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Source: (consider it) Thread: The "Nashville Statement"
Siegfried
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# 29

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So, yesterday, a group of US evangelical leaders released something called the Nashville Statement. It's presented as a set of 14 articles, presenting a "traditional orthodox and biblical" set of positions on sexuality. Among the usual anti-LGBT wording is a statement essentially saying that their position is not something that should be up for debate among true Christians.
Has anyone with a bit more knowledge of the group behind it any insight into the origins of this?

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Siegfried
Life is just a bowl of cherries!

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Crœsos
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# 238

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Fred Clark is where I usually turn for an insider's view of white American evangelicals. Once again, he doesn't disappoint:

quote:
The group that voluntarily chose to call itself the “Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood” released a manifesto/declaration reiterating their belief that we must all listen to them and defer to them and bend the knee to them as the sole right and true arbiters of morality.

They would also like to remind everyone that they are inerrant and infallible and directly inspired by God as authoritative. This is what they refer to as a “high view.” They also claim to have a “high view of scripture,” but it’s not nearly as high a view as they have of themselves as it’s exclusive and authoritative interpreters.

Those are always the major themes of everything these folks declare or pronounce or manifest in their pompous public “statements.” The minor, subordinate matters addressed in such statements varies. In today’s case — something they call the “Nashville Statement,” Google it yourself — that lesser theme is that these anti-gay self-appointed arbiters of morality and biblical interpretation are, in case anyone was wondering, anti-gay.

Stop the presses.

Also included is a picture of unindicted Jack Abramoff co-conspirator Tony Perkins holding forth to a bunch of white supremacists in the 1980s, who is apparently one of the moral luminaries to sign the Nashville Statement.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Bishops Finger
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'Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.'

Proverbs 16 v18, from the King James Version (of course).

[Disappointed]

IJ

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Tortuf
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# 3784

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Fuck them. Name it after someplace else.

My message to them is: Don't drag my family,my friends and me into your horseshit you clowns.

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Arethosemyfeet
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# 17047

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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
Also included is a picture of unindicted Jack Abramoff co-conspirator Tony Perkins holding forth to a bunch of white supremacists in the 1980s, who is apparently one of the moral luminaries to sign the Nashville Statement.

I'm glad that my immediate suspicion that the use of the number 14 was a dog-whistle for "14 words" wasn't entirely without foundation.

This piece of Nazi-cryptology was brought to you by the letters A and H and the numbers 14 and 88.

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Mudfrog
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No discussion here then.

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G.K. Chesterton

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Siegfried
Ship's ferret
# 29

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Several discussion points spring to mind:

  • What authority does this group have to make pronouncements like this? (Backing by major denominations or scholars, for example)
  • What can be made of their "no debate" statement? Is this like declaring something to be dogma and infallibly proclaimed?
  • What are productive responses to their statement?


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Siegfried
Life is just a bowl of cherries!

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Crœsos
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# 238

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quote:
Originally posted by Tortuf:
Fuck them. Name it after someplace else.

My message to them is: Don't drag my family,my friends and me into your horseshit you clowns.

The mayor of Nashville apparently agrees with you, though in much less colorful language.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Schroedinger's cat

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# 64

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I have read a little of this. I suppose it helps to identify those who have sat on the fence. Those who sign up to it are on one side.

I am on the other.

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Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

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There is at least one alternative statement, the signing of which marks a position on the other side of the fence.

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Crœsos
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# 238

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quote:
Originally posted by Siegfried:
Several discussion points spring to mind:

  • What authority does this group have to make pronouncements like this? (Backing by major denominations or scholars, for example)

The first amendment of the United States Constitution.

More seriously, the PDF version lists a series of "Initial Signatories" with various affiliations after their names, but is careful to specify "Institutional affiliation for identification purposes only". Translation: these signatories have status within these listed organizations, but did not represent their organizations in any official capacity when they signed this document.

An interesting side note is that The Council on Biblical Manhood & Womanhood: A Coalition for Biblical Sexuality lists their council members (along with similar affiliation listings) and it seems that eight of the twenty-four Councilors are not included among the initial signatories, including three of the six Councilors with traditionally female names.

(It's not hard to verify the gender of these individuals. Regardless of any other qualifications or accomplishments the first descriptor of every female Councilor is "Homemaker", with the exception of Susan Hunt who is listed as a "Pastor’s Wife".)

quote:
Originally posted by Siegfried:
  • What can be made of their "no debate" statement? Is this like declaring something to be dogma and infallibly proclaimed?

Yes, but don't use those terms. A lot of the signatories have previous intellectual commitments against the idea of infallibly proclaimed dogma.

quote:
Originally posted by Siegfried:
  • What are productive responses to their statement?

Eye rolling? Ignoring? The idea that no one realized American evangelicals have issues with gay people or uppity women until this statement clarified things seems far fetched.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Robert Armin

All licens'd fool
# 182

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quote:
The group met last week at the Gaylord Opryland Resort
So why isn't this the Gaylord Statement?

They also deny polygamy is approved by God. Wonder what the patriarchs would have made of that?

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Keeping fit was an obsession with Fr Moity .... He did chin ups in the vestry, calisthenics in the pulpit, and had developed a series of Tai-Chi exercises to correspond with ritual movements of the Mass. The Antipope Robert Rankin

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Robert Armin:
quote:
The group met last week at the Gaylord Opryland Resort
So why isn't this the Gaylord Statement?
It's never a good idea to use a name that's a registered trademark of a wealthy and potentially litigious corporation.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Robert Armin

All licens'd fool
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Thank you for such a speedy reply Croesus. All I can say is that my proposed namechange would highlight the absurdity of this statement.

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Keeping fit was an obsession with Fr Moity .... He did chin ups in the vestry, calisthenics in the pulpit, and had developed a series of Tai-Chi exercises to correspond with ritual movements of the Mass. The Antipope Robert Rankin

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Honest Ron Bacardi
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# 38

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quote:
Originally posted by Robert Armin:
Thank you for such a speedy reply Croesus. All I can say is that my proposed namechange would highlight the absurdity of this statement.

I found it amusing at least.

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Anglo-Cthulhic

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Pangolin Guerre
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OK, I read through it because I'm avoiding some meaningful work.

They seem to be expending a great deal of energy on issues which Jesus ignored with a deafening silence. (Thanks a lot, Paul.) The one notable exception is Article #1 on marriage being a "life long union". But Protestant churches mostly accept divorce, red states have higher divorce rates than blue ones, and I would be genuinely surprised if none of the signatories has had a divorce, dalliance, etc. Perhaps it's a case of, "I was a sinner, but I'm all better now."

More seriously, in this emphasis on Adam and Eve being in God's image, and trying to include the intersex (Article #6) as also in God's image, is there not in this fetishising of gender and gender differences something approaching idolatry of the body?

As an editorial note, Article #9's denial clause's use of "immorality" and "immoral" is a lovely petitio principii.

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
No discussion here then.

Really? What would you like to discuss?
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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Pangolin Guerre:

More seriously, in this emphasis on Adam and Eve being in God's image, and trying to include the intersex (Article #6) as also in God's image, is there not in this fetishising of gender and gender differences something approaching idolatry of the body?

I assume this goes along with the CBMWs support for the doctrine of the Eternal Subordination of the Son and their application of that doctrine to male/female relatonships.
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Brenda Clough
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# 18061

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Here is another alternative statement, which rebuts the Nashville statement point by point. It was written by Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit who is tight with the Vatican.

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Doc Tor
Deepest Red
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There's some seriously eye-watering hypocrisy going on, from Article 1 onwards, with absolutely zero acknowledgement of the domestic arrangements of the patriarchs, nor the 'men and woman are equal but the lasses get all the crap jobs' nonsense they've previously spouted.

(Aside - I have no intention of going through the signatories to see who's had a divorce. I can object to this on its own terms.)

Perhaps they feel the need to rescue me from my heresy, but actually, I'm quite comfortable with it. Given that Paul suggests (strongly) that people don't get married, I'm not sure of the emphasis of this document at all. Surely, a Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood would be urging a life of singleness and celibacy on all? Only those who can't control their passions get married, and it's clearly second-best for the Kingdom's work.

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Forward the New Republic

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cliffdweller
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Two more responses: Nadia Boltz-Weber's House for all Sinners & Saints provide The Denver Statement

Meanwhile, for those who aren't fluent in evangel-blovaiting, John Pavlovitz provides this helpful Plain Language Translation. It has been suggested that one might be able to summarize it even more succinctly with a single finger.

The most egregious of all the over-the-top hateful rhetoric is the bit about transgendered individuals. Apparently, the silence of Scripture on the matter is to be taken as their full authorization to pretty much discount the entire experience and a boat load of other similarly unfounded assumptions, rumors, and innuendo.

I'm going to have to revive the "what do I call myself now" thread that I started shortly after the election, because I sure as h*** am not gonna call myself an evangelical if this is what "evangelical" has come to mean these days.

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"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

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SvitlanaV2
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# 16967

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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
No discussion here then.

quote:
Originally posted by Siegfried:
Several discussion points spring to mind:

  • What authority does this group have to make pronouncements like this? (Backing by major denominations or scholars, for example)
  • What can be made of their "no debate" statement? Is this like declaring something to be dogma and infallibly proclaimed?
  • What are productive responses to their statement?

But the 'major denominations' issue is neither here nor there, ISTM. The major denominations are pluralistic, and if you find one scholar who says one thing, you can find another who says the opposite. The document is indifferent to 'major denominations', and the feeling is probably mutual.

Moreover, this text is preaching to the choir. It's not going to have any impact on anyone who isn't already under the (American) con-evo umbrella. And it doesn't cover any issue that hasn't already been well-aired, does it?

So no, there isn't a great deal to discuss, ISTM. Maybe the power of the Religious Right is what makes it newsworthy - but that's a political problem, not a theological one.

[ 31. August 2017, 01:12: Message edited by: SvitlanaV2 ]

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LutheranChik
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It's always amusing when people whose traditions take great pride in rejecting a Magisterium, or even a rigiriusly educated clergy, in favoro of me- and- the- Bible- under- a- blalnket-with- a- flashlight start issuing what they fancy to be authoritative pronouncements on Christian doctrine, anathemas, etc.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:

So no, there isn't a great deal to discuss, ISTM. Maybe the power of the Religious Right is what makes it newsworthy - but that's a political problem, not a theological one.

And this makes it less dangerous how?

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If it's not here soon, I might be done
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Eutychus
From the edge
# 3081

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I think the thing which sums it all up is that the invitation (on the site linked to in the OP) to sign the Statement is more prominent than the invitation to read it.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
Moreover, this text is preaching to the choir. It's not going to have any impact on anyone who isn't already under the (American) con-evo umbrella. And it doesn't cover any issue that hasn't already been well-aired, does it?

It serves the same purpose as one of Trump's rallies: whip up the base.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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# 76

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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
No discussion here then.

Well, if you mean "does everyone here disagree with the NS?" well yes, so far. We're not going to randomly generate someone to agree just to stimulate a debate. I think most people here are more thinking how to respond to this outpouring of hatred, intolerance and "anyone a bit different"-phobia, which I find encouraging.

[ 31. August 2017, 06:46: Message edited by: Karl: Liberal Backslider ]

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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Eutychus
From the edge
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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
I think most people here are more thinking how to respond to this outpouring of hatred, intolerance and "anyone a bit different"-phobia, which I find encouraging.

Here's one idea, hot off the press: ban all straight people from Hell.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Martin60
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“They caught me way up in Nashville / They locked me up and threw away the key” Stonewall Jackson “I Washed My Hands in Muddy Water” ('bout Elvis o'course) - if only they would.

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Love wins

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Jane R
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Croesus:
quote:
A lot of the signatories have previous intellectual commitments against the idea of infallibly proclaimed dogma.
If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck...
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Golden Key
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# 1468

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quote:
Originally posted by Jane R:
Croesus:
quote:
A lot of the signatories have previous intellectual commitments against the idea of infallibly proclaimed dogma.
If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck...
...it should become a Catholic duck?

I'm not sure I want to wish them on the RCC. And they'd probably want to be some sort of collective/hive pope.
[Paranoid]

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Caissa
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Shouldn't this thread be in Hell? [Mad] Sex-obsessed idiots!
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Clutch
Apprentice
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Looking at the signatories, I know nothing of most of the names except for Dobson, whose history with such anti-Christian nonsense like this is well known and Robison, some huckster televangelist that doesn't totally subscribe to send me your money to save your soul type BS but isn't that far off.

My two cents, the signatories seem to me to be kids crying to teacher about so and so being bad while they are pulling on the braid of the girl sitting in front of them.

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LutheranChik
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They're the dead-enders of American Evangelicalism, trying to go down swinging. Which doesn't mean that They're not dangerous insofar as they provide comfort and cover for non- faith- based bigots. But fewer and fewer Americans identify as Evangelical, and the ones who do are less likely to have such views. So to me the political import of the statement is more the issue than the theological import, which to me falls under the category of " Grampa is yelling again."

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Simul iustus et peccator
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Crœsos
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# 238

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quote:
Originally posted by LutheranChik:
They're the dead-enders of American Evangelicalism, trying to go down swinging.

Well, pretending to go down swinging while subtly changing their position. One of the most interesting things is what's not in the Nashville Statement. Check out Article 8, particularly the Affirmative half:

quote:
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, as they, like all Christians, walk in purity of life.
WE DENY that sexual attraction for the same sex is part of the natural goodness of God’s original creation, or that it puts a person outside the hope of the gospel.

What's missing is the idea that you can 'pray the gay away' and strong enough religious belief can 'straighten out' any homosexual. Given how fairly recently there was a whole thriving industry based on turning gay people straight (or, more usually, selling parents the idea that they could turn their gay kids straight) the fact that this particular bit of theological truth has fallen down the memory hole seems pretty big.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Clutch
Apprentice
# 18827

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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:


quote:
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, as they, like all Christians, walk in purity of life.
WE DENY that sexual attraction for the same sex is part of the natural goodness of God’s original creation, or that it puts a person outside the hope of the gospel.

What's missing is the idea that you can 'pray the gay away' and strong enough religious belief can 'straighten out' any homosexual. Given how fairly recently there was a whole thriving industry based on turning gay people straight (or, more usually, selling parents the idea that they could turn their gay kids straight) the fact that this particular bit of theological truth has fallen down the memory hole seems pretty big. [/QB]
Maybe cause their finally starting to understand, it doesn't work? But that's a bit too convenient. It'll show up again in some other form. Maybe Benny Hinn will say that all the money blinded followers give him will suddenly allow him to heal LGBTQ's of their "affliction"?

[ 31. August 2017, 14:25: Message edited by: Clutch ]

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chris stiles
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# 12641

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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:

What's missing is the idea that you can 'pray the gay away' and strong enough religious belief can 'straighten out' any homosexual. Given how fairly recently there was a whole thriving industry based on turning gay people straight

This was mainly a thing on the more conservative end of US Christianity and the more conservative + charismatic end of UK Christianity. In this context it's probably reasonably significant that at least two of the signatories have spoken of their particular experience of same sex attraction.
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cliffdweller
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What Clutch and LutheranChik said. This is a bunch of Old White Guys desperately trying to be relevant in a movement that has very much moved on. Attempting to be relevant by taking the movement backwards a couple of decades or so seems like a bad idea. Doubling down on it by rhetorically yelling "We're right! God says so! If you disagree you're of the devil" isn't exactly winsome argumentation either, especially as noted above, from folks who ordinarily are piously denouncing papal authority.

NT scholar Scot McKnight makes some interesting connections between the signers (most notable among them are Piper and Packer, leaders of the "neoCalvinist" wing of evangelicalism). McKnight draws a connection between what he calls their unorthodox (hey, one cry of "heresy" deserves another!) Christology (over-emphasis on the eternal subordination of the Son) to the statement. The connecting theme is authoritarianim. These are people who read the gospel and life primarily thru the lens of authoritarianism-- who's in charge? Listen to the leader, do what he says. They view the gospel that way-- the Father is in charge, he tells the Son what to do, the Son follows orders, we as believers are to do the same-- follow orders. Thus the most striking thing about the statement is not so much it's ultra-conservative sexual ethics (not uncommon in evangelical circles) but the way it is presented in such strong-arm, rhetorically bullying terms (sign this or burn in hell for all eternity!). Each of their positions seems to further that sort of authoritarian hierarchy-- wives obey husbands, gays obey your (straight) Bible preachers, transgender folks, obey God and stop trying to mess with what God created. Look up the chain of command and just Do What You're Told then Shut the Heck Up.

In this hyper-authoritarian view of the gospel, God is defined by the "omnis"-- all powerful, all-knowing, all-present. God is the biggest, baddest dog on the block and He is always In Control. He's got it all locked down, and whatever happens, however horrific it may seem, has got to be His Will because God is Big and In Charge. As an Open Theist, we see God's nature very differently. We draw from Phil. 2 to understand the "omnis" as attributes that God has but not defining attributes-- they are things that God can set aside in the incarnation without ceasing to be God. Rather, the defining characteristic of God-- the thing that cannot be set aside-- is God's self-giving, sacrificial love. That's the meaning of the incarnation and what Jesus demonstrated on earth-- the clearest picture we have of God.

Interestingly, some recent analyses of the horrible events of past November suggest that the most predictable characteristic of a Trump voter is not evangelical membership, but rather a high score on "authoritarian" scale. Trump appeals to them and continue to appeal to them because he sounds precisely like Piper and Packer and the other Nashville signers-- making strong, decisive statements and sticking to them doggedly, even when they are confounded by reality. (Nashville statement is full of unfounded and even disproved theories of sexuality, just as Trump constantly espouses "alternative facts" contrary to any scientific evidence). The more Trump makes really horrifyingly bombastic statements threatening nuclear war, sharing the s**t out of the rest of us, the more Trump voters like it because again, he sounds god-like-- strong and In Charge. Don't mess with me. And so they whip out Rom. 13 to assert that Trump is God's divinely appointed leader (funny we never heard Rom. 13 when Obama was president).

I'm with McKnight that this is not only wrong, it is blasphemous heresy.

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"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:

NT scholar Scot McKnight makes some interesting connections between the signers (most notable among them are Piper and Packer, leaders of the "neoCalvinist" wing of evangelicalism). McKnight draws a connection between what he calls their unorthodox (hey, one cry of "heresy" deserves another!) Christology (over-emphasis on the eternal subordination of the Son) to the statement.

The ESS is definitely something associated with and pushed by the CBMW and there are some parallels to in the statements. I doubt if the majority of the signers subscribe to it though, and a number of them have actively criticised it.
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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
What Clutch and LutheranChik said. This is a bunch of Old White Guys desperately trying to be relevant in a movement that has very much moved on.

These are the bastards who helped elect the blonde merkin on an orange ballsac. He just issued and executive order against transsexuals in the military. They are likely trying to build on that.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Clutch
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
What Clutch and LutheranChik said. This is a bunch of Old White Guys desperately trying to be relevant in a movement that has very much moved on.

These are the bastards who helped elect the blonde merkin on an orange ballsac. He just issued and executive order against transsexuals in the military. They are likely trying to build on that.
That's just Trump. Pence is just as backward, supporting "conversion therapy",signing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act while in Indiana, calling gay couples a "societal collapse", voting against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and so on.

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Proud liberal socialist,proud progressive Anglo-Catholic and proud to be a conservative's bane.

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Brenda Clough
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Here is another charming and similar case, writ somewhat smaller. This is a free click.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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Mudfrog
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Breaking News...

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G.K. Chesterton

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Clutch
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At least the first link was an actual satirist.

I'm not sure about the second link.

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Proud liberal socialist,proud progressive Anglo-Catholic and proud to be a conservative's bane.

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Anglican_Brat
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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
Breaking News...

Progressives appalled that some conservative Christians refuse to obey their Lord's command to love their neighbour.

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It's Reformation Day! Do your part to promote Christian unity and brotherly love and hug a schismatic.

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
Breaking News...

It's not an affirmation of doctrine held unanimously, or anywhere near so, for 2000 years. It's something dressed up to look like such an affirmation with more weasel words than a sack full of ferrets.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
Breaking News...

Breaking news: satirical site run by conservative evangelical not keen on progressives, approves conservative evangelical statement.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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Doc Tor
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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
Breaking News...

As I pointed out above, Paul's teaching on marriage has been systematically ignored for almost as long. Calling what we have 'now' as 'held unanimously for 2000 years' is simply a declaration of ignorance, wilful or otherwise.

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Forward the New Republic

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:

So no, there isn't a great deal to discuss, ISTM. Maybe the power of the Religious Right is what makes it newsworthy - but that's a political problem, not a theological one.

And this makes it less dangerous how?
But if you already think the Religious Right is dangerous then what difference does this document make? I should think Donald Trump already knows what these people think about SSM, abortion and all the rest. Who else are they hoping to influence if they haven't had managed it by now?

I see that 26% of the American population identify as evangelical. Some of that number won't agree the contents of the document. Those who don't probably need to join forces with other Christians (and other faith groups) to act as a religious counterweight to the kinds of people who approve of this Statement.

People who claim to be well-informed, ecumenical and progressive shouldn't be leaving it to their theological inferiors, so to speak, to set the agenda and to court the powers that be. Although that appears to be a particular problem of American Christianity....

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
Here is another charming and similar case, writ somewhat smaller. This is a free click.

[Killing me]

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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