WHAT WE BELIEVE: KEY CONTEMPORARY ETHICAL POSITIONS
SANCTITY OF LIFE
Our approach as Christians to the issue of abortion should be as those whose life is lived in light of Scripture to follow a call to selflessness and sacrifice. As part of this we must protect the vulnerable and those who do not have a voice.
We believe that life begins at conception and it is therefore sacred and wholly ordained by God. In light of this, we confirm that God alone is the author of life, and that He alone has the right to give and take away life. As such we are committed to make every attempt to protect, where possible, the life in the womb of the mother. Therefore, we wholly stand opposed to freely elective abortion, as this is murder.
As life is sacred, it is our belief that the elective termination of life for medical reasons is also murder and as such is wholly abhorrent to God.
Both these acts are in direct contravention of the sovereign will of God for the life He has ordained.(1)
(1) Exodus 20:13; Deuteronomy 32:39; Job 1:21; 1 Samuel 2:6; Psalm 139:13-16; Ecclesiastes 3:2
HUMAN SEXUALITY AND GENDER
It is clear from scripture that God created us male and female, and calls us to live according to our gender identity which is inseparable from our biological sex which is determined at conception. Our gender may not be changed or reassigned; to do so would be a direct defiance of Scripture and a rejection of God’s sovereignty over all of His creation. Therefore, it is our biblical position that there are two genders only - male and female, these are biologically pre-determined by God. Gender is not based on any social constructs or how we feel but upon the determinate will of God. (1)
In light of this, through the means of marriage (which is explained in our statement on marriage below) God designed sex to be participated in and enjoyed only within the bounds of the covenant of marriage of one biological man to one biological woman. Any form of sexual activity outside of this one flesh covenant of biblical marriage, is sin. (2)
(1) Genesis 1:27;
(2) Genesis 2:23-25; Exodus 20:14; Leviticus 18; Romans 1:24-27; 1 Corinthians 5:9-10; Hebrews 13:4
We believe that Marriage is a blessing instituted by God for the Church to administer. It is to be between one biological man and one biological woman, as was first seen and instituted by God with Adam and Eve and affirmed by Christ’s presence at His first miracle at the wedding in Cana. We believe that marriage is a covenantal agreement between three parties, the man, the woman and God with the man and the woman covenanting in how they are going to live, love, be fruitful and sacrificially serve each other until death. This is to be a life-long covenant between the man and the woman and is also to be witnessed by the Church as a means of affirmation and life-long spiritual and practical support. We believe that marriage, as described above, is the only place that God permits sexual intimacy of any nature and the procreation of children - in the fulfilment of His command to be fruitful and multiply. As well as Marriage being between one biological man and one biological woman, it is also given by God to be a picture and a paradigm of His covenant with His people, as He loves, serves and leads them. (1)
(1) Genesis 1:27-28, 2:24; Jeremiah 31:32; Malachi 2:14; John 2:1-12; Romans 7:2; 1 Corinthians 7:3-5; Ephesians 5:22-32
We believe that men and women are created as equal in being image bearers, thus having equal value in Christ as those who are joint heirs of salvation, both are gifted by God for works of service for the good of the Church and the glory of God. As such, both men and women should treat each other with honour, respect, integrity and love. However, we also believe that God created male and female as unique, with different responsibilities that compliment one another and they are not there to compete. (1)
The Scriptures teach clearly and consistency of the responsibility of male headship, in the home and in the Church. We see this in both reality and practice. As God sought Adam in the Garden of Eden after the fall, even though Eve was both present and the initiator of the act, God held Adam responsible spiritually for Eve. We see this pattern carried on through out Scripture. (2)
In the Church, God’s design in created order does not change. He calls and permits men only (3) to the office of Elder/Pastor etc and only permits Elder-qualified men to teach and have authority over the whole congregation. These men are to be qualified by the biblical standards found in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9; they are to be mutually accountable, they are to faithfully love, pray, teach and lead the family of God to maturity and fruitfulness.
This does not by any means devalue or forbid women from ministry or participation in the work of the Kingdom of God. It is designed by God for safety and love, to foster an environment where women can be encouraged and equipped, where they can, where suitably gifted and qualified, teach other women. This is with the express purpose of both men and women evangelising, encouraging one another and sharing the goodness of God in their lives. (4)
(1) Genesis 1:27-28, 2:18; 1 Timothy 2:14
(2) Genesis 3:1-13; Ephesians 5:22-33; 1 Timothy 2:14 Ephesians 4:11
(3) By men, we mean those who were born biologically male and have not changed or reassigned their gender to become ‘male’
(4) Ephesians 4:11