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Why Rosaria Butterfield Signed the Nashville Statement

the Nashville Statement

Last week, the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood released a short document called the Nashville Statement. The 14 articles of the statement speak to our current historical moment, in which both our culture and the people within our churches continue to ask how we should understand gender and sexuality. I am grateful for those who drafted the Nashville Statement, and because of its importance, I agreed to be one of the initial signatories.

Another of the initial signatories is Rosaria Butterfield, whose story has been made known through her fantastic autobiographical book, The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert. When I came across her reasoning for signing the Nashville Statement, I immediately recognized that what she had to say was profound and important.

Here are a couple excerpts from her article:

Twenty years ago, I lived as a lesbian. I delighted in my lover, our home on one of the Finger Lakes, our Golden Retrievers, and our careers. When Christ claimed me for His own, I did not stop feeling like a lesbian. I did not fall out of love with women. I was not converted out of homosexuality. I was converted out of unbelief.

And here is her analysis of those who say that the Christian thing to do is to tolerate in the church things contrary to God’s Word:

Just a few years ago, these people blamed sin on the devil, saying “the devil made me do it.” Now these same people—some of them leaders in the church—blame sin on the Holy Spirit, declaring that He is blessing what the Bible condemns. In a few short years, blame shifting has morphed into blasphemy. And this blasphemy is coming from people who claim to have Christ’s salvation and from the pulpits and blogs that they wield.

I’m incredibly thankful for compassionate and courageous voices like Rosaria’s. I pray that she (and the Nashville Statement itself) can help pastors and leaders within the church as they guide their people to understand sexuality with the Christ-like combination of grace and truth.

Read Rosaria’s entire article here: Why I Signed the Nashville Statement.

This article originally appeared here.

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J.D. Greear, Ph.D., is the President of the Southern Baptist Convention and pastors the Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, NC. Tagged by Outreach magazine as one of the fastest growing churches in America, the Summit has grown in the past 8 years from 400 to over 5,000 each weekend. The Summit Church is deeply involved in global church planting, having undertaken the mission to plant 1000 churches in the next 40 years. J.D. has authored Breaking the Islam Code and the upcoming Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary.