This week, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) voted to endorse the Nashville Statement. The Nashville Statement is a series of affirmations regarding traditional Biblical views of sexuality and gender and was created by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.
To give a sense of what the Nashville Statement discusses:
WE AFFIRM that God has designed marriage to be a covenantal, sexual, procreative, lifelong union of one man and one woman, as husband and wife, and is meant to signify the covenant love between Christ and his bride the church.
WE DENY that God has designed marriage to be a homosexual, polygamous, or polyamorous relationship. We also deny that marriage is a mere human contract rather than a covenant made before God.
-Nashville Statement, Article 1
WE AFFIRM that self-conception as male or female should be defined by God’s holy purposes in creation and redemption as revealed in Scripture.
WE DENY that adopting a homosexual or transgender self-conception is consistent with God’s holy purposes in creation and redemption.
-Nashville Statement, Article 7
Given its promotion of traditional Christian values and ethics regarding sexuality, marriage, and gender, the Nashville Statement has been controversial. Some of the early signers of the statement included leading evangelical voices such as D.A. Carson, R.C. Sproul, Wayne Grudem, Albert Mohler, Russell Moore, J.I. Packer, John Piper, Matt Chandler and John MacArthur.
LGBT issues have been a significant cause of disagreement within many mainline Protestant denominations. PCA is the second largest Presbyterian denomination in America behind Presbyterian Church (USA) who has embraced LGBT issues. America’s largest Episcopal, Anglican, and Lutheran denominations have also been supportive of the LGBT movement, as has the United Church of Christ. The United Methodist Church (UMC) voted earlier this year to maintain traditional values on marriage, but UMC is an international denomination and the move was opposed by many UMC pastors and churches in America. These are issues which churches must address.
The delegates approved the Nashville Statement by a vote of 803-541.
The PCA also voted to establish its own study committee on sexuality.
I affirm that Nashville Statement. I think it’s a timely statement for the Evangelical world on timeless Biblical truths. I think it’s good for denominations who support traditional marriage to be on the record with stating their values. I think the Nashville Statement is a well-reasoned and Biblically faithful testament explanation of these traditional values and a great starting place.
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Josh Benner has a Master of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He has served churches in Minnesota and Illinois. He enjoys writing about faith and culture. He lives with his wife Kari in St. Louis.