The Nashville Controversy

ben-white-148794Sexuality – the most confounding, beautiful, and intricate, piece of mankind. Every year it seems to become less and less confounding, beautiful, and intricate. Instead it becomes sordid, animalistic, and controversial. The Nashville Statement  is the latest in the continual tale of human sexuality.

As a social worker for pregnant women, my calling revolves around human sexuality. Without problems in sexuality there would actually be no job for me. However, that would not bother me one bit because it would mean every child, man, and woman were loved, connected. Throughout the years of working with women on issues revolving around sexuality, I have discovered you need to be grounded on your own viewpoints.

For example, I have friends who are outspoken in their progressive viewpoints. They are some of my favorite people – their hearts are beautiful and desire to care for others. I may not agree with all of their perspective but I respect them. If I did not study my own viewpoints on sexuality I could very easily be swayed by the love and care shown to everyone. Through the years I have learned that progressive viewpoints tend to lead to extreme confusion.

If you are a Christian, you believe in a Creator. In Genesis it says:

“God created man and woman in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” – Genesis 1:27

As a Christian who believes in a Creator someone chooses to believe that He has a design and plan for them. Within the Bible it says:

“For you formed my inward parts; You covered my mother’s in my womb. I will praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.” – Psalm 139:13-15

Articles 3-6 and Article 13 of the Nashville Statement address these issues. They state that  the individuals, as Christians, who signed this document believe what the Bible says. God formed us before birth and created our gender and sexual identity. It is a sacred and beautiful thing that we should embrace.

In today’s society, there is a belief that God created us to be whatever makes us happy. Transgender individuals do not feel comfortable with who God created them so they change their design. I have a lot of sympathy for this. Throughout my years as a social worker I have seen an increase in teenage girls who believe themselves to be boys. What I’ve also seen is that every girl I have worked with who believes this has been heavily sexually abused. Trafficked, prostituted, beaten, raped, and kidnapped. Much of identity is centered in our sexuality today.

Imagine if you had spent most of your life being abused by someone of the opposite gender. Would you want to be a girl then? The problem is instead of working through that trauma and teaching a man/woman to be empowered in their gender they are accepted as they are. We should allow ALL people to feel LOVED and accepted. That does not mean we allow them to continue on their current lifestyle. Would you tell someone with an anorexic that you accept them as an anorexic? Or do you love them and help them heal?

Articles 10 – 14 address LOVING people right where they are at. No matter where they are in their journey or where they’ve been. Every single one of us has some sin in our life. For many of us it is a struggle within our sexuality. However, Jesus covered all our sins. He seeks our hearts, wants to show us His plan and give us a life recovered from our pasts, our trauma, and sins.

“For God so LOVED the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” – John 3:16

God gave Himself for us to be free of pain, our past, and sin. However, that will not happen on this earth. There will ALWAYS be suffering here and God is to be our refuge. One of the things He has provided us to give a glimpse of His love and a sacred space for us is marriage here on earth.

“So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.” – Ephesians 5:28-32

Christians who believe in a Creator believe that Christ created a roadmap for them. As people who follow the Bible, believers would accept that Christ CREATED marriage. It’s purpose sacred and wonderful. Articles 1-2 and 7-12 address this. The Nashville Statement is reiterating that God created marriage for a man and a woman. Created in their gender identities. Recognizing their sexuality was created to be between a man and a woman. Sex to be within a committed relationship before God.

This recognizes that a committed relationship before God cannot be done between Christians of the same sex. It is very hard because there are people who genuinely struggle with homosexuality from a very young age. They question why a God who established their identity would allow them to experience same sex attractions. As a social worker it is sometimes hard for me to understand.

One of my favorite couples I worked with was a homosexual couple. A lady was pregnant and watching her partner care for her was endearing. The partner knew every need before it even occurred. There appeared to be so much love and care. Imagine how well they knew each other simply because they were both designed female. They understood how each other’s brains work and that helped them know each other well. However, the Bible is very clear that marriage is between a man and woman. It also makes it clear that homosexuality is a sin.

“…the law is not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful,…for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality…and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.” – 1 Timothy 1:9-11

The Bible states that sex is designed for the confines of marriage. Anything outside of that is wrong. Even so much as lust. God designed us to live a life of purity to Him. He gave us a plan for our lives and wants us to pursue Him. He created our sex, gender, and sexuality – complicated, beautiful, confounding, and God honoring. It can be hard to stay within those confines. If you are not a Christian, you do not have to subscribe to these beliefs. As a Christian who believes in the infallibility of the Bible, I choose to follow it’s path.

Following the path of the Bible is not always easy. But neither was it easy for Jesus to die on a cross. Jesus example also commanded that we LOVE everyone – just as He loved us. Enough to die for us. Enough to speak the truth in love. I personally believe the Nashville Statement is a great roadmap for modern day Christians in an age of sexuality confusion. If you are not a Christian, I can understand why you may be confused, angry, and disagree. That is alright to feel those things and know I still love you and love being friends with individuals of all viewpoints. If you are a Christian and struggling in the area of sexuality here are links to a few of my favorite resources on sexuality:

For women:

Christian Cosmo by Phylicia Masonheimer

Wait for Me by Rebecca St. James

Dirty Girls Ministries

Authentic Intimacy

For men:

Ransomed Heart

Wild at Heart by John Eldredge

For both:

the Bible

 

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