With the year’s end comes another opportunity to thank God for His faithfulness and to look forward to what lies ahead. We wish to thank you for your support of CBMW, and we also wanted to take this opportunity to give you an overview of our year, to highlight what we are planning in 2018, and to ask you to remember our work as you plan your year-end giving.
Two-thousand seventeen will go down as one of the most important years in the history of our organization. Not only did we celebrate the 30-year anniversary of the Danvers Statement and of CBMW’s founding, in 2017 we also released another momentous statement: The Nashville Statement on Biblical Sexuality.
In late August, we invited a group of evangelical leaders to Nashville to finalize this coalition statement, which addresses the challenges presented to the church by the sexual revolution, specifically LGBT issues. The Nashville Statement was released with over 150 initial signatories of individuals from every major Protestant denomination, including J. I. Packer, John Piper, James Dobson, John MacArthur, and R. C. Sproul. And since its release, the statement has garnered almost 20,000 signatures (and counting). You can read and sign the Nashville Statement here.
While the Nashville Statement was met with a groundswell of support from conservative evangelicals, many in the news media and numerous progressive religious leaders denounced the statement. Articles about the statement appeared in almost every major news outlet, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, USA Today,NBC News, The Chicago Tribune, and Huffington Post — coverage that spread the statement further and wider than we could have ever done on our own. The statement even reached overseas, and we were quickly contacted by evangelicals who wanted to translate the statement into Chinese, Spanish, and German. These translations are now available on our website for free download.
In addition to releasing the Nashville Statement, CBMW was busy equipping Christians to stand faithfully with the Word of God no matter the cost through various conferences and events. We estimate that about 90% of the requests we currently get for resources and for conferences are related to the LGBT issues addressed in the Nashville Statement. CBMW’s work this year reflects this new focus:
In January, CBMW hosted a pre-conference on transgenderism at the annual Pastor’s Conference of the First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Florida. The speakers were CBMW President Denny Burk, Heath Lambert, Nathan Lino, and Mac Brunson.
At the beginning of April, we hosted a session on transgenderism at The Gospel Coalition Conference in Indianapolis. It was standing room only as Denny Burk, Kevin DeYoung, Andrew Walker, and Sam Allberry spoke about pastoring in a “transgendered age.”
Later in April, Denny Burk and Andrew Walker traveled to Denton Bible Church near Dallas, Texas for a regional conference on transgenderism.
In May, CBMW hosted a regional conference on biblical sexuality and gender at Christ Community Church in Laguna Hills, California with Denny Burk, Jim Hamilton, Grant Castleberry, and Ric Rodeheaver.
And then last month, we hosted a banquet for evangelical scholars in Providence, Rhode Island in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society. More than eighty were in attendance, and SBTS President Albert Mohler gave a plenary address titled, "From Danvers to Nashville: Celebrating 30 Years of Complementarian Ministry." All attendees were gifted a signed copy CBMW's influential book, Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood signed by John Piper and Wayne Grudem.
It was clear that God used these events to help evangelical leaders think about how to minister to those struggling with gender dysphoria and same-sex attraction. In addition to all of these stateside events, our Director of International Outreach, Gavin Peacock, traveled to London, England, and Johannesburg, South Africa, to host CBMW events.
Twenty-seventeen was also a year of change for CBMW. Grant Castleberry, who had faithfully served CBMW as Executive Director for 5 years, left the organization to answer a call to the pastorate in Frisco, Texas. The CBMW Board unanimously approved hiring me (Colin Smothers) as the new Executive Director in July. I was previously serving Southern Seminary in the office of the President as Producer of Dr. Mohler’s daily podcast, The Briefing.
As we look forward to 2018, we are planning a number of events and resources that will help evangelical Christians and ministries think biblically about complementarianism and biblical sexuality:
In January 2018, our Director of International Outreach, Gavin Peacock, will be traveling to Jacksonville, Florida, to host a breakout session with the theme “Pastoring in the Midst of Cultural Erosion" at the annual FBC Jax Pastor's Conference.
In March 2018, Denny Burk will travel to Tulare, California to a CBMW-sponsored regional conference on transgenderism, homosexuality, and how the Nashville Statement addresses these from a biblical point of view.
In the Fall of 2018, Gavin Peacock will travel to London, England to host the fourth-annual CBMW Conference in the UK.
After the Danvers Statement was completed in 1987, CBMW published Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, an edited volume on biblical manhood and womanhood with contributions from leading pastors and theologians, as well as 50 Crucial Questions, a companion volume that addresses many questions surrounding gender roles in the home and the church. We are currently developing similar resources to accompany the Nashville Statement.
The Lord is surely blessing our work, and He is doing so through the prayers and support of individuals like yourself. We are so thankful for the way you have partnered with us in the past, and as the year draws to a close, we are offering you another opportunity to get involved with what God is doing at CBMW. As a 501(c)3, ECFA-accredited organization, all donations to CBMW are tax-exempt. Would you consider giving to CBMW as you are planning your year-end giving? This can be done in the form of a one-time gift or through our monthly partnership program. We would also ask you to pray that God would enable CBMW to serve his kingdom by equipping Christians to speak the truth in love about biblical manhood and womanhood.
On the most recent episode of “Ask Pastor John,” John Piper responds to the following question: “Did Public Controversy over the Nashville Statement Hurt the Cause?” The short answer is no, but Piper’s explication is really helpful and worth your time to listen to in full.
"Mark Galli has penned an editorial criticizing the Nashville Statement in the November issue of Christianity Today. He raises a number of concerns and claims that the statement “ended up confusing some issues and has divided advocates of biblical sexuality.” In the end, he sees the statement as a failed project in spite of the good intentions of those who endorsed it.
"I was disappointed to see that Galli has taken an editorial position against the Nashville Statement. My disappointment, however, is not because the statement is above criticism. It certainly isn’t. I for one welcome faithful criticism that would offer improvements based on the light of scripture. Unfortunately, Galli does not offer any such criticism. Nor does he offer even a single argument to demonstrate how the statement might fall short of God’s revelation in scripture or in nature. Not one."
The pre-conference is scheduled for Tuesday, April 11th from 9am–12pm and will feature CBMW President Denny Burk, Sam Allberry, Ligon Duncan, and Albert Mohler. Each pre-conference attendee will receive several books, including "What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality?" by Kevin DeYoung and "Transgender" by Vaughan Roberts. Spots are filling up fast, register today!
"Now that homosexuality and transgenderism are all but normalized, polyamory seems to be the next sad frontier of the sexual revolution. The latest installment of this trend appears in The New York Post’s profile of a polyamorous 'throuple.'"
"The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood held a banquet at the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society in Providence, Rhode Island, November 14.
"This is the fourth consecutive year CBMW has held a banquet at the academic conference. This year‘s meeting carried special significance in that it marked the 30-year anniversary of CBMW‘s founding and the Danvers Statement."
"Walking away from Jesus is not a catalyst for church growth. On the contrary, it is the catalyst for church death. Believers in such churches will eventually leave, and those that remain to embrace the error will be an unfaithful remnant. It may be a gathering of people, but it will not be a gathering of born-again people and will not therefore be a church of the Lord Jesus."