“Poorly named” ‘Nashville Statement’ explained

You might have heard about the ‘Nashville Statement’ on social media this week. A coalition of conservative evangelical leaders laid out their beliefs on human sexuality, including opposition to same-sex marriage and fluid gender identity, in a new doctrinal statement.

It’s called the Nashville Statement and the national coalition says it’s their response to an increasingly post-Christian, Western culture that thinks it can change God’s design for humans.

Since it was released Tuesday morning, the Nashville Statement has received both praise for its clarity and has been denounced as harmful to LGBT people.

Mayor Megan Barry, who as a Metro councilwoman officiated some of the city’s first same-sex marriages when they became legal in Tennessee, took issue with the statement’s moniker. She called it “poorly named” in a Tuesday morning Tweet and said it “does not represent the inclusive values of the city (and) people of Nashville.”

The so-called Nashville Statement lists 14 beliefs, which are referred to as articles. Each of the articles includes a statement of affirmation as well as a denial. They’re not new. But they cover a range of topics from a prohibition on sex outside of marriage to the connection between biological sex and gender identity.

Here’s what article 10 says:

WE AFFIRM that it is sinful to approve of homosexual immorality or transgenderism and that such approval constitutes an essential departure from Christian faithfulness and witness.

WE DENY that the approval of homosexual immorality or transgenderism is a matter of moral indifference about which otherwise faithful Christians should agree to disagree.

The Nashville Statement is the work of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. The Louis-ville, Ky.-based group was formed in 1987.

The council’s website says it has helped several religious groups, including the Nashville-based Sout-hern Baptist Conven-tion, promote “gospel-driven gender roles.”

More than 150 conservative evangelicals from across the country are listed as initial signatories.