We Deny Perfect Conformity

The same people who published the unnecessary and homophobic Nashville Statement last year are at it again, this time with the Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel. Once again, they are back to making themselves the victim of Big Culture. They’re taking all the blame away from themselves for the legacy of racism and misogyny, and they’re making sure you’re clear women are less than men (but should still be treated kinda nice). I will not share a link, because you don’t need to read it. Instead, here’s a blackout poem (inspired by holyblackedout, an Instagram and twitter account that I love) that’ll let you know how Christians who don’t have a skewed understanding of our faith feel about social justice and the gospel.

I. scripture

we affirm breath
(how we must live).

intersectionality, feminism, and critical race theory are

II. imago dei

we affirm every person
as divine image-bearers

we deny religion
as an image-bearer of God.

III. justice

we affirm that
societies must
correct injustices that have been imposed
through cultural prejudice

IV. god’s law

we affirm
call to repentance

V. sin

we affirm
all human relationships


VI. gospel

we affirm
the obligation to live justly in the world

VII. salvation

we affirm
in this life


VIII. the church

we affirm
those who contradict.
we affirm

we deny that
activities are either evidence of saving faith or constitute a central part of the church’s mission

IX. heresy

we deny
perfect conformity

X. sexuality and marriage

we affirm
same-sex attraction
sexual relationship

that one’s sex can be fluid
gay christian as legitimate

XI. complementarianism

we affirm
differences are good, proper, and beautiful
we affirm
to teach

we deny that
women disparage
spiritual value of one

XII. race/ethnicity

we affirm that all people
are ontological equals

we deny
oppressors or
we are to weep with those who weep

XIII. culture

we affirm
other cultures
those worldviews
should be celebrated
we affirm

we deny
to rise above

XIV. racism
we affirm that racism is a sin
and violates the law of love

we deny
the core principles of
evangelical convictions.
we deny
the contemporary evangelical movement.

social issues (or activism aimed at shaping wider culture) are
to the life and health of the church
such things tend to
lead to
the gospel.

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Ari is a 20-something artist and educator. They are a mom to two cats, they love domesticity, ritual, and porch time. They have studied, loved, and learned in CT, Greensboro, NC, and ATX.

Ari has written 330 articles for us.


  1. we affirm that blackout poetry will save us all. thank you for this tuesday morning inspiration <3 beautiful work.

  2. This is very timely and poignant for me. Yesterday I had a very uncomfortable conversation with my evangelical, pentacostal sister beecause I had to confess that I broke up with my former boyfriend, to whom I had been engaged. This was only the tip of the iceburg of what I am now hiding from her… I used to wish she would draw closer to me, and now, I’m not sure i want to speak to her for a very long time. I just know she’d say that every part of my life right now is thee work of the devil. I must read this poem a few more times to tell myself otherwise, for it represents my truth. Thank you once again for reaffirming and supporting my life, which feels in crisis right now.

  3. Proud of myself for choosing to affirm my humanity by following the holyblackedout instagram account instead of destroying another tiny piece of me by looking up the original statement that this came from.

  4. This reminds me of fun times as a kid in church blacking out letters to make different words. Thank you :)

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