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Christian Marriage and the Place of Men and Women

We believe

a. That God created mankind as male and female, with ordained distinctions between the sexes.  Any attempt to alter one’s gender by surgery or appearance is sinful and forbidden.  (Gen 1:26-27;  2:21-23;  5:1-2;  Mt 19:4;  Mk 10:6;  Isa 45:9-10;  Rom 9:20-21)

b. That God instituted the marriage relationship between man and woman for their mutual benefit and for procreation.  This relationship is so sacred that God uses it as the picture of the relationship between Christ and the church.  The only legitimate marriage is that between one man and one woman.  A believer should only marry another believer.  (Gen 1:26-28;  2:18-25;  Mk 10:6-9;  I Cor 7:39;  II Cor 6:14;  Eph 5:22-33)

c. That God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a legitimate marriage.  Any form of immorality (such as fornication, adultery, homosexuality, and lesbianism) is sinful and forbidden, and is not acceptable as an alternative lifestyle.  (Gen 19:5-7, 13;  26:8-10;  Lev 18;  Rom 1:26-32;  I Cor 6:9-11, 16-20;  I Thess 4:3-8;  Heb 13:4)

d. That marriage was designed by God to be a lifelong commitment between a man and a woman.  Although examples of divorce are found in Scripture, divorce was not God’s original purpose or perfect will, but rather was His provision for the hardness of man’s heart.  (Mt 19:3-9;  Rom 7:1-3;  I Cor 7:10-15)

e. That God has ordained the home as a foundational institution in society.  When God gives children to a family, they are a blessing from the Lord.  God has also established a structure of authority within the Christian home, with Christ as Head, followed by the husband, then the wife, and finally, the children.  Parents are responsible for raising their children in the “nurture and admonition of the Lord.”  (Gen 1:27-28;  2:18-24;  Ps 127:3-5;  I Cor 11:3;  Eph 5:22-6:4; Col 3:18-21)

f. That men and women are spiritually equal in position before God, but that God has ordained distinct and separate spiritual functions for men and women within the home (section e) and within the church.  Women are not to hold positions of authority over men in either the home or the church.  While they are not to teach men within the church, they are encouraged to teach women and children.  The offices of pastor and deacon are scripturally limited to men. (Gal 3:27-28;  I Tim 2:8-15;  3:1-5, 11-12;  I Cor 14:34-35;  Titus 2:3-5)

 

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