Nashville Statement

What is the Nashville Statement and Why Does it Matter?

On August 29, 2017, The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood released a statement affirming a conservative evangelical view of gender and sexuality. It has been endorsed by a wide variety of evangelical leaders. Containing a preamble and fourteen articles, the Nashville Statement is labeled as a Christian manifesto on human sexuality.  The statement asserts that marriage is  defined as a union between one man and one woman and that sexual intimacy should only pursued within this context. The statement addresses the issue of transgenderism by asserting that, “the differences between male and female reproductive structures are integral to God’s design for self-conception as male or female.” The statement clearly expresses that regardless of sexual desire or genital abnormalities, those desiring to follow Christ and submit to His scriptural mandates regarding gender are capable of living a fruitful life pleasing to God.

Although this statement does not make any explicitly unbiblical claims, there was significant media coverage and backlash. This is no doubt in part due to those who signed this statement. Notable signees are as follows: John Piper, Christopher Yuan, Wayne Grudem, John MacArthur, Francis Chan, Rosaria Butterfield, along with many other well-known professors and theologians.

The House for All Sinners and Saints in Colorado responded with their own treatise they call the Denver Statement. Mirroring the structure of the Nashville Statement, it denies that God restricts marriage and gender identity to cis-gendered, heterosexual definitions. Variety in gender and sexual expression are not a result of the Fall but are rather a component of human flourishing. They affirm that same sex attractions are part of God’s original intent for creation and that gender is not bound to biological sex characteristics.

Most conservative evangelicals agree that the Nashville Statement does not present any new information regarding the intersection of Christianity and sexuality. However, the content is not the only element of the Nashville Statement that is to be considered. Some have criticized the statement for being contradictory to Jesus’ command to love. Nashville's mayor Megan Barry tweeted that “[the] so-called ‘Nashville Statement’ is poorly named and does not represent the inclusive values of the city & people of Nashville.” Though the statement does not reflect the views of Nashville it large, historic Christian documents have always adopted the names of the cities in which they were adopted. Additionally, taking a stand for something as true is not un-loving. Jesus never stopped loving people but was often condemned for taking “unpopular” positions. The Nashville statement stands on strong biblical grounds and was communicated graciously with hope for all people.



What is a gay man’s role in the church?

Christopher Yuan, speaker, author, and Bible teacher, is a man who’s journey has taken
him from academia’s best and brightest to prison and eventually into the arms of Jesus.

His parents were first-generation immigrants from China who raised him with traditional Chinese
values. He abandoned them after he was suspended from his university, a mere three months
away from receiving his doctorate, for drug possession and distribution. This, however, did not
stop him from continuing in his preferred lifestyle. Yuan sold drugs on a mass scale and spent
his free time in clubs hooking up with men and getting high. When he was eventually caught
possessing the street equivalent of nine tons of marijuana in his apartment, he was sent to
prison. While there he discovered he was HIV positive and at the lowest point in his life found a
bible in the trash which changed him forever. He became a believer and follower of Christ.

Now he tours the world, along with his mother, sharing his story with whoever will listen.
He advocates for the gospel’s call to all people to be holy, and for what this holiness looks like
on all fronts. He is particularly vocal about the topics of “sexuality, singleness, addictions, HIV
and the gospel,” because of where he has been on his life’s journey.

He has recently signed—and vocally supports—the Nashville Statement; given his
struggles with same-sex attraction, his story offers a unique perspective on the issue. He signed
it “for the sake of gospel clarity among evangelicals;” he believes the document is an accurate
assessment of the biblical position on issues of gender and sexuality. He affirms that God loves
people with gender dysphoria and same-sex attraction and his grace covers all stripes, but he
does not approve of all actions. There has been some significant bite-back against the
statement itself but Yuan welcomes questions and interaction from all sides. He believes that
remaining firm in biblical truth is crucial and that it must be communicated with love to all
people, particularly to those who have similar struggles to his own. He has found his role in the
church to be the same as everyone else’s: to spread, with love, the saving truth of Jesus Christ
to the world.