STATEMENT ON GOD'S DESIGN FOR HUMANITY
Sanctity of Human Life
We believe that all human life is sacred and created by God in His image. Human life is of inestimable worth in all its dimensions, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural death. We are therefore called to defend, protect, and value all human life (Psalm 139).
Marriage, Gender and 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 (Genesis 1:26-27). God’s design and intent in creation is male-female complementarity in human sexuality. Rejection of one’s biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person. Identity is located in God’s defining call on our lives (imago Dei) and not in the conditions of our lives or experiences.
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 (Genesis 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. Though sexual expression is not mandatory for the fufillment of our relational humanity in God’s image, it provides a sacred opportunity for that expression within the God-ordained structures of femaleness and maleness and the covenant of marriage commitment.
We believe that any form of sexual immorality (including the use of pornography, adultery, fornication, sexual relations with the same gender, incest, and bestiality) is sinful and offensive to God (Matt. 15:18-20; 1 Cor. 6:9-10). Christian spiritual formation must impact every aspect of our lives, including sexuality, and requires that one must live in relationship with others while abstaining from biblically prohibited sexual conduct, irrespective of one’s sexual preferences or orientation.
We believe that humble and faithful adherence to scriptural standards relating to God’s design for humanity and God’s design for marriage, gender, and sexuality is essential for preserving the function and integrity of West End Community Church as the local Body of Christ and for providing biblical role models to our church members and the community at large (Matt. 5:16; Phil. 2:14-16; 1 Thess. 5:22). The support of the Christian community in upholding a commitment to sexual purity is of paramount importance.
We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and repent of their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ (Acts 3:19-21; Rom. 10:9- 10; 1 Cor. 6:9-11).
Christ’s redemption provides grace to live faithfully “as unto the Lord,” whether sexual brokenness is the result of personal choices, or the inexplicably tragic consequences of the Fall, or an inscrutable combination of the two. Experientially, this grace may lead to varying levels of healing and restoration or to the resources for living faithfully and joyfully in anticipation of full restoration.
We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity in the way that Jesus taught us (Mark 12:28-31; Luke 6:31). With the fruit of the Spirit, and in accord with Scripture, we will endeavor to proclaim and promote God’s design for humanity in all of our relationships (Gal. 5:22-23; 1 Cor. 13:4-8). The gospel that we embrace includes not only the hope of forgiveness but also the call to lead a life that is consistent with the character and purpose of God in all areas, including sexuality. Redemption and transformation are deeply rooted in the gospel message and must also permeate the Church’s life and mission.