It is no secret that the Christian Church in the United States is in decline. Until the middle of the twentieth century, the Church held a place of primacy in American life; indeed, the best land in many downtowns in the United States has a place of worship built on it. And in the final decades of the last century and the first decades of the current one, a seismic shift has moved the locus of communal American life out of the religious sphere and into the secular. While a majority of Americans believe in God, more and more select the “none” box when choosing their religious affiliation, especially our younger citizens.
The drafters of the Nashville Statement link the post-Christian experience of modern American life to “a massive revision of what it means to be a human being.” They assert that acceptance of ways of life apart from the heteronormative, cisgender expression of humanity denies God’s “revealed will,” and thus is the cause of the decline of the Christian Church.
We think the opposite is true.
The rich diversity of people, no matter how they may differ from one another, reflects the glory of God and the beauty and particularity of God’s creation. As the citizenry of the United States moves to greater awareness and acceptance of all sexual orientations and gender identities, it is statements like the one put forth in Nashville that harms the Christian Church. The Nashville Statement promulgates one vision of God’s creation, in which a subsection of humanity is blessed and good and another is seen as immoral simply because of who they are.
We put forth a different vision: one in which God made diversity as one of God’s first creative acts; in which God infused that diversity into the human species; and in which God invites us to celebrate the vast array of identities that all weave together to make the tapestry of humanity. We believe the Biblical witness supports such a vision and that the Holy Spirit is moving the Christian Church to acceptance, celebration, and full inclusion of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities, and indeed of all races, ethnicities, nationalities, ages, and abilities. Far from being antithetical to the Good News of Jesus Christ, such movement fulfills the dream of God that all be welcomed and affirmed as God’s beloved children.
Read it all here.
You can sign on here.