Too often, the tenants of Christianity are misinterpreted for political gain. Simply vouching for traditional values is somehow seen as hatred towards those who chose a different lifestyle. This makes about as much sense as saying a gay person hates heterosexuals because he chooses to be with gay people.
Two ideas can exist at once: 1. Conservative Christians believe in the traditional family, and 2. we do not hate, but rather pray for, those who choose a different and more difficult lifestyle.
In the wake of the despicable actions of the Southern Poverty Law Center and CNN against the venerable D. James Kennedy Ministries, many religious leaders are being proactive about their stance against same sex marriage. More than 150 of these Christian leaders signed a single statement affirming their beliefs on traditional marriage.
What part of that last sentence expressed hatred of any kind for homosexuals?
It is true that traditional Christianity views homosexuality as a sin. There is no other way to view it – we interpret the Word of the Lord to say as much. Leviticus 18:22 tells us in plain English: “Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.”
The verse itself does not speak to the detestability of the people involved in the act, only to the act itself. It takes a fairly simple mind to confuse the two thoughts.
The Nashville Statement, as it is called, lists 14 core beliefs of conservative Christianity as laid forth by the Bible. The statement is a social response to a post-Christian society that thinks it can fundamentally change the way that men and women are designed to function. The statement puts forth the notion that it is foolish to try to make a person into something that was not intended for them by God.
Again, where is the hatred?
One may certainly try to create a different personality outside of the talents and abilities given to him by God. That person will have a much harder life path, most likely. If you are 40 years old and stand at 5’6″, you may certainly try out for the NBA. Your chances of success are far lower than they are for someone who is built for the position. This is not hatred; just a statement of fact.
The Nashville Statement was discussed and endorsed by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood at the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. The commission is held on an annual basis. This year, the Nashville Statement took a top priority. The Council published a press release in which John Piper, its co-founder, solidified the importance of the Nashville Statement to the conservative Christian community.
After the endorsement of the Nashville Statement through the Council, plans were made to use the Nashville Statement as a guideline for pastors across the nation who agree with the tenants expressed within it. The signees include many politically connected pastors, including James Dobson, Ronnie Floyd, Jack Graham, Richard Land and James Robison. The aforementioned pastors are all members of the evangelical advisory board convened by President Donald Trump.
Liberals are doing their best to connect the tenants of marriage to every hateful act in the current news cycle, including the unfortunate death of the young girl Heather Heyer in Charlottesville. It should be noted that no part of the Nashville Statement expresses any political view or death wish upon anyone.
The mayor of Nashville, Megan Berry, tried to take public issue with the statement based on its name rather than its content. In general, the critiques of the Nashville Statement have very little to do with the statement itself and are all based in partisan politics.
Christians must see through the political games, and the secular community must be made to understand that religion in America is all about choice.
“For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light,” Jesus tells us in Matthew 11:30.
It is your choice whether to accept the Word or not.
~ 1776 Christian