary
- John F. MacArthur, president of The Master's Seminary & College, Senior Pastor at Grace Community Church, Author 
- Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
- J. P. Moreland, philosopher, theologian, and Christian apologist
- Russell D. Moore, theologian and preacher. President of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention
- J. I. Packer, evangelical Anglican theologian, professor of theology, Regent College
- Paige Patterson, president of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
- Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council
- Vaughan Roberts, Rector of St Ebbe's Church, Oxford, and Director of the Proclamation Trust
- James Robison, televangelist
- John Piper, Reformed Baptist theologian
- Thomas R. Schreiner, New Testament scholar
- R. C. Sproul, Presbyterian theologian, founder and chairman, Ligonier Ministries
- 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 others 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".
- Professor Jamin Andreas Hübner published the first full-length academic review of the Nashville Statement in Priscilla Papers (Winter 2019).
The Statement has also received opposition from some same-sex marriage opponents. Catholic intellectual Ryan T. Anderson "[feared] that 'evangelical leaders either don't know what the word chastity means or don't defend its requirements in marriage.'" Some evangelicals were sympathetic to the statement's theology, but critical of what they saw as its pastoral insensitivity.
On January 4, 2019, a Dutch version of the Nashville Statement was published; its publication subsequently drew much controversy. It was signed by 200 leaders from the Netherlands' orthodox-Protestant communities (including Member of Parliament and Reformed Political Party leader Kees van der Staaij). Its structure and content were very similar to the original statement, but a 'pastoral chapter' had been added, stressing that LGBT individuals were entitled to pastoral care, and recognizing that in the past religious communities had failed to show sufficient compassion towards them.
The Dutch statement received some support in orthodox Protestant circles (although even there too, objections were raised), but was widely criticized by most religious leaders, politicians and human rights organizations. It was also widely discussed in the Dutch media. The Public Prosecution Service indicated it would evaluate whether the publication was punishable under criminal law. In the days following the publication, numerous town halls, churches and universities throughout the Netherlands flew the rainbow flag in a show of solidarity with the LGBT community.
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- "Nashville Statement," August 2017
- Toumayan, Michael (31 August 2017). "Hundreds of Christian Leaders Denounce the Nashville Statement in an Open Letter". The Human Rights Campaign. Archived from the original on 1 September 2017. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
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- Blumberg, Antonia. "Hundreds Of Christian Leaders Denounce Anti-LGBTQ 'Nashville Statement'". Huffington Post. Archived from the original on 1 September 2017. 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. Archived from the original on 2 September 2017. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
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- "Nashville and Sodom - Aaron Taylor". Archived from the original on 2018-02-14. Retrieved 2018-02-13.
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- "Op veel plekken wapperen regenboogvlaggen om Nashville-verklaring (Rainbow flags flying in many places because of Nashvillestatement)". nos.nl (in Dutch). Archived from the original on 2019-01-08. Retrieved 2019-01-08.