Today, the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW) released The Nashville Statement. I’ve been a part of CBMW for about 25 years (and the organization is 30 years old this year). CBMW originally came into being to affirm complementarianism: that is, that God has created male and female in his image, and thus has designed men and women, as his image-bearers, to be both equal in their essential dignity and human personhood, and different from and complementary to one another, with all Christian husbands called to lead their homes in self-denying, sacrificial love, and qualified male pastor-teacher-elders called to lead the church. CBMW’s Danvers Statement (1987) was written to articulate and affirm this. As John Piper, one of the original authors and signatories explains: “The Danvers Statement unfolded and commended complementarianism over against egalitarianism. The focus was on the meaning of manhood and womanhood as expressed in the marriage relationship and in church leadership. The main point was that God has called men to be the Christlike leaders in their marriages (Ephesians 5:23, 25), and to be those who bear the special responsibility of authoritative teaching and leadership in the church (1 Timothy 2:12–13).”
The Nashville Statement is a complement to Danvers, but it speaks into issues of human sexuality. Danvers addresses the respective roles of men and women in the home and church. Nashville articulates the Bible’s teaching on important and disputed aspects of human sexuality. Here’s why I signed it (you can learn why others signed it here). The Nashville Statement aims to help Christians, pastors and churches lovingly, faithfully, carefully, clearly, and persuasively articulate what the Bible teaches, and what historic Christianity has always believed, about sexuality in a time when the biblical conception of what it means to be human in under cultural duress. In our day truth is being forsaken in this arena in the name of love, but we cannot be truly loving without (or against) the truth, because “love does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth” (1 Corinthians 13:6). The Nashville Statement is about truth in love, for the sake of true love. As a confessional Protestant, I affirm this faithful articulation of biblical teaching.
I hope that you will read The Nashville Statement. Ponder it. And commit yourself to way of truth in love.
UPDATE: Here is the Christianity Today news article on The Nashville Statement.