Previous Page  20 / 222 Next Page
Information
Show Menu
Previous Page 20 / 222 Next Page
Page Background

18

We teach that humans bear the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27; 9:6; James 3:9) and are such persons at conception

(Psalms 139:13, 15; cf. Job 3:3) as directly recognized by God (Psalms 22:10; Isaiah 49:1; Jeremiah 1:5; Luke 1:41-44;

Romans 9:10-11; Galatians 1:15). God does not differentiate between murder in or outside of the womb (Exodus 21:12;

22-24). Therefore, any form of abortion is murder, a defiant act against the God of life (John 5:26) and against children

whom He cares about (Matthew 18:10) and gives as blessings (Psalms 127:3). We teach that those created in the image

of God must be treated with dignity (Genesis 9:6; Luke 13:15-16; James 3:9) and that this must extend to these persons

in the womb.

We teach that marriage was given by God as part of His common grace, and that it has no meaning other than as He has

provided (Genesis 2:18–24). We teach that marriage is subject to the curse of the Fall, but this curse does not change the

definition of marriage established at creation (Matthew 19:1-9). We teach that the term “marriage” has only one meaning

and that is marriage sanctioned by God which joins one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated

in Scripture (Genesis 2:23–24). Believers, living in obedience to the Scripture and under the control of the Holy Spirit,

can begin to experience peaceful, productive, and fulfilled marriage as intended by God (Genesis 3:16; 1 Peter 3:7).

We teach that the marriages of believers are to illustrate the loving relationship of Christ and His church, with the husband

loving his wife as Christ loves the church and the wife responding to her husband’s loving leadership as the church

responds to Christ (Ephesians 5:18–33).

We teach that as believers’ marriages are to illustrate Christ’s relationship with His church, believers should choose to

marry those who share their faith and regenerate life (2 Corinthians 6:14).

We teach that marriage is always a public, formal, and officially recognized covenant between a man and a woman. We

teach that without such a covenant, which may include a “common law marriage” where valid in specific cases under

pertinent law, prolonged conjugal cohabitation does not establish and is not equivalent to marriage (John 4:18). Biblically,

such a relationship is fornication (1 Corinthians 6:9) requiring repentance of such behavior. We teach that where no such

covenant exists or can be discerned between a cohabiting couple prior to coming to faith in Christ, family units should

be preserved to the extent possible and, if otherwise appropriate, solemnization encouraged. We teach that where a valid

marriage has been established prior to coming to faith in Christ, the couple should remain married (1 Corinthians 7:24).

We teach that God hates divorce, permitting it only where there has been unrepentant sexual sin (Malachi 2:14–16;

Matthew 5:32, 19:9) or desertion by an unbeliever (1 Corinthians 7:12–15). We teach that remarriage is permitted to a

faithful partner, but only when the divorce was on biblical grounds.

We teach that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other.

We teach that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man

and a woman (Hebrews 13:4).

We teach that any form of sexual immorality, such as adultery, fornication, homosexuality, bisexual conduct, bestiality,

incest, pedophilia, pornography, in desire or behavior (Matthew 5:28) is sinful and offensive to God. In addition, any

attempt to change one’s sex or disagreement with one’s biological sex is sinful and offensive to God who ordained the

sexes of male and female at creation (Genesis 1:26-28) and one’s particular sex at conception (Leviticus 18:1–30;

Deuteronomy 22:5; Matthew 5:8; Romans 1:26–29; 1 Corinthians 5:1, 6:9; 1 Thessalonians 4:1–8).

We teach that homosexuality, in particular, is subject to God’s wrath of abandonment, is a matter of choice and not

inherited status, and epitomizes man’s ungrateful rebellion against God (Romans 1:18–28).

We teach that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity. Hateful and harassing

behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture or the

doctrines of the church. We teach that the faithful proclamation of the Scripture, including the call to repentance, does