To the world, these historic moments may have seemed of little importance. But they were divinely appointed to protect the Church from heresy.
No earthly oppression has ever crippled God’s Body of Believers for long, despite the horrors from the Roman Empire, Islamic Caliphates, Communism, and others. The greatest danger to Christianity has always been false doctrine that confuses and leads people astray. Thus, clarification and reiteration of orthodoxy has always been critical to the Church. This has led to statements, creeds, and confessions of faith throughout history to reaffirm Biblical Truth as plainly stated in the Bible. I present a couple of examples here for historical background.
In the 4th Century AD, the early Church Fathers met in a time of crisis. A man named Arius was spreading a heresy known as Arianism, which denied Christ’s divinity. This went against clear Biblical teaching. Arius was spreading false doctrine and creating deep divisions in the Church. Arianism needed to be addressed and refuted. So a meeting of approximately 300 Bishops from throughout the Roman Empire and Persia was called at the behest of Emperor Constantine the Great (the first Christian Emperor) and Pope Sylvester I to address the controversy. In the end, the Nicene Creed was written and ratified, affirming the divinity of Christ. It is a profound statement of faith still read in many Christian churches every Sunday throughout the world today.
The Nicene Creed simply re-asserted the teachings of the Apostles as true, thereby correcting the errant teaching of Arius. But it was critical to the health of the Church in a time of turmoil.
In the same way, the Athanasian Creed would also later reaffirm the nature of the Trinity and Christ’s Incarnation as seen in the Bible.
And in the 16th Century, the Augsburg Confession was drafted by German Reformationists and presented to the Holy Roman Emperor. This confession of faith affirmed historic Biblical teachings based on Scripture alone and sought reforms of corrupted practices in the Catholic Church. This occurred at a time in which the Church had become widely corrupted, selling forgiveness for money. Martin Luther, Philipp Melanchthon, and the other drafters of this statement of doctrine did not present anything “revolutionary”. Rather, they simply corrected errors and reaffirmed the true Faith as expressed in the Bible.
There are many more examples throughout the history of the Church, but these are a few that stand out. They addressed different issues, but all had the same goals. They were straightforward, reaffirming Biblical orthodoxy. They each countered a heresy specifically egregious in its time. And they were guiding lights through chaotic waters for the Church then and now.
In much the same way, the Nashville Statement seems very simple on its face. It reaffirms basic Biblical Truth on human sexuality and God’s design for men, women, and marriage as well as also denying heresies of this age. It is straightforward, because the Truth of these issues is straightforward. The only complexity comes from the Left trying to make the issues complex.
It is tragic that society has decayed to the point that the Nashville Statement is necessary. But it also indicates we are at a turning point in history, like the early Church Fathers or the Reformationists faced.
Yes, these issues such as gender dysphoria, homosexual marriage, and religious liberty are critical political issues. But more importantly, they are doctrinal issues of Christian orthodoxy.
We are being called to address some of the great heresies of the age – the acceptance of sexual perversion in many forms and the denial of God’s unique creation of men and women. The Left has sought to corrupt the Church with sin, seeking tolerance of actions condemned from Genesis to Revelations. They denounce large swaths of the Bible, yet claim to be Christians. These lies confuse innocent people and erode their faith. This must not be allowed.
The Leftists like to claim they are on the “right side of history”, whatever that means. Well, I’d rather be on the right side of God (Matthew 25:34).
In the end, you either accept the Bible as God has revealed it, or you don’t. You accept it completely or not at all. You cannot choose bits and pieces, like a self-help book. Absolute Truth cannot be only partially correct. The Bible is a single arc of consistent doctrine from the beginning of time until the end. That is why the Nashville Statement is so important. Like our forefathers, we too must now reaffirm Biblical Truth once again.
Many Christians look back on history and think, “If I lived back then, I would have fought for God’s Truth!” Well, now is the time to live up to that. You are living in historic times. The future is in your hands.