The trustees of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary have unanimously approved the adoption of the controversial Nashville Statement on sexuality and gender.
According to Baptist Press, the decision was taken on Monday as part of the board's autumn meeting on the recommendation of seminary president Albert Mohler, one of the signatories to the document.
The Nashville Statement was produced by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, which promotes socially conservative views of sexuality and gender roles. It opposes homosexuality, transgender and sex outside marriage, saying: 'We affirm that it is sinful to approve of homosexual immorality or transgenderism and that such approval constitutes an essential departure from Christian faithfulness and witness.' It says: 'We deny that the approval of homosexual immorality or transgenderism is a matter of moral indifference about which otherwise faithful Christians should agree to disagree.'
Mohler told Baptist Press: 'Ultimately, it is a statement of what we believe is revealed in Holy Scripture, and thus beliefs to which we are fully accountable and of which we are not ashamed.'
He added: 'These days, no Christian, and certainly no Christian institution or ministry, can avoid answering the most pressing questions presented to us by the culture. These are real-life questions that will determine the policies and the substance of any ministry or school. The Nashville Statement is the kind of clarification that is so clearly needed at this moment.'
The statement was criticised both by conservatives who objected to what they said was its confrontational tone, and by LGBT-affirming Christians, some of whom under the banner 'Christians United in support of LGBT+ inclusion in the Church' released a counter-statement.