Here are some short statements indicating the position of this church on several contemporary issues of great importance. As need arises, other such statements may be added to our constitution through the regular amendment process.
I. The Sanctity of Human Life
We believe that human life, being created in the image and likeness of God, and embraced by the Son of God through his incarnation, is sacred and invaluable; that the intentional destruction of innocent human life at any stage, from the moment of conception to natural death, is a violation of the Fifth Commandment forbidding murder; that abortion (even in cases of rape or incest) is never justified, except to save the life of the mother; that human cloning, in vitro fertilization (as currently practiced), assisted suicide, and active euthanasia all involve the destruction of true human beings, and are therefore forbidden by God; that it is the positive duty of civil government to protect innocent human life from conception to natural death; that Christian citizens should strive to see this principle implemented in law; that Christians should treat aborted or abortion-minded women with great compassion, since in deciding to abort their baby they are often frightened, deceived, and intimidated; and that there is abundant pardon, healing, purpose, and hope for all who have sinned in this matter, but who have sincerely repented of their sin and placed their trust in the loving giver of all life, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Gen. 1:26, 9:6, Jn. 5:27; Ex. 20:13; Ex. 21:22-23, Job 1:21, Ps. 139:14-16, Is. 44:24, 49:1f, Luke 1:44, James 2:26; Gen. 9:5-7, Ps. 82; Pr. 24:11-12, Dan. 4:27; Mark 6:64, Acts 13:7, 17:30; Ex. 34:6, Ps. 103:1-14, Mt. 9:9-13, 11:28-29, Luke 7:36-50, 1 Pet. 1:3, 13, 21
II. Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage
We believe that marriage was instituted by God for the purpose of companionship, mutual help, sexual delight, procreation, and the spiritual formation of children; that in all these ways it serves as a picture of the loving covenant relationship between Christ and his Bride, the Church; that as a result of this it is meant to bind one man to one woman for one whole life; that the husband is to be the servant leader of the home, and to love his wife as Christ loved the church, laying down his life both for her and her children; that the wife is to submit herself to the godly leadership of her husband, even as the church submits herself to Christ; that divorce is permitted, but not required, in the case of adultery, or spousal abandonment and subsequent remarriage; that remarriage is permitted when a spouse dies, commits adultery, or forsakes his (or her) partner and remarries; that a man who, as a Christian, has initiated a divorce or impermissibly remarried, may not serve as an elder or deacon; that some Christians are called by the Lord to remain single and celibate throughout their lifetime, in order to serve him without distraction in the work of the Kingdom; and that in a world suffering from profound confusion about gender and sexuality, it especially behooves God’s people to fulfill their marriage vows diligently and honorably, for the greater glory of God and the salvation of their neighbors.
Gen. 2:18-25, Mt. 19:4, Jn. 3:28-30, Eph. 5:22-25; Gen. 2:24, Pr. 5:18-20, Mal. 2:14-16, Mt. 5:31-32; Eph. 5:25-32, 1 Pet. 3:7; Eph. 5:22-24, 1 Pet. 3:1-6; Mt. 5:31-32, 19:1-10, 1 Cor. 7:15; Rom. 7:1-3, 1 Cor. 7:10-16, 39; 1 Tim. 3:2, 7, 10, 12, Tit. 1:6; Mt. 9:12, 1 Cor. 7:25-40; Mt. 5:16, Jn. 15:8, 1 Cor. 10:31
III. Gender and Sexuality
We believe that God is the author of gender, marriage, sexual expression, and the laws by which sexual expression is to be governed; that he is a great friend to full and free sexual expression within the bounds of monogamous marriage; but also that, out of love and for our good, he identifies all other kinds of sexual activity—such as fornication (i.e., sex outside of marriage), adultery, polygamy, homosexuality, bisexuality, pedophilia, incest, bestiality, and the use of pornography—as departures from of his norm and forbidden. / Accordingly, we believe that churches, leaders, and believers must not endorse, or seem to endorse, any of these activities; that they must not participate in, or allow their facilities to be used for, homosexual, polygamous, or incestuous marriages or unions; and that if the State should try to force them do so, they must respectfully but firmly obey God rather than man. / We believe that a person’s gender is determined from the moment of conception, and is easily discerned by simple inspection of his/her reproductive organs (or, if necessary, by chromosomal analysis); that gender confusion is not by God’s creative act, but flows from man’s fallen nature, distorted family relations, and worldly error and lies; that abnormal sexual orientation or a mistaken sense of sexual identity, though traceable to man’s fallen nature, are not in and of themselves transgressions of God’s law, but that acting upon them is; and that any attempt to alter one’s gender or appearance by hormone treatments, surgery, or cross-dressing is forbidden. / Finally, we believe that Christians should strive to show God’s love and compassion to all who suffer from gender confusion; that we should encourage such neighbors to realize that they are not alone in their struggle, since in one way or another we all must fight to manage our sexuality faithfully; that by the power of the Holy Spirit, believers in Jesus are well able to resist and overcome every kind of sexual sin; and that in some cases (and perhaps many) those who suffer from gender confusion can indeed be healed and restored to the joys of heterosexual love and marriage.
Gen. 2:18f, Heb. 13:4, 1 Thess. 4:2-5; Pr. 5:18-19, Song 5:1, 1 Cor. 7:1-7, Heb. 13:4; Lev. 18:1ff, Mt. 5:28, Rom. 1:24f, 1 Cor. 6:9ff, 1 Jn. 2:6, 1 Tim. 1:10; Rom. 1:32, 1 Cor. 5:1f, Eph. 5:3; 1 Cor. 3:10-17, 5:1ff, 1 Tim. 5:22, 1 Pet. 1:14-16; Acts 4:19, 5:29 / Gen. 17:9-14, Ps. 139:13-16, Rom. 1:26-27, 1 Cor. 4:7; Gen. 18:16-21, 19:4-5, Mt. 9:12, Mark 7:21-22, Jn. 8:44, Rom. 12:2, 1 Cor. 14:40, James 3:16, 1 Jn. 2:16; Mt. 15:16-20, James 1:14-16; Deut. 22:5, 1 Cor. 11:13-15; Gen. 39:6-12, Rom. 7:13f, 1 Cor. 7:9, Gal. 5:23, 2 Tim. 2:22; Rom. 6:1-6, 7:25, 1 Cor. 6:9-11, Gal. 5:17, Phil. 4:16
IV. Church, State, and Freedom of Religion
We believe that God has ordained three foundational institutions for the good of individuals and society: the Family, the Church, and the State, and that each has its unique role, privileges, and responsibilities; that the Church is never to unite with, or seek to control, the State, but rather must speak to it prophetically, so as to help it fulfill its divine calling to a godly administration of justice; that the State is never to unite with, seek to control, patronize, or supply revenues to, any religious body; that it is never to impose a particular faith, philosophy, or ideology upon its citizens; that instead it is to create and maintain a civil and legal environment within which all people of all nations may fulfill their divine calling to seek and find the truth about God; that this mandate requires the State to make every effort to safeguard the faith, conscience, and freedom of expression of all its citizens, insofar as the latter are consistent with the law of God and the well-being of all people; and that Christians should not hesitate to speak up publicly in favor of these principles. // We also believe, from Scripture, that from time to time, and especially at the end of the age, the State will fall under power of Satan, abandon its proper calling, usurp God’s prerogatives, and persecute his people; and that whenever such a government seeks to force Christians to violate God’s laws and/or their own conscience, believers have both the right and the responsibility to disobey the State, so as to keep their conscience devoid of offense, glorify God, and bear witness to the one true Ruler of the kings of the earth.
Gen. 2:18ff, Eph. 5:22-6:4, Mt. 16:18, 1 Tim. 3:15, Rom. 13:1f; Ex. 5:1f, 1 Ki. 1:17f, Dan. 5:1f, Mt. 14:1-5, Mt. 22:21; Mt. 22:21; Dan. 3:1f, Rev. 13:11f; Is. 55:6-7, Acts 15:13-18, 17:22-31, Rom. 1-2; Acts 19:23ff, 25:23ff, 26:24:32; Ps. 2:10-12, Acts 13:4-12, 1 Thess. 2:13-16 // Dan. 3, Thess. 2, Rev. 13; Mt. 5:16, Acts 4:18-20, 23-31, 5:29, 23:1, 24:16