Statement on Marriage

Lakeside Community Presbyterian Church

 

Definition

God, in His infinite wisdom, created and ordained marriage to display the mysterious union of Christ and His Church (Ephesians 5:22-25). As the creator and author of marriage, God alone has the authority to define it. This He did in the second chapter of Genesis where God, having created both man and woman, brought them together personally as husband and wife (2:22) and

a benediction was pronounced over the couple; “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife and they shall become one flesh” (2:24, ESV). For this reason, Christian believers now hold – and have always held – that marriage is between one man and one woman; that it is sealed by the exchange of covenant vows; and that it is intended for the whole of natural life, until death.

 

On the Interpretation of Scripture

We, as Christian believers, regard the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the inspired Word of God and infallible authority under which we live. We regard the clarity of Scripture to be sufficient for us to interpret the Bible accurately on matters of both faith and practice, using straight forward grammatical and historical principles. For this reason, we reject all attempts to obscure or “re-read” Biblical passages which clearly state the parameters of human sexuality. Sexual relations are to be enjoyed as a gift, and exclusively between a married man and his own wife alone (Exodus 20:14; Hebrews 13:4). Any alternate readings of Scripture that intentionally or unintentionally obscure this foundational Biblical presupposition are to be rejected.

 

On Sin and Grace                                            

Christians are called to love – and not hate – our enemies and those who persecute us (Matthew 5:44). Thus, we reject any attempt to miss-characterize our convictions on these matters as “hate speech,” because to tell the truth on these matters is indeed a most loving and gracious act. However, Christians are called to hate transgression and iniquity, wherever it is found, including within ourselves, and so we repent of our own sin first; be it in thought, word, or deed. We welcome those of all races, genders, ethnicities, and sexual inclinations to repent and believe in Jesus Christ and to worship in our churches. We sympathize with all who struggle with temptation, and exhort them to pursue “the obedience of faith” and embrace the new life given to the redeemed by the Holy Spirit. Accordingly, we continue to reject any and every sin that degrades God’s glorious creation of marriage, including: adultery, fornication, rape, incest, homosexuality, polygamy, lust, pornography, coercive abstinence while in the state of marriage, and all forms of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse.

 

On Human Laws and Ordinances

Moreover, human beings can pass no law that redefines marriage any more than mortals can pass a law that declares the light of the sun to be dark, or to suspend the law of gravity. Though various laws may be passed by the agency of human pen and ink; or judgments rendered from human courts (higher or lower); yet human beings do not have the prerogative, now or ever, to alter, change, or redefine marriage as instituted by our Creator.

 

On Civil Disobedience

Finally, then, we stand firm in our convictions on these matters and refuse to take any such actions as would compel us to violate either Scripture or conscience – even if so compelled by civil law – for “to go against conscience is neither right nor safe.” Amen.

 

(Adopted by the Session on September 25, 2012; Reaffirmed June 24, 2014)