I wish I didn’t have to spend the time to respond to something so odious as the Nashville Statement (link at the bottom). I wish instead evangelicals spent their time embodying the character of Jesus. A character that would produce statements cherishing the brown refugees; the black lives of Charlottesville and beyond; for the flooded people of Houston, India, Nepal and Bangladesh; against white supremacy; and cozying up to Trump.

Rather than demonstrating love for the other, we get the derisive and toxic nature evangelicals insist on bearing, spreading their own versions of truth that treats sexuality, gay marriage, abortion, and the total depravity of man as absolute foundations.

In the age of church decline, one would think evangelicals would figure out a way to improve their narrative, offering a contextual story that may prove attractive to new believers. But that’s, ironically, of little interest. To them, the issue of critical importance is to draw a mark in the sand to intentionally trample those who are ostracized. That sin is grave.

A day after the Houston floods, in the age of Donald Trump, in a time of growing race tensions, a statement on sexuality emerged. The purpose of the Nashville Statement isn’t to provide new perspective, as eager signatories reiterated. It is to make a decisive mark on who’s in and who’s out. 

Evangelicals* are seemingly incapable of having healthy conversations on human sexuality because they can’t bear to be in the presence of those they deem profane. Dare I saw they find anybody outside of their “biblical view” repulsive, and this deep seated worldview comes at an obvious cost–the destruction of the evangelical witness. The solidification of the now defunct movement can be classified as downright Pharisaic. Which is a fancy way to say, “operating in opposite to Jesus.”

Once rules are celebrated over people, you are a Pharisee and Jesus rebukes you.

Governed by fear and the loss of privilege, jealously claiming fundamentalism as a renewed neo-orthodoxy is not merely tone deaf, it’s an intentional mark to demean, dehumanize, and degrade the other, so they’ll never think of bothering the last cherished pieces of eroding evangelical ‘holiness’.

What saddens me is how polarizing this becomes for everyone. From evangelical children growing up with a view of sexuality that’s shame based coupled with a view all sexuality is black and white to the people who will step away from Jesus because of this false witness.

Where do you stand? Which Jesus do you represent? And do you have have it in you to make some changes, even it if means leaving the comforts of your church today? Do you, as an evangelical, still hold on to hope that your movement is worth saving, and as such, will you denounce the Nashville Statement, et al., as destructive fundamentalism?

Let your love for one another speak and operate as the defining characteristic of your witness.

*Let’s assume for a moment it is evangelicalism. That is unless ‘true’ evangelicals want to preserve their name, it would take them denouncing this statement as a guise from fundamentalists.

Nashville Statement, a link to bad theology.