Many churches in America are struggling today with how to deal with requests for non-traditional marriages to be held at the church or be conducted by church pastors. It should be up to each individual church to establish its own policy regarding marriages, so I offer the following generic policy for church boards to consider. This is not anti-anything; just a way for churches to establish their own individual policies regarding the matter.
Here it is:
Marriage and the family
God has ordained the family as the institution of human society. It is composed of persons related to one another by marriage, blood or adoption. Marriage is the uniting of one natural born man and one natural born woman in covenant commitment. It is God’s unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His church and to provide for the man and the woman, the channel of sexual expression, according to biblical standards, and the means for procreating of the human race. The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, because both are created in God’s image. The marriage relationship models the way God relates to His people. Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord. Parents are to demonstrate to their children God’s pattern for marriage. Parents are to teach their children spiritual and moral values and to lead them, through consistent lifestyle example and loving discipline, to make choices based on biblical truth. Children are to honor and obey their parents.
We believe and affirm God’s plan for marriage and sexual intimacy – one natural born man and one natural born woman. We believe in God’s plan that homosexuality is not a “valid alternative lifestyle.” It is not, however, unforgivable sin. The same redemption available to all sinners is available to homosexuals. They, too, may become new creations in Christ.
Genesis 1:27 – So God created man in His own image; in the image of God, He created him; male and female, He created them. Genesis 2:23 – And Adam said: “This is now, bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man.” Romans 1:26-27 – For this reason, God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise, also men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error, which was due. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 – Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 1 Corinthians 7:2 -- But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.
We at (name of church) believe that it is God’s plan that marriage should be between one natural born man and one natural born woman. Therefore, it is the policy of (name of church) that only marriages between a natural born male and a natural born female will be conducted at the church, on church property or at any place and any time by any of our pastors.
Closing comment: Among the greatest things about this country is that we have any number of churches and other places of worship, and as long as the Lord is the most important thing in the lives of those who attend the place of worship of their choice, then there can be any number of various standards that each place of worship can set for itself. Bottom line, is that all places of worship ought to be tolerant of other places of worship that may have some different guidelines. Remember that "tolerance" does not mean "compliance" or "in agreement." It just means live and let live. We Americans have the right to worship or not worship the way we please, as long as it does not infringe on anybody else's right to worship
or not worship as he or she pleases. I promise not to try and jam my faith down
the throats of others, and I would appreciate if they would give me the same
courtesy. In America, we have the best chance in the world of that happening.
The old saying: "Don't tell me to pray, don't tell me what to pray, don't
tell me how to pray, don't tell me not to pray" is a motto that works for
all of us. It sure does for me.