Getting Sex Wrong Is a Foundational Error by James M. Kushiner
As an expression of the mission of Touchstone to promote historic Christian orthodoxy, we are pleased to publish the Nashville Statement (see below), an Evangelical coalition statement on biblical sexuality. The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood convened a meeting of Evangelical leaders on August 25, 2017, that was hosted by the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission during its national conference. At the meeting, a coalition of scholars, pastors, and other leaders composed, discussed, and endorsed the Nashville Statement, "in the hope of serving Christ's church," according to the statement's preamble. It was first published online on August 29, 2017.
Many Christians today prefer not to talk about sex because they have been accused of being obsessed with it and speaking about it too much. In response, we point out that the New Testament itself does not avoid sex. John the Baptist forfeited his life for upholding sexual morality in condemning Herod for marrying his brother's wife. Jesus spoke clearly about marriage and its one-flesh conjugal nature. The apostolic writers addressed sexual sins in the New Testament epistles; fornication, along with other sins, is condemned in the closing verses of the Book of Revelation.
Today we see the fruits of the so-called sexual revolution manifest in, among other things, abortion, shattered families, out-of-wedlock births, and the destructive behavior of sons raised without their fathers. This revolution has repudiated the age-old and universal recognition that sexual intercourse must be accorded special protection and dignity in marriage, and must be channeled therein for the flourishing of human society. Today's post-marital view of sex insists that sexual restraint outside of marriage is mostly repressive and psychologically unhealthy and, further, that individuals may act on any form of sexual self-expression that occurs to them, as long it is consensual.
Not only have the sexual revolutionaries embraced various forms of sexual expression, they have also re-defined sexual embodiment itself, so that one's "real" sex is now said to be determined by one's personal preferences. Teaching children that they could be the opposite of their biological sex is another chapter in the ongoing abuse of children, joining abortion, no-fault divorce, and the encouragement of teen promiscuity in assaulting the clear teachings of Scripture and endangering more souls. This is a place where the churches of God have no warrant to retreat even an inch from the witness of the Christian tradition, espoused by a great cloud of witnesses over the past two thousand years (see also James Spiegel, page 21).
We join the signers of the Nashville Statement in standing firm in these matters.
—James M. Kushiner, for the Touchstone editors
Nashville Statement: A Coalition for Biblical Sexuality
"Know that the Lord himself is God; It is he who has made us, and not we ourselves. . . ." (Psalm 100:3)
Evangelical Christians at the dawn of the twenty-first century find themselves living in a period of historic transition. As Western culture has become increasingly post-Christian, it has embarked upon a massive revision of what it means to be a human being. By and large the spirit of our age no longer discerns or delights in the beauty of God's design for human life. Many deny that God created human beings for his glory, and that his good purposes for us include our personal and physical design as male and female. It is common to think that human identity as male and female is not part of God's beautiful plan, but is, rather, an expression of an individual's autonomous preferences. The pathway to full and lasting joy through God's good design for his creatures is thus replaced by the path of shortsighted alternatives that, sooner or later, ruin human life and dishonor God.
This secular spirit of our age presents a great challenge to the Christian church. Will the church of the Lord Jesus Christ lose her biblical conviction, clarity, and courage, and blend into the spirit of the age? Or will she hold fast to the word of life, draw courage from Jesus, and unashamedly proclaim his way as the way of life? Will she maintain her clear, counter-cultural witness to a world that seems bent on ruin?
We are persuaded that faithfulness in our generation means declaring once again the true story of the world and of our place in it—particularly as male and female. Christian Scripture teaches that there is but one God who alone is Creator and Lord of all. To him alone, every person owes glad-hearted thanksgiving, heart-felt praise, and total allegiance. This is the path not only of glorifying God, but of knowing ourselves. To forget our Creator is to forget who we are, for he made us for himself. And we cannot know ourselves truly without truly knowing him who made us. We did not make ourselves. We are not our own. Our true identity, as male and female persons, is given by God. It is not only foolish, but hopeless, to try to make ourselves what God did not create us to be.
James M. Kushiner is the Director of Publications for The Fellowship of St. James and the former Executive Editor of Touchstone.
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