When 150 religious leaders signed last month's "Nashville Statement," a document that condemns same-sex marriage, "homosexual immorality" and "transgenderism," they were instantly met with harsh criticism over their bigoted rhetoric. But now, an evangelical minister is arguing that the manifesto was actually "an expression of love for same-sex attracted people."
Dr. R. Albert Mohler Jr. wrote an essay for The Washington Post this week in which he explains that the Christians behind the document simply wanted to "reaffirm traditional Christian values on sexuality" and that they were "acting out of love and concern for people who are increasingly confused about what God has clarified in Holy Scripture."
"Evangelical Christians believe that God has spoken in the Bible, and that obedience to what he has spoken is both true and essential for human wholeness, freedom and fulfillment—for human flourishing," he wrote.
Mohler Jr., who is the president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, noted it would have been easier to remain quiet on the issue, but "for the sake of same-sex attracted people and others, we did not believe we could remain silent—or unclear—and be faithful."
The minister says the backlash to the "Nashville Statement" proves how necessary the document was in the first place, arguing that Christian churches face "unprecedented" challenges to biblical teachings about sexuality that have been in place for over 2,000 years.
Mohler Jr. says that "sexual morality is now fundamentally reshaping the landscape" in an "increasingly post-Christian world," and that Christian institutions had to clarify what the Bible teaches about human sexuality in order to fight the "intense pressure to adopt this new sexual morality, along with its redefinition of marriage and gender."
The minister went on to say that "human dignity, human flourishing and true human freedom are at stake," and that he and his colleagues were trying to provide clear answers to what pastors and parents see as new questions.
"The main goal of the 'Nashville Statement' is to point all persons, regardless of the form of our struggles over sexuality or self-identity, to salvation and wholeness in Christ," he concluded. "With all our hearts, we believe that the sexual revolution cannot deliver on its promises, but that Christ always delivers on his."