A few weeks ago, a group of pastors issued their own statement about sexuality and called it the Nashville statement. If you google it you will find it.
Then there were a few counter statements issued from other pastors and people who had opposing views to what was expressed in the Nashville statement.
I’m not issuing my own statement here or really commenting on the content of the statement. Rather, I want to point out something.
When you want to gain attention, say something controversial. The Nashville statement and the countering statements did just that. And they received some pretty good attention, regardless of the arguments made.
But, for what purpose? By now, most people who heard about these statements have already forgotten them. That’s the thing with saying something controversial to garner attention. It’s cheap and doesn’t last.
Both the Nashville statement and the counter statements had their 15 minutes of fame and have already faded as fast as a Kardashian publicity stunt, a Trump tweet, or a late night comedian’s joke about politics.
Making statements is easy – especially statements that define groups of people you aren’t a part of. You just set down, think about how you see the world and determine that you are right – and you find what you need to back it up. It’s all very cerebral. It’s nice and neat and orderly. your hands don’t even get dirty as you are burying people with your brilliance. You don’t worry about the effect or who it impacts. They are just statements of fact, don’t you know. Everyone should be able to see how right you are and get on board with it. It’s obvious.
Except it’s not. Especially when we try to apply these statements to life. People and their lives are messy and dirty and complex. Lives aren’t like statements.
This isn’t an argument against all statements. My blog is a statement. When I preach, it is a statement. The point is to be careful when making statements. It’s easy to classify people as wrong or bad. It’s quite another to get to know those same people and find out what their struggle in life is. I’m not against making statements. I just wish we made statements that were helpful to people.
Maybe instead, we could issue a statement that wasn’t focused on being right, but rather focused more on how to improve people’s lives, or maybe reminded them of God’s grace, or maybe showed how an encounter with Jesus changed people’s lives.
But then again, that wouldn’t get so much attention, or responses would it?
But it might actually be faithful to what we profess as Christians – that we are sinners in need of redemption and that Jesus is the focus and salvation. That it is not our actions that save us, but Jesus’ actions. The Holy Spirit has sealed us with a promise and strengthens us to live out that promise.