Marriage is a sacred institution ordained of God and is an indissoluble union of one husband (born male) and one wife (born female) until parted by death. Marriage, which is the foundation of the family and the Christian home, should only be entered into in the fear and will of God. Accordingly, a believer should not be united in holy matrimony with an unbeliever. (Gen. 2:24; Deut. 7:3; Matt. 19:4-6; 1 Cor. 7:7, 39; 2 Cor. 6:14-17)
Ministers and parents have an obligation to teach the sanctity of marriage and to warn against believers being yoked with unbelievers. Ministers should not knowingly officiate at the marriage of a believer and an unbeliever.
Ministers are forbidden from encouraging, blessing, or officiating same sex “marriages” or unions. (Gen. 2:24; Lev. 18:22; Matt. 19:4,5; Rom. 1:26,27; 1 Cor. 6:9,10)
The home is a divinely ordained institution in which the husband is the head but serves its members by the law of love. Filial obedience is to be rendered by children in the spirit of mutual respect and love. The home is the most important institution in which to nurture children in the faith, and great care is to be exercised by pastors and parents in building homes that are genuinely and consistently Christian. (Deut. 6:4-9; Ps. 78:4-6; Eph. 5:22 and 25, 6:1-4; Col. 3:18-21)
See also the Position Paper entitled “A Biblical View of Human Sexuality” which serves to explain this Missionary Church doctrine, in the “Missionary Church Position Papers,” appearing as an appendix to the Missionary Church Constitution. This Position Paper, approved by two-thirds majority of the General Conference of the Missionary Church, is an elucidation of the Constitutional Position and (with the Article above) constitutes the official Missionary Church polity on this subject.
Some consequences of our denominational stand prohibiting same-sex marriages as violations of the law of God:
As stated in the Constitution, ministers are forbidden from doing three things in regard to same-sex “marriages” or unions: They are forbidden from encouraging them, they are forbidden from blessing them, and they are forbidden from officiating them.
To be forbidden from encouraging same-sex “marriages” or unions means that the minister is not to treat the same-sex couple as if they are married or entering into a marriage, especially for purposes of pre-marital counseling, marital counseling, marriage enrichment activities, etc. A minister is not to encourage a same-sex couple to proceed in the relationship as if it is sanctioned by God. A minister is free to counsel a person who is in a same-sex marriage in the same way in which he would counsel any individual going through difficulties, but that freedom does not extend to either joint counseling between both parties, or individual counseling, which has as its goal the solidifying of the relationship.
To be forbidden from blessing same-sex “marriages” or unions means that the minister is not to treat the “marriage” or proposed marriage of people of the same sex as if it were the fulfillment of God’s design for marriage, nor as if it were a permissible form of marriage in the eyes of God. The minister is always to make a clear distinction between blessing individuals as individuals, without reference to their marital status, and blessing “marriages” which fail to fall into the definitional category of one man (born male) permanently joined in life with one woman (born female). The latter function of blessing is impermissible for the Missionary Church minister or chaplain.
To be forbidden to officiate same sex marriages or unions means that the minister is not to participate (whether as officiant or as co-officiant) in a same-sex religious or civil ceremony for the purpose of joining a same-sex couple in a formalized relationship, whether designated a “marriage,” a “union,” or by any other term.
Notwithstanding the above, ministers in the Missionary Church are to freely and compassionately care for and minister to the spiritual needs of all who come to them for help (including those involved in same-sex relationships), so long as that help does not include the error of failing to adhere to the doctrine on marriage and sexuality as outlined above.