So a group of, apparently, Southern Baptists has released the “Nashville Statement” that can be found here https://cbmw.org/nashville-statement/
And I immediately found a huge hole in it.
Article X says: “WE AFFIRM that it is sinful to approve of homosexual immorality or transgenderism and that such approval constitutes an essential departure from Christian faithfulness and witness.”
I will not pick apart the “homosexual immorality or transgenderism” thing (though it lumps together a few very different issues). The hole is in the “essential departure” and has to do with the principal signatories being Southern Baptists. Let us accept, for the sake of the discussion, that approval of “homosexual immorality or transgenderism” is grave error in the area of morals, and see how Southern Baptists fare in that regard.
The Southern Baptist Convention has been formed in 1845 as a split from a national Baptist convention. And as for the reason for the split, I will quote the proceedings of the founding convention in 1845, which can be found at http://digitalcollections.baylor.edu/cdm/fullbrowser/collection/ml-sbcann/id/1931/rv/compoundobject/cpd/1951
“” It is a question admitting no debate, that the Triennial Convention
was formed on the principle of a perfect equality of members, from the
South and Noith. And what is all important, the very qualifications of
missionaries are prescribed by the original constitution of that Convention,—
the fifth article providing that “such persons as are in full communion
with some regular church of our denomination, and w h o furnish
satisfactory evidence of genuine piety, good talents and fervent zeal for
the Redeemer’s cause, are to be employed as missionaries.”
” Besides this, too, the declaration of the Board, that if ” any one should
offer himself as a missionary, having slaves, and should insist on retaining
them as his property, we could not appoint him,” is an innovation and a
departure from the course hitherto pursued by the Triennial Convention,
(such persons having been appointed.) And lastly, the decision of the
Board is an infraction of the resolution passed the last spring, in Philadelphia;
and the General Board at their late meeting in Providence, have
failed to reverse this decision.
“Amidst such circumstances, your committee esteem it absolutely necessary,
that the friends of the Constitution of the Triennial Convention,
and the lovers of the Bible, shall at once take their stand, and assert the
great catholic principles of that Constitution, and of the Word of God.
“Your committee therefore submit the following resolution, as embodying
all that they are now prepared to suggest to your body:
” Resolved, That for peace and harmony, and in order to accomplish
the greatest amount of good, and for the maintainance of those scriptural
principles on which the General Missionary Convention of the Baptist
denomination of the United States, was originally formed, it is proper
that this Convention at once proceed to organize a Society for the propagation
of the Gospel.”
We see most clearly that the Southern Baptist Convention was founded upon the approval of slavery, namely, upon insisting that those engaged in keeping slaves be accepted as missionaries.
I hope we can all agree that keeping slaves is, and was in 1845, a violation of basic Christian morality. Therefore, approval of such actions was grave error in the area of morals.
My question now is: does official, church-wide grave error in the area of morals constitute an essential departure from the Faith?
If if does, then the Southern Baptist Convention, because of the manner it was founded, is not a legitimate Christian community, and therefore the signatories of the statement should first repent of belonging to it and rejoin American Baptists USA (the successors of the convention from which the SBs split).
Or if it does not, then Article X of the Nashville Statement is invalid.
As the principal signatories remain Southern Baptists and at the same time have included Article X, we can suspect that they are hypocrites. Or else they do not agree that approval of slavery (including appointment of slaveholding missionaries) is grave moral error. In which case, they should say so openly, and be relegated to the margins.
Matthew 7:5 “Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”
And that’s the end of it.
(By the way, I see no Scriptural justification for altering the definition of church marriage, as opposed to secular marriage, as it exists in most churches including the Church of Ireland of which I am a member. This has no bearing on anyone’s rights because marriage rights exist against the state, not a church. I disapprove of the Nashville Statement’s approach to the issue because of its lack of thoughtfulness in pretty much anything – including a total abject failure to analyze “transgenderism” in any way at all. Yet the biggest hole in it is, I think, the one I have just described).