In August, a large group of evangelicals released a declaration affirming a conservative theological position on issues of gender and sexual orientation.
Known as the Nashville Statement, it was organized by The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood and includes the signatures of several prominent Christian leaders.
"As Western culture has become increasingly post-Christian, it has embarked upon a massive revision of what it means to be a human being," reads the Preamble of the Statement.
"We are persuaded that faithfulness in our generation means declaring once again the true story of the world and of our place in it—particularly as male and female."
The Statement has garnered mixed reactions from American Christianity, with some hailing it as a stand for sound orthodoxy while others denounce it as advancing harmful bigotry.
Here, in no particular order, are seven reactions to the Nashville Statement from various American Christian leaders and influential figures.
Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, was one of the prominent signers of the Nashville Statement.
In an endorsement posted to The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood's website on Aug. 29, Moore said that the Statement was "an urgently needed moment of gospel clarity."
"The Sexual Revolution cannot keep its promises, and the church must stand ready to receive with compassion the many who are in need of a better hope," said Moore.
"The Nashville Statement is part of that mission, and my prayer is that it will help anchor churches and Christians to the gospel of Jesus Christ for years to come."
Presbyterian Church (USA)
Presbyterian Church (USA), a mainline Protestant denomination that has had hundreds of congregations leave it in protest of its increasingly pro-LGBT direction, weighed in on the Nashville Statement.
PC(USA)'s Theology and Worship ministry released a statement in which it described its denomination as "agnostic around issues of homosexuality."
"In terms of the Nashville Statement, it would seem that one could be a faithful leader in the PC(USA) and affirm aspects of the Nashville Statement such as believing that marriage is between a man and a woman," stated the PC(USA) ministry.
"There are other articles, particularly those around transgender persons, that go beyond anything the PC(USA) has officially taken a stand on."
The ministry also argued that the Nashville Statement's view on self-conception "does not do justice to the experiences of transgender persons. Nor does the experience of transgender persons neatly fit with issues around persons with same gender attraction."
Rachel Held Evans
Liberal evangelical author Rachel Held Evans opposed the Nashville Statement, arguing in posts on Twitter that the declaration harms LGBT individuals.
"What kind of twisted expression of 'love' declares parents who accept their LGBTQ kids outside the faith, leads to suicides, secrets & pain?" she tweeted on Sunday.
"'We misrepresent you because we love you. We single you out, stigmatize, & marginalize you because we love you.' It's downright abusive."
Theologian and founder of the website "Desiring God" John Piper supported the Nashville Statement, being one of the signatories of the document.
In an article posted to the Desiring God website on Aug. 29, Piper referenced the 1987 Danvers Statement, which warned of "increasingly destructive consequences in our families, our churches, and the culture at large" if the sexual revolution continued to progress.
"Those 'destructive consequences' have arrived. The Nashville Statement addresses them. I hope you will read it with care," wrote Piper.
"We may pray that in this manifesto the world will hear a prophetic and gracious summons to submit to Christ, and that the church will hear a call to stand strong in the beauty and truth that God has given us in his word."
Mark Tooley, president of the theologically conservative Institute on Religion & Democracy, analyzed the criticism of the Nashville Statement in a Sept. 2 blog entry.
Tooley argued that Christians opposed to the Articles of the Statement constitute a very small minority in overall Christianity and one that is suffering despite its embrace of mainstream American views on LGBT issues.
"Dissenting Christian institutions are almost entirely confined to declining Western liberal Protestant denominations," wrote Tooley.
"If Nashville's critics were correct, these dying churches should be flourishing by their embrace of the spirit of the age. But in almost every culture and time, spiritual seekers are more drawn to religion that challenges, not that accommodates."
Jesuit priest James Martin, who serves as editor at large for America Magazine, penned a column for The Washington Post that was published Aug. 30 regarding how to respond to the Nashville Statement.
Martin parodied the format of the Statement, coming up with pairs of affirmations and denials connected to how Christians should treat LGBT individuals.
"I affirm: That God loves all LGBT people. I deny: That Jesus wants us to insult, judge or further marginalize them ... I affirm: That all of us are in need of conversion. I deny: That LGBT people should be in any way singled out as the chief or only sinners," read some of Martin's responses.
"I affirm: That when Jesus encountered people on the margins he led with welcome not condemnation. I deny: That Jesus wants any more judging ... I affirm: That LGBT people are, by virtue of baptism, full members of the church. I deny: That God wants them to feel that they don't belong."
In response to the Nashville Statement, a coalition of theologically liberal church leaders wrote up their own declaration demanding support for both LGBT individuals and their relationships.
Known as Christians United, as of Sunday their website boasts approximately 2,500 signatories from across the country and from multiple denominations.
Notable signatories include Rachel Held Evans, Christians United organizer the Rev. Brandan Robertson, and the Rev. Teresa "Terri" Hord Owens, president of the Disciples of Christ denomination.
"In the twenty-first century, we believe that the Church finds itself once again on the brink of a new reformation, one which in which the Holy Spirit is calling us to return to the Scriptures and our traditions in order to re-examine our teachings on human sexuality and gender identity," stated the Preamble.
"A new day is dawning in the Church, and all Christians are being called to step out boldly and unapologetically in affirmation and celebration of our LGBT+ siblings as equal participants in the Kingdom of God."