Accurate Nashville Statement, Denver Statement, aim to counteract proclamation of Christian division
Mere days after the release of the now-controversial "Nashville Statement" — a declaration of sexual judgment and condemnation endorsed by over 150 Conservative Christian leaders — a number of responses to it have emerged.
As we reported previously, Nashville Mayor Megan Barry was quick to condemn the statement on Twitter, declaring it "poorly named" and that it "does not represent the inclusive values of the city & people of Nashville." In a subsequent Tweet, she recommended us to see and sign the Nashville Unites resolution. Developed at the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, it was created just last week in light of the race-fueled catastrophe at Charlottesville, Virginia and reminds us all that "We are Nashville," a city "with a generous spirit and an open door."
A direct result of the Nashville Statement, the 'Accurate Nashville Statement' has exploded online. Created by three individuals (Corey Pigg, Melissa Greene and Matthew Paul Turner), it takes on the Nashville Statement and the LGBT community of Nashville directly. "If you are a member of the LGBTQIA+ community," it reads, "you are welcome in our city, our universities, our businesses, our churches, our mosques, our temples, etc. You belong here."
An even more direct, point-by-point response to the Nashville Statement has come by way of the Mile High City. The Denver Statement was created just one day after the Nashville one by Lutheran pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber who wrote the statement with her parishioners in Colorado. A particularly uplifting statement arrives via Article 8:
WE AFFIRM that people who experience sexual attraction for the same sex may live a rich and fruitful life pleasing to God through faith in Jesus Christ.
WE DENY that sexual attraction for the same sex is outside the natural goodness of God’s original creation, or that anything puts a person outside the hope of the gospel.
In Chicago, columnist Rex Huppke created his own Chicago Statement. "I'm not going to break things into articles or use any formal "AFFIRM" or "DENY" language," he wrote. "I'm just going to keep it simple. Feel free to sign on, if you like. Maybe send it to someone whose humanity was denigrated by the Nashville Statement."
As with the Denver Statement, Christians United has created 'The Statement' which in 10 Articles rebukes the original Nashville Statement, which includes this quote from its Preamble:
the undeniable truth remains that the so-called "traditional" Christian teaching on sexuality and gender identity is being abandoned for a more faithful, Christ-centered, and, we believe, more biblical understanding of sexuality and gender identity that magnifies the creativity of God and celebrates the wide diversity in God's creation of humanity.
The Tennessee Equality Project is directing folks to its own statement from Tennessee-based clergy who earlier this year stepped up to denounce the General Assembly's so-called 'Slate of Hate' pieces of legislation.
See also this Twitter search for individual responses — for and against — regarding the Nashville Statement.
At best, the original Nashville Statement was misnamed, due simply to the choice made by the writers to name it simply after the city in which it was drafted. Note that the homepage of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood references at the very top of the page the 1987 Danvers Statement, which attempts to direct relations between heterosexual men and women and was drafted in Danvers, Massachusetts, along with the latest Nashville Statement.
At worst, the authors attempted to capitalize on the exponential growth of the city of Nashville, its identity as a blue city in a red state, entirely foretelling the additional notoriety (or publicity, given your perspective) that statement would receive.
Graphic via the Accurate Nashville Statement