Truth, Love, and the Nashville Statement

The Nashville Statement on the biblical vision of sex and sexuality was released last week. Shortly after, a statement in opposition was released. That statement emphasizes the importance of love and unity in embracing a new move of the Holy Spirit calling Christians to reinterpret the Bible’s teaching on sexuality.

Love and unity are, of course, important values. But they aren’t more important than truth and the biblical authority on what is true.

Rejecting the Bible’s teaching and redefining what Christians have believed for 2000 years is not unifying. Christians, by definition, assent to live under Christ’s authority and His teaching. That’s the basis of Christian unity. His teaching is every word of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, not just the red letters. Jesus’ teaching on sexuality begins with His creation of Adam and Eve, and He affirms this design when He speaks of marriage (in the red letters). Jesus’ teaching on sexuality continues in many passages throughout Scripture, and nowhere is it hinted that sex outside of the union of one man and one woman is part of His design. To reinterpret that is to reject the authority of Christ’s teaching, which is fundamental to Christianity and Christian unity. It’s actually those who call themselves Christian but do not teach what the Bible teaches on sexuality who are abandoning unity.

It’s not loving to withhold the truth from people who desperately need God’s transforming grace in their lives. It’s not loving to withhold the truth from people who are broken and in need of God’s healing mercy. To let people continue in their sin, to hurt themselves in this life and for eternity, is quite the opposite of loving. It’s the epitome of love to call someone from their sin to reconciliation with God and wholeness living by His design. Jesus didn’t leave us in our sin. He loved us by being truthful about our sinful state and providing the only way to be truly whole and free.

Jesus gave us the most exclusive truth to follow because He is the only Way, Truth, and Life; but He offers it inclusively and broadly to all people who would follow Him in truth. Christians share the truth in love because we are sinners who have experienced transforming grace and mercy.

You can read more here about why the reinterpretation of the Bible’s teaching on sexuality is wrong, and read here about the important of both truth and love.

Rosaria Butterfield explains perfectly what the discussion on the Bible’s teaching on sexuality is actually about—it’s about very significant issues, not only the issues in view in our historical time and place.

The issue is not primarily homosexuality; it’s Scripture.

The issue is not primarily gay marriage; it’s whether “the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).

The issue is not whether people are good-intentioned and sincere in desiring things that God forbids.

The issue is whether we all bear the sin of Adam, inheriting an unchosen moral deformity, an energy of opposition to God, a rebellion that bequeaths to us a sin nature that we cannot erase on our own terms and by our own hands.

The issue is whether Jesus rose from the grave, is alive today, and whether His blood and love and resurrection makes any wit of difference in how you fight the original sin that distorts you, the actual sin that distracts you, and the indwelling sin that manipulates you.

The issue is whether you can trust the Bible to tell you who you are, who God is, and which way is up.

Melinda Penner

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