BIRMINGHAM, AL — The Southern Baptist Convention adopted a resolution that borrows language from the Nashville Statement to address matters of sexuality and identity at its annual meeting this week.
The SBC is the latest example of evangelical institutions – which includes seminaries, colleges, and state conventions – adopting the Nashville Statement in part or in full to articulate its convictions on sexuality and gender.
Resolution Five, “On Sexuality and Personal Identity,” is in part a response to issues surrounding the Revoice conference and so-called “gay Christianity.”
The SBC’s Resolutions Committee had received a resolution that explicitly named the Revoice conference, and the committee chose to address the matter more generally.
The resultant resolution bears resemblance to parts of Article 7 of the Nashville Statement, especially its denial that any homosexual or transgender “self-conception” is contrary to God’s purposes, and its affirmation that the grace of God offers both “pardon and transforming power” to Christ’s followers.
Denny Burk, president of CBMW, notes the significance of Resolution Five on his blog: “This is significant because the founder of Revoice has said that he started Revoice as a response to The Nashville Statement. Because the founder and other Revoice supporters often identify as gay Christians,’ they took particular offense at Article 7 of The Nashville Statement.”
Burk details the resolution’s dependence on the Nashville Statement, along with his further reflections on the resolution, at his site.
Two other noteworthy resolutions concerning gender and sexuality were adopted at the convention:
-Resolution Two, “On the Evil of Sexual Abuse,” condemns “all forms of sexual abuse,” laments all instances of such abuse, “particularly in a church setting,” and calls on the churches of the convention to foster a culture where victims can “share about their abuse with the assurance of protection” and receive the care they need.
-Resolution Ten, “On Expanding the Selective Service to Include Women,” was submitted by CBMW Executive Director Colin Smothers. The resolution urges “the President and Congress not to expand the Selective Service to include women, which would be to act against the plain testimony of Scripture and nature.”
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