As a result of the changing times in which we live we must often specifically address issues that are prevalent in today's society. Our purpose is to speak to them with a Biblical perspective and give a spiritual response to the rising tide of humanism within the culture. The following are a number of those issues and our doctrinal position.
The Sanctity of Life
We believe the Bible teaches clearly that there is a sacredness to human life and that God created man in his image (Gen 1:27). The key here is that we are made in the image or likeness of God (1 Cor 11:7). The value of life is therefore intrinsic and God-given. To raise a hand, or even a word (James 3:9) against a human being is an assault on God Himself. The concept is further clarified in the law given to Noah: “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man” (Gen 9:6).
We believe scripture is far more than a prohibition on the taking of innocent life; it specifies that murder in any form or by any contrived name is absolutely wrong. We are created by God for His purpose and are stewards and not owners of the lives He has given us. Life is entirely a gift of God and its end is determined by His sovereignty: “There is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life” (Deut 32:39).
We believe that God has given governments, kings and rulers the power to enforce the law of the land and use capital punishment, if necessary, as a prescribed consequence for murder as defined in scripture, and they are endowed to “bear the sword” against justly-defined high crimes (Gen 9:6; Rom 13:1-5; Num 35:16-21, 30).
We believe that life begins at conception in the mother's womb. That life is precious, miraculous, designed and predestined by God long in advance of conception. (Ps 139:13-16).
We believe that the deliberate aborting of the conceived, innocent child is murder, and that only God has the right to determine the days of a child (2 Sam 12:15, 22-23).
We believe that God determines the length of every person's life (Ps 139:16).
We believe that the quality of life is not the basis for determining whether a person should live or die (Gen 9:5b). The Christian sees God's sovereign hand and purpose in those suffering and facing impending death (Ps 23:4). We can look forward to a deepened relationship with God as he strengthens us in our time of need. For those who wait upon the Lord, He will renew their strength (Is 40:31). Sickness and illness are not necessarily about recovery, but growing in our relationship with God (James 1:2-4) and the opportunity to be a testimony to His glory (Job 1:6-12).
We believe that any man-made attempt to create, clone or destroy life is a futile attack on the sovereignty of God. Only what God has willed and determined will be part of His sovereign plan of the ages (Ps 2).
The Sanctity of Marriage
We believe that marriage is a covenant before God between one man and one woman as outlined in Scripture, according to God's plan (Gen 2:23-24; 1 Cor 7:1-5; Mark 10:6-9) Biblical marriage is God's provision for mankind to preserve and protect society and provide a safe environment for the rearing of children. Any sexual or intimate relationship outside of marriage is sin before God and demands repentance. Those illicit relationships include fornication (sex with a partner while not married), adultery (sexual relations with someone other than your spouse), polygamy, homosexuality, lesbianism, pedophilia, incest and bestiality. (Rom 1:24-27; 1 Cor 6:9, 18; Eph 5:3; Col 3:5; 1 Thes 4:3-7; 1 Cor 5:1; Lev 18:6-18)
We believe a healthy marriage will be honoring to God and void of worldly influence, including pornography and worldly practices that destroy the beauty of the relationship as God has intended. (Heb 13:4).
We believe that God hates divorce (Mal 2:16). However, the Bible does allow for divorce, but only in the cases of adultery, or abandonment by an unbelieving spouse. There are no scriptural grounds for divorce due to “irreconcilable differences” (Mat 19:3-9; 5:31-32; Rom 7:1-3; I Cor 7:15). The only reason that God allows for divorce in these two areas is due to the hardening of men's hearts (Mark 10:2-5). His desire is to see any troubled marriage reconciled and restored (1 Cor 7:10-13).
A Biblical View of Gender
- We believe that both Adam and Eve were created in God’s image, equal before God as persons and distinct in their manhood and womanhood (Gen 1:26-27; 2:18).
- We believe that the fundamental distinction between male and female is embedded in the very biology of the human race (Gen 1:27; 5:2; Ps 139:13). We believe that gender identity is determined by biological sex and not by one’s self-perception or subjective expression. (Ps 139:14; Mat 19:4; Mark 10:6).
- We believe that distinctions in masculine and feminine roles are ordained by God as part of the created order, and were declared by God to be very good. (Gen 1:31; 2:18, 21-24; 1 Cor 11:7-9; 1 Tim 2:12-14).
- We believe that Adam’s headship in marriage was established by God before the Fall, and was not a result of sin (Gen 2:16-18, 21-24; 3:1-13; 1 Cor 11:7-9). We believe that the Fall introduced distortions into the relations between men and women (Gen 3:1-7, 12, 16) but redemption in Christ aims at removing the distortions introduced by the curse (Rom 6:1-4, Gal 3:13-14).
- We believe that in the family, husbands should forsake harsh or selfish leadership and grow in love and care for their wives; wives should forsake resistance to their husbands’ authority and grow in willing, joyful submission to their husbands’ leadership (Eph 5:21-33, Col 3:18-19; Titus 2:3-5; 1 Pet 3:1-7).
- We believe that in the church, redemption in Christ gives men and women an equal share in the blessings of salvation; nevertheless, some governing and teaching roles within the church are restricted to men (Gal 3:28; 1 Cor 11:2-16; 1 Tim 2:11-15). We believe that the office of elder in the church is limited to men as qualified by Scripture (1 Tim 3:1-7; 5:17-20; Titus 1:5-9).