Yesterday, a group of Reformed theologians, after careful study and with great care, released a statement about marriage. It is called the Nashville Statement. I haven’t read it (yet?). Others have, and it seems that the statement – while incomplete from a Lutheran perspective – does speak to the reality that men and women are different, that marriage is between a man and a woman, and it does so from a carefully considered biblical perspective.
Today, one of those #HIP #EDGY spiritual leaders who exhibits none of scripture’s required qualifications for ministry (she uses extremely vulgar language, revels in past sins instead of demonstrating repentance, etc.) released a response: The Denver Statement. Again, I have not read it. But, early indications are that it is a poorly constructed gnostic document that rejects the clear testimony of Holy Scripture in favor of a crass worldly consumerist view of sexuality.
16 years ago, I was a part of a group that released a statement: That They May Be One. It was produced after months of study, based on careful study of the relevant biblical passages, thousands of pages of theological commentary from all eras of church history, a detailed study of the Lutheran confessional pattern of speaking, and feedback from many, many pastors. Over a thousand pastors and congregations officially signed it. Many more were in personal agreement, although did not feel the need to publicly declare so. (Lutherans are understandably slow to sign confessional statements). You can still read it online.
Within two weeks, someone had produced what they considered a complete response to our statement. They called it, quite un-cleverly, “That WE may be one.” (See what they did there?) It addressed none of the scriptural or theological rationale underlying our statement. It was really nothing more than an emotional response, based on their perception that we were being mean. It was laughable both as to scholarship and to an understanding of the Christian faith. It disappeared almost immediately. No one remembers it. It was an embarrassment.
I was reminded of this when I saw that Miss Weber, in 24 hours, had managed to produce a response to the carefully crafted thought of the Nashville Statement. It says a lot about her depth of theological inquiry, her commitment to what God says in His Holy Word, and her actual qualifications as a teacher in the church. I’m not surprised that someone thought they were smart enough, hip enough, edgy enough to produce such a statement on such short notice. And I’m not surprised that it was her – that has been her style all along. I’m not surprised that the News Media, which can not tell the difference between the Pope and Literally Hitler, has made a big deal about it. After all, SHE SAYS OUTRAGEOUS THINGS! Which is to say, she says things that are entirely conventional as the world sees them but incorrectly attaches Jesus name to what she says. She tries to do it from the shelter of the church, but those who know anything about the church or its teachings aren’t fooled by her.
As for what she said, I’m sure by now you won’t be surprised to learn that I have never read a single word she’s written. I may read the Nashville statement. But as I’m not Reformed, I almost certainly won’t sign it. I know it’s the hip and edgy thing to do for those of us who reject the HIP! and EDGY! theology of Miss Weber. But in a world where “he created them male and female” is hate speech, it’s easy to do six outrageous things before breakfast. I think I’ll go read the Psalms.
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