In another of my multiple identities I run the website at affirm.org.uk, which is UK network of Baptist Christians working together for LGBT+ inclusion. For a long time I have had a strong Conviction that the church’s traditional position on sexuality is, not to put too fine a point on it, un-Christian and it’s refreshing to see changes happening, albeit slowly.
Below is a reproduced post that I wrote today for the site, regarding the Nashville Statement, a vile piece of garbage that I had the misfortune to read recently.
This week a group of around 150 Christian leaders published The Nashville Statement, a set of affirmations and denials regarding sexuality and faith and in particular LGBT+ issues. This group, it must be said, represent a particular brand of conservative evangelicalism that this particular writer finds to be unwholesome to say the least.
I won’t post a link to the statement here, you’ll find it easily enough if you really want to read it.
There have been a number of responses to the statement online, many from the church and many from secular writers. I want to highlight two responses here that I found to be particularly helpful in presenting a more loving, inclusive and Christ-like representation of the broad spectrum of humanness .
Firstly the ‘Denver Statement‘ written by Nadia Bolz-Weber, an author of several ground-breaking books and a founding pastor of House For All Sinners And Saints in Denver, Colorado. Nadia responds brilliantly to each of the articles and adds one of her own at the end.
Secondly from Christians United, a similar statement listing their own set of ten articles written in the same style as pairs of affirmations and denials, This statement has initially been signed by a broad spectrum of international Christian leaders and in this case there is an option for the reader to sign on in agreement to the statement.
Here at Affirm our purpose is to support the LGBT+ community, particularly those within the Baptist denomination, but in a wider sense to all those seeking to be at home in an inclusive, Christ-like church, it makes me sad to read the Nashville Statement, but I am encouraged by the responses and by the realisation that the love of Christ is all-encompassing and slowly, very slowly, his church is coming to realise that.
This post by Andy Long, website manager