Sunday, September 3, 2017

A Defender of Marriage Reaction to the Nashville Statement

And then there is the Nashville Statement penned by the CBMW.ORG …This is the new offering the Evangelicals who want to reaffirm what they believe the Bible says about God and marriage…Reaffirm? ...” adopted by a group of evangelical Christians seeking to reaffirm traditional Christian values on sexuality”.-Dr. Albert Mohler

“Evangelical Christians at the dawn of the twenty-first century find themselves living in a period of historic transition. As Western culture has become increasingly post-Christian, it has embarked upon a massive revision of what it means to be a human being. By and large the spirit of our age no longer discerns or delights in the beauty of God’s design for human life. Many deny that God created human beings for his glory, and that his good purposes for us include our personal and physical design as male and female. It is common to think that human identity as male and female is not part of God’s beautiful plan, but is, rather, an expression of an individual’s autonomous preferences. The pathway to full and lasting joy through God’s good design for his creatures is thus replaced by the path of shortsighted alternatives that, sooner or later, ruin human life and dishonor God.” -Preamble of the Nashville Statement

I personally cannot help to believe that the Reformers have done their very best to paint themselves into this sexual ethic corner…or as they put it…” historic transition.” The signers of this great undertaking want us to believe that it is necessary to expand on what the Bible already clearly says about marriage. And yes, the definition of marriage is truly necessary at understanding sexual ethics. But do these signers, these men and women of honorific “titles” really understand the definition of marriage?

I say, NO!

If not for the Westminster Confession of Faith and the writing on marriage, divorce, and remarriage, we would not need this latest and greatest manifesto of sexual ethics. It was around this time, shortly after the Protestant Reformation, that these same types of “leaders” thought it was necessary to hand marriage (and sexual ethics) over to the civil authorities. May I suggest that the single greatest danger to God’s design of marriage came from men who created Pharisee type loopholes by fleshy eisegesis of scripture…, Matthew 19:9 and 1 Cor 7:15 come to mind…again. I say Hebrews 13:4 speaks loudly to those who teach that a divorce ends a one-flesh covenant marriage so that one can “remarry” in an Evangelical church….

Most of what we see by the way of transgenderism and homosexuality spurns from homes fractured by divorce and remarriage. In fact, very few are afraid to get married anymore since it requires such couples to remain so until death...and that they do not want to experience the pain of divorce since many who do not marry have parents who have divorced. So, the thought is that these “leaders” of the Evangelical world can institute a plan that “somewhat” resembles repenting of letting marriage definition slip from their fingers…The thought is to put his new statement in place and buckle down on teaching and preaching that marriage is God’s design…not man's design! Really…

There were some Evangelicals who “kind of” thought on the same lines as I do…

"In the interests of getting more to sign the Nashville Statement, it might be advisable for the framers of the Nashville Statement to add a sentence, possibly an Article, that confesses Christian complicity (in the aggregate) in failing to keep God's standards for sexual ethics (premarital sex, pornography, divorce-and-remarriage; some would also add contraception), thereby leading to the present predicament. I don't think that there is anyone among the initial signatories who thinks otherwise."
-Dr. Robert A.J. Gagnon Facebook post

Then there is a fine article from standerinfamilycourt who more than understands the deeply flawed family court system and the  capitulation of Evangelcals of marriage...and might I add one who has the right to sign such statement as this... - “Hey, Here’s a Novel idea. Let’s Have Everybody Sign a Manifesto on Sexual Ethics”

Of course there is backlash from the left side of Christendom…those false believers who support homosexuality…which Dr. Mohler added…

“The backlash to the Nashville Statement shows why it is so needed: While the Christian church has held to a normative understanding of biblical sexuality for over two millennia, we now face challenges to biblical teaching that require an unprecedented level of specificity. It affirmed what would have been universally acknowledged as the historic Christian faith without question or controversy until just the last several years.” -Dr. Albert Mohler The Washington Post

Rather Dr. Mohler I believe it is an attempt of Evangelicals to “repent” of their lack luster efforts in teaching and preaching the truth of marriage and offering church discipline (Mt 18:15-17) which would defuse most sins that harm marriages. These Evangelicals obviously felt that something had to be done…but should there be more? I believe so, and it will require humility beyond most would care to endure since their very livelihoods are in jeopardy. 

Let’s start by reading the first article and ONLY the first article…If you want to read all of the articles and read all the signers names you can do so here…Nashville Statement

Article 1.

We affirm that God has designed marriage to be 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 had 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

At first glance, it appears that the first article is simple enough to understand…that is until you consider the many positions of divorce and remarriage in evangelical churches. Lifelong? That is if you have a church position paper which allows divorce and remarriage for “this” reason and “that” reason….but not “that” reason. In fact, most pre-nuptial church positions papers allow divorce for certain reasons which said individuals believe are far beyond the control of an Almighty God.

Then there is the idea that “weddings” are a church thing, but divorce is not. When was the last time you saw a body of believers conduct church court to settle the disputes of sins within a one-flesh covenant marriage of professing believers? Did not Paul instruct the Corinth church to handle the things of God in house? (1 Cor 5 and 6) Instead we have civil courts litigating divorce proceedings by corrupt lawyers and judges, and the church becoming a non-factor…sad.

The truth is that most Evangelical churches do make marriage into a contract becasue they allow both divorce and remarriage. There are several names on the list of signers who would not fail to "remarry" a divorced person...My question is always the same....What right or what power gives these men the freedom to declare vows of marriage when they are vows of adultery? 

"We also deny that marriage is a mere human contract rather than a covenant made before God"...

The sad truth is that many of these "clergy/leaders" believe the current "clergy/laity" system is the church model of Acts. That would be a whole separate issue to deal with, but few will admit that the current caste system is the problem. If we were to stand solely on the definition of marriage, this Nashville Statement falls flat on its hypocritical face based entirely on the very first articles and what most these "signers" believe about divorce and remarriage.

In conclusion, the authors and signers can only present this statement with eternal value if they would repent of ever believing a one-flesh marriage can in end any other way than death. In fact, the ONLY people who have a right to sign this statement are those who love like Christ and remain true to their vow of covenant until death do they part. The ONLY "clergy" who have any right to sign this statement are those who teach and preach that marriage is one man and one woman for excuses, no exceptions. Otherwise, this Nashville Statement is nothing more than a lie from Evangelicals who have long since capitulated on the definition of marriage.

Mark 10:6-9 But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

In Christ's love,


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the article, brother Neil. This really needs to be said. I 'd like to see more people actually contact them with similar messages.