A Response to the #NashvilleStatement

A Response to the #NashvilleStatement

The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, a group of Evangelical leaders, recently released its “Nashville Statement,” fourteen articles elaborating its rejection of homosexuality, “transgenderism,” and basically any expressions of gender and sexuality outside of cisgendered, heterosexual marriage.

The statement is, theologically, a non-event: a re-affirmation of all the same beliefs in the Council’s first statement thirty years ago, as they rejected the “scourge” of feminism.  But, of course, things have changed: the enemy is no longer feminism (that battle, at least in the hearts of many, they lost), but LGBTQ+ inclusion and equality.

Good words have already come in response to this statement from both evangelicals and mainline voices.  Some have noted with incredulity the timing of the statement: given rising flood waters and horrifying expressions of white supremacy, reasserting rehearsed rhetoric on sexuality seems particularly out of touch.

To our eyes, though, as pastors, and to Bromleigh as a writer on Christian sexual ethics, the timing is part and parcel of how fundamentalist Christianity has always functioned in this country – tied to nation building and reactive to social change.  This statement is witness to the death throes (however prolonged) of the fundamentalist social vision, with its non-Biblical nationalism.

Unfortunately, there is collateral damage. The Council is content to function as theological terrorist, casting rhetorical grenades into already vulnerable lives of queer people. But terrorism can be fought: with clear thinking, with empathy. The task for the majority of Christians in this country is to change the conversation, to take action – theological, political, and relational – to limit the power and undercut any legitimacy the Council claims.

– Mike Solberg and Bromleigh McCleneghan,
pastors of the Union Church of Hinsdale, U.C.C.

3 Comments

  1. John Jacus

    Three cheers for you, Mike and Bromliegh!! Too many, including a few in my family, are straddling the fence. One foot is in this century, using smart phones, GPS, applauding space exploration and benefits of science. The other foot trusts that it is planted on the firm ground of the Dark Ages: a flat world, each word in the Bible is sacred and true, not word pictures to help the less-than-literate people of the ancient world coexist, even with members of the same family.

    We believers who grasp reality are with you all the way.

  2. JD Greer

    This blog post is so disappointing. It is evident that Mike and Bromleigh failed to read the Nashville statement in the context it was published, which is to call those who are far from God to return back. Too many ‘believers’ continue to chose a lifestyle which is opposed to the way of our loving Father, and fail to understand that moral boundaries have been established by a loving God for our good. But of course, many will reject even the claims of the Bible, in order to accommodate lifestyles that do not reach back to the Dark Ages, but rather reaches back to the beginning of time when mankind first rebelled. Jn 14:15 – Mt 17:13 – Jn 10:9 –

  3. Mike Solberg

    Mr. Greer, we quite thoroughly read the Nashville Statement in the context in which it was published. But we quite thoroughly disagree with it. We believe the meaning of scripture is not locked into the time period and culture in which it was written. We are meant to be shaped and formed deeply by scripture and then apply God’s love and priorities to our lives today. We worship Jesus Christ, revealed in scripture, not the (narrow, literal) text of scripture. I am sure you believe you do the same, and I am not going to change your mind in this message, so I wish you a blessed and grace-filled journey of faith.

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