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Religious Tolerance logo

Homosexual orientation and transgender identity:

Three foundational flaws in the Nashville
Statement against the LGBT community.

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There is an aspect of this Nashville Statement that I think is important to consider. It is one that has been either ignored or not understood in all the articles I have read about this statement.

The REAL problems that the Nashville statement addresses is the issue of LGBT rights -- and even the very existence of the LGBT community. This is what also underlies all the court cases -- some of which will come before the U.S. Supreme Court this session -- which deal with the religious freedom to deny service to members of the LGBT community. The problem exposes fundamental flaws with three foundational elements of the theology believed by the Statement authors.

Anything that throws doubt upon the inerrant TRUTH of any aspect of the authors' theology cause them to reject the findings of those who expose the flaws and their doubts. The authors make every effort to assert the supremacy of their theology and to discredit those that expose the flaws. This is what the Nashville Statement attempts to do.

This fundamental conflict between three aspects of their Theology is not only seen on this issue of homosexuality and transgenderism. The conflict extends elsewhere to issues such as universal health care, social programs for the poor and disabled, tax reductions for the very wealthy, etc.

The three parts of their Theology that are thrown into conflict over this issue of homosexuality, transgenderism, and sin are:

  • Part 1: The belief that God creates humans in his own image, as they are, un-evolved. This is a prime teaching of the "Prosperity Gospel" preachers. God didn’t just design human beings once, he is actively involved in designing each and every human who has ever been born or who will be born in the future.

    This is expressed clearly in Rick Warrens book "The Purpose Driven Life". 1 Chapter 2 is titled "You are not an Accident." In this chapter he states:

    "God prescribed every single detail of your body."

    According to Mr. Warren, God decides every aspect of your physical body, your mental abilities, where you are born, where and when and how you will die, whether you will be rich or poor, etc. This gospel teaching is one way of justifying and sanctifying the differences between poor and rich. You are poor (or rich) because God designed you to be that way.

    Continuing with the belief that God designs every detail in every body: when an embryo is conceived, God creates an epigenetic layer on its DNA. Research has shown that this is the cause of the person's eventual sexual orientation. Much later during pregnancy, other research has shown that the fetal brain is fully developed with internal brain structures that will determine -- later in life -- whether the individual is transgender or cisgender (not transgender).

    If this is true then God decides that some people would have a homosexual, some bisexual, and most heterosexual orientation. Also, some would have a transgender identity. And I must add that some would be Hindus, or Buddhists or even Atheists, like me!

BUT, almost all conservative Christians interpret the six anti-LGBT "clobber passages" in the Bible as saying that homosexuality is wrong! They have also interpreted other passages dealing with gender and marriage to show that being transgender is wrong. Most believe that it is simply caused by a gender confusion. It doesn't make sense to believe that God specifically sets out to create humans who are destined to become members of LGBT community

  • Part 2: This is the belief that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God and NOT the work or words of humans with their own biases, prejudices, and agendas to put forward. Every word is to be understood literally, is inerrant for all time, and for all people.

  • Part 3: This concerns the very aspect of God. Is God kind, loving, forgiving, benevolent or a vindictive, judgmental (though just) tyrant?

The contradiction is created between these beliefs and the dilemma they create. What sort of a monster would create someone knowing they would be persecuted, demeaned, and hurt because of something over which they have no control?

Why would God condemn as a sinner what he has intentionally created? Why would God intentionally inflict a mother with the Zika virus so that her child will be born with hydrocephaly and permanently disabled? Why would God create children knowing they will starve to death before their first birthday or be blown to bits in a civil war or terrorist attack?

This fundamental flaw exposed between what God creates, what the Bible says, and the very nature of God  has spawned a full field of Theology called Theodicy. It addresses the conflict created in the belief of a good, benevolent God and the problem of Evil, suffering, and hardship that clearly exist in the world.

In order to address this conflict, the authors of the Statement have to insist that homosexuality and transgenderism are perverse choices not a natural part of who a person is as a human being. They can’t admit that any aspect, let alone a fundamental part of their Theology, is wrong because they are left wondering what else might be wrong! Could even their beliefs about God be wrong?

This whole Nashville statement is their attempt to show themselves that they have no doubts about their Theology. Their need to make this public statement, shows the rest of us that they do have doubts, that they are aware of the contradictions, and choose to pretend they don’t exist.

They show us with this statement they don’t have the strength of character it takes to admit their Theology is flawed, that they lost their way, and need to make a correction.

In my previous essay, titled "What matters most in life? What you are or what you do?," I discussed the issue of what it means to be human. Another aspect of our humanity that sets us apart from other animals is our ability to admit that we are wrong, that we have made a mistake and our ability to make corrections. Though I admit that is one aspect of our humanity that may be the hardest for all of us to embrace.

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Some related essays and sections on this web site that may interest you:

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. book cover Rick Warren, "What on Earth Am I Here For? Expanded Edition (The Purpose Driven Life)," Zondervan (2012). Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store

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Author: Contributing Editor Susan Humphreys
Originally posted on: 2017-OCT-11

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