My Thoughts on the Nashville Statement
I recall being a kid at Camp Warwick in southern New York — a place where I met some amazing, kind, joyful, gracious people — some of whom I am now proud and privileged to call my coworkers. We shared many stories, learned many lessons, and laid a solid foundation to go into the world as good people — strong in kindness and generous in caring — both to others, and to ourselves.
One of the stories I recall was the origin of the Ichthus (aka “Jesus fish”) and it’s use and purpose in the days that Christians lived under the persecution of Romans. If a Christian were traveling and came across a stranger, they would draw the first arc of the Ichthus in the sand. If the stranger was also a Christian, they would draw the second line, completing the fish. Through their collaboration, both would know they were in the safety of fellowship.
Today, the Coalition for Biblical Sexuality published a document called “The Nashville Statement”. It is a crystal clear clarification of their beliefs on sexuality and marriage. Each article’s silver-tongued affirmations and denials are sharply aimed at deepening the rift between the evangelical and LGBTQ communities. And they’re collecting signatures of support.
By publishing this statement, The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood has drawn a line in the sand. I am sure they view it as the first arc of an Ichthus — and those who sign with them are drawing the second. But in no way does the Nashville Statement reflect the church family I was raised in, the Jesus I learned about, or the God I know. Theirs is a line which excludes, rather than includes. It is a closed door, not open arms. Their line aims to divide, rather than unite.
I stand as a Christian and an ally, and I see their line in the sand. And I refuse to draw the other half. I am not in the safety of fellowship with these people. Theirs is not my Christianity. This is not the love of God I was taught to share.