DALLAS, TX — The Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) voted at its annual General Assembly last week to declare the Nashville Statement as a “biblically faithful declaration.”
By this action, the PCA joins several other evangelical institutions, including the Southern Baptist Convention weeks earlier, in appropriating the Nashville Statement in part or in full to articulate its convictions on sexuality and gender.
Overture 4, “Declare the Council on Biblical Manhood & Womanhood’s ‘Nashville Statement’ on Biblical Sexuality as a Biblically Faithful Declaration,” originated from Calvary Presbytery and is in part a response to issues surrounding the Revoice conference and so-called “gay Christianity.” The overture cites the following grounds for declaring the Nashville Statement biblically faithful:
“‘The Nashville Statement,’ carefully worked out by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood in 2017, is a timely statement that speaks into the current confusion surrounding gender and sexuality within the evangelical church (including the PCA) and the broader culture. Signed by many leaders within the Reformed and evangelical world, it is a balanced and biblically faithful attempt to ‘speak the truth in love’ (Eph. 4:15) on one of the most pivotal and controversial issues facing the church today.
“Additionally, ‘The Nashville Statement’ clearly reiterates the truth of foundational passages of Scripture and our confessional understanding of marriage, gender, and sexual ethics. It affirms God’s good purpose in ordaining the binary nature of gender while bestowing His image on mankind (Gen. 1:27), His design for marriage between one biological man and one biological woman (Gen. 1:23, 24), and the sinfulness of homosexual and transgender desire as well as conduct (Mat. 15:18, 19; I Cor. 6:9-11). In addition to affirming these historic, orthodox truths, the Nashville Statement also lifts up the hope of the gospel to the sexual struggler, pointing the reader to our Lord Jesus Christ as ‘the double cure,’ saving us both from sin’s guilt and power. Therefore, the PCA would do well to commend ‘The Nashville Statement’ and prepare it for distribution through Committee on Discipleship Ministries.”
Overture 4 was passed out of committee by a strong majority to be voted on by the General Assembly, but it came with a minority report against commending the Nashville Statement. Presenting the majority report to the over one-thousand presbyterian pastors gathered in Dallas for the General Assembly, Melton Duncan read the Nashville Statement in its entirety. Debate on the overture lasted over an hour, and Rick Phillips, Ligon Duncan, and Kevin DeYoung, among others, spoke in favor of the overture; Greg Johnson, pastor of the PCA church that hosted the controversial Revoice conference in 2018, and Scott Sauls, among others, spoke against. The final vote was 803-541 in favor of the Nashville Statement.
Denny Burk, president of CBMW, notes the significance of Overture 4 on his blog:
“[T]he PCA General Assembly went on record to affirm the very statement that Revoice was founded to oppose. What makes this even more remarkable is that this happened right on the heels of the Southern Baptist Convention’s adoption of a similar measure earlier this month—a resolution that relies on the Nashville Statement as a response to the Revoice controversy. Thus two major evangelical denominations have weighed-in in a single month, and both have affirmed the theological perspective of Nashville.”
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