First church Statement on

Marriage, Gender & Sexuality

We believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female. These two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God (Gen. 1:26-27). Rejection of one’s biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person.

 

We believe that the term “marriage” has only one meaning: the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union as delineated in Scripture (Gen. 2:18-25). We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other (1 Cor. 6:18; 7:2-5; Heb. 13:4). We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman.

 

As a Kaleo Congregation and in accordance with our Statement of Faith, we affirm the sanctity of the marriage covenant that is expressed in love, mutual support, personal commitment, and shared fidelity between a man and a woman. We believe that God’s blessing rests upon such a marriage, whether or not there are children of the union. We reject social norms that assume different standards for women than for men in marriage. We support laws in civil society that define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

 

As a Kaleo Congregation, we affirm that sexuality is God’s good gift to all persons. We call everyone to responsible stewardship of this sacred gift. Although all persons are sexual beings whether they are married or not, sexual relations are affirmed only within the covenant of monogamous, heterosexual marriage.

 

Further, we affirm that all persons are individuals of sacred worth, created in the image of God. All persons need the ministry of the Church in their struggles for human fulfillment, as well as the spiritual and emotional care of a fellowship that enables reconciling relationships with God, others, and with self. Kaleo does not condone the practice of homosexuality and considers this practice incompatible with Scripturally-based Christian teaching. We affirm that God’s grace is available to all. We will seek to live together in Christian community, welcoming, forgiving, and loving one another as Christ has loved and accepted us.

 

We believe that any form of sexual immorality (including adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, and use of pornography) is sinful and offensive to God (Matt. 15:18-20; 1 Cor. 6:9-10).

 

We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of First Church as the local Body of Christ and to provide a biblical role model to the First Church members and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by First Church in any capacity, or who serve as volunteers, agree to and abide by this Statement on Marriage, Gender and Sexuality (Matt. 5:16; Phil. 2:14-16; 1 Thess. 5:22).

 

We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. We believe that to really love people means we are to offer healing, not a license to remain broken. We believe that the real love of God offers a way out of sin, not a pretense that sin is now suddenly no longer sin. To that end, First Church is committed to offering Real Love in the power of the Holy Spirit to all who will receive. Patiently and redemptively, First Church will walk side-by-side with any who will confess Jesus as Lord, the Bible as authoritative, and the Holy Spirit as active in a love-empowered process of restoration and healing (Acts 3:19-21; Rom. 10:9-10; 1 Cor. 6:9-11).

 

We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity (Mark 12:28-31; Luke 6:31). Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture nor the doctrines of First Church.