I’m Stumped
Published in

I’m Stumped

The Nashville Statement (2017)

Lately my Facebook “news” feed has been inundated with posts related to the so-called “Nashville Statement.” For those of you fortunate enough to not know what that statement is, it is basically a formal statement made by a few self-appointed Christian “leaders” answering a question no one was asking which is “can you remind me again what conservative Christians say about sexuality and gender?” It reminded me of a great tweet I saw a couple years ago which said,
Man on train: “Actually Khaleesi is just her title, her real name is Daenerys Targaryen.”
Me: “I didn’t say anything.”
The Nashville Statement is reaffirming the (idolatrous?) view that there is a single, simple way to view sexuality and gender and that the love of God and His followers is predicated on you adhering to that view. That proposition, my friends, is false.

I found the statement to be disturbing, unnecessarily judgmental, cruel and at least as I define the term, entirely un-Christian. I could write 50,000 words on why the statement is inappropriate in tone, timing, target and substance, but I’ll save that for another day. Instead, I find myself moved to make a statement of my own. Just to clarify.

Much like Trump winning the Republican nomination left me feeling like I wanted everyone to know that my being Republican did not mean I supported Trump, I find that actions taken by certain Christians has left me wanting to make clear to those who know me what kind of Christian I am…or aspire to be.

Put simply, am I the type of Christian who seeks to judge and diminish those who are different than me, who live differently than me, who look different than me and believe differently than me? Or, am I the type who believes that all people are something beautiful made in the image of God and deserving of love, mercy and justice?

You see, I never want anyone to wonder for even one second if it is safe to be who they are around me.

With that in mind, you should know that I try my very best to be the type of Christian who follows Jesus because I believe He represents God’s greatest act of love to humanity, that He came to replace religion with spiritual connection and that He preached and taught primarily that we should love each other.
So, I am the type of Christian who loves people. Full stop. Contrary to how it often seems, there are a lot of us out there. I believe God loves you regardless of how you identify sexually or concerning gender, and so I do too. I have no judgement for you. I offer no condemnation. What I can offer is love and respect with no strings attached. …..because that is what was offered to me.
I just wanted to make sure you knew.

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Joshua Stump

Joshua Stump

I am a Dad, a husband, a son, a brother, a follower of Jesus, a lawyer, a songwriter, and just generally someone with a lot of strong opinions about stuff.