The institution of marriage has been valued by every culture and society throughout human history. Central Africa Baptist College & Seminary believes marriage is an institution ordained by God and prescribed by Scripture to be a monogamous relationship between a man and a woman physically created in these respective genders by God. We believe God intended heterosexual marriage to be an enduring covenanted relationship established before Himself and man to propagate the human race, lovingly express healthy relational and sexual intimacy, and picture the covenant relationship He has with all genuine believers.
Basis of Authority for Marriage and Human Sexuality
Our understanding of marriage and application of its meaning is grounded in more than established human tradition and existing cultural norms. The Bible speaks clearly and authoritatively to the matters of marriage, consensual sexual activity and gender identity. Its clear teachings on these matters govern and are central to the beliefs and practices of CABC and serve as the final authoritative grounds for the content of this position statement. (See CABC Doctrinal Statement on Scripture)
The Scriptures teach that God created man and woman in His image (Gen. 1:27-28), brought them together in the life-long covenant relationship of marriage and blessed this union (Gen. 1:28). Furthermore, the Scriptures make plain that this first marriage was intended to be an authoritative pattern for all future human marriages as evidenced by the teachings of Moses (Gen. 2:18-24), the Wisdom books (Prov. 12:4; 18:22; 31:10; Eccles. 9:9), the Prophets (Mal. 2:13-16), the Apostles (1 Cor. 7:1-16; Eph. 5:21-33; Col. 3:14-19; Heb. 13:4; 1 Pet. 3:1-7), and Jesus Himself (Matt. 19:4-6; Mark 10:1-9).
Marriage is a covenantal life-long relationship between a woman and a man who were physically created and assigned these genders by God (Gen. 1:27; Ps. 139:13-16; Matt. 19:4; Mark 10:6). We believe God intended heterosexual marriage for the propagation of the human race and the loving expression of healthy relational and sexual intimacy, and to picture the covenant relationship He has with all believers (Eph. 5:22-33).
Context for Human Sexuality
Human sexuality is part of Gods divine design for human beings (Gen. 1:28). However, the Bible restricts all forms of consensual sexual activity to within the boundaries of the marriage relationship (1 Cor. 7:1-5; Heb. 13:4). The Bible clearly prohibits not only non-consensual sexual misconduct (Deut. 22:25-27) but also any consensual sexual activity outside the boundaries of heterosexual marriage (1 Thess. 4:1-8). Furthermore the Bible specifically names as sinful and prohibits any form of sexual activity between persons of the same sex (Rom. 1:26-27; 1 Cor. 6:9-10; 1 Tim. 1:10), polygamy (Matt. 19:4-6; 1 Cor. 7:11), incest (Lev. 18:6-18; 1 Cor. 5:1), bestiality (Exod. 22:19; Lev. 18:23; 20:15-16; Deut. 27:21; Gal. 5:19; Eph. 5:3; Col. 3:5), adultery (Exod. 20:14; Mark 10:19; Luke 18:20; James 2:11), and fornication of any sort including pornography (1 Cor. 6:9-10; 1 Thess. 4:3-8; Lev. 18:20).
Statement About Gender Identity
God created man and woman in His image as two distinct but equal genders which He intends to use for His glory (Gen. 1:26-27). Furthermore, individual gender is assigned by God and determined at conception (Ps. 139:13-16). Therefore we believe that to intentionally alter or change ones physical gender or to live as a gender other than the one assigned at conception is to reject Gods right as Creator to assign gender to His creatures and is a personal rejection of His plan to glorify Himself through the original gender He assigned that individual (1 Cor. 10:31).
Christianitys Redemptive Nature & Sexual Desires
The Bible recognizes that many human beings will experience sexual desires that do not conform to the norms that God commands. These deviations are not alternative lifestyles but a result of our fallen nature, which we have inherited from our first parents?Adam and Eve. This fallen nature causes us to crave what we have no legitimate right to (Romans 7:7?8). The good news of Jesus Christ is that when He saves us from sin He not only brings us Gods forgiveness but also breaks the power of these cravings in our lives. Whereas these illegitimate cravings are worse among those who are not converted, they are not totally absent in believers but can be present in different degrees (Romans 7:15?17). Believers need to surrender their sexual appetites to the lordship of Christ so that by His Spirit He may subdue any cravings in them that are not honoring to God (Galatians 5:16). This is the redemptive nature of Christianity. It brings hope to all human beings.
Posture Toward Those Who Disagree With Us
All of us are sinners. We live in a world broken by sin and are called to live out our biblical beliefs among those who may disagree with us. We desire to do so in ways that honor God and point them to Him (1 Pet. 1:11-12). We believe every person must be treated with respect and compassion and are committed to living out our commitments to these biblical standards with grace and humility. We also believe that we are called to speak Gods truth in love (Eph. 4:15) as we call all men to recognize that all human sinfulness is an offense to God (Rom. 3:10-11; Rom. 6:23a), that God has displayed immense grace and mercy toward all sinners (Eph. 2:1-10), and that He offers a full and free forgiveness through Jesus Christ to all who repent and forsake their sin and turn in faith to Him (Acts 3:19-21; Rom. 6:23; 10:9-10; 1 Cor. 6:9-11; 1 John 1:8-9).
Portions Used by Permission; http://www.bju.edu/about/positions.php