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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 (Eph. 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 Cor. 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 Cor. 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 Cor. 7:24).

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

5:32, 19:9) or desertion by an unbeliever (1 Cor. 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 (Heb. 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 (Matt. 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 (Gen 1:26-28) and one’s particular sex at conception (Lev. 18:1–30; Deut. 22:5;

Matt. 5:8; Rom. 1:26–29; 1 Cor. 5:1, 6:9; 1 Thess. 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 (Rom. 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

not constitute hate speech, or hateful and harassing behavior, but is instead a fundamental part of the church’s loving

mission to the world (Matt. 28:16–20; 2 Cor. 5:11–20; 1 Tim. 1:5; 2 Tim. 4:1–2).

We teach that God offers redemption and forgiveness to all who confess and forsake their sin, including sexual sin,

seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. We teach that His forgiveness is total and complete (Ps. 103:11–

12, 130:3–4; Is. 43:25, 44:22; John 5:24; Col. 2:13–14) and that God imputes the full righteousness of Christ (2 Cor. 5:21)

to the believing sinner. We teach that the forgiven sinner has been cleansed from the guilt of sin, set apart unto God, or

made holy, and justified before Him (1 Cor. 6:9–11). We teach that any man or woman who has received that forgiveness

is “in Christ” and is a “new creation” (2 Cor. 5:17), able to persevere in and pursue a way of life that pleases the Lord by

the power of the Spirit (Rom. 8:10-15; 2 Cor. 3:16; Phil. 2:13).