STATEMENT ON 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 Amplified Bible (AMP) God said, Let Us [Father, Son, and Holy Spirit] make mankind in Our image, after Our likeness, and let them have complete authority over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the [tame] beasts, and over all of the earth, and over everything that creeps upon the earth. 27 So God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God He created him; male and female He created them.
Rejection of one's biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person.
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.
We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other.
- Genesis 2:18-25 Amplified Bible (AMP) 18 Now the Lord God said, It is not good (sufficient, satisfactory) that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper (suitable, adapted, complementary) for him. 19 And out of the ground the Lord God formed every [wild] beast and living creature of the field and every bird of the air and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them; and whatever Adam called every living creature, that was its name. 20 And Adam gave names to all the livestock and to the birds of the air and to every [wild] beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found a helper meet (suitable, adapted, complementary) for him. 21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam; and while he slept, He took one of his ribs or a part of his side and closed up the [place with] flesh. 22 And the rib or part of his side which the Lord God had taken from the man He built up and made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. 23 Then Adam said, This [creature] is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of a man. 24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall become united and cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not embarrassed or ashamed in each other's presence.
- 1 Corinthians 6:18 Amplified Bible (AMP) Shun immorality and all sexual looseness [flee from impurity in thought, word, or deed]. Any other sin which a man commits is one outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.
- 1 Corinthians 7:2-5 Amplified Bible (AMP) But because of the temptation to impurity and to avoid immorality, let each [man] have his own wife and let each [woman] have her own husband. 3 The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights (goodwill, kindness, and what is due her as his wife), and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 For the wife does not have [exclusive] authority and control over her own body, but the husband [has his rights]; likewise also the husband does not have [exclusive] authority and control over his body, but the wife [has her rights]. 5 Do not refuse and deprive and defraud each other [of your due marital rights], except perhaps by mutual consent for a time, so that you may devote yourselves unhindered to prayer. But afterwards resume marital relations, lest Satan tempt you [to sin] through your lack of restraint of sexual desire.
- Hebrews 13:4 Amplified Bible (AMP) Let marriage be held in honor (esteemed worthy, precious, of great price, and especially dear) in all things. And thus let the marriage bed be undefiled (kept undishonored); for God will judge and punish the unchaste [all guilty of sexual vice] and adulterous.
We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman.
We believe that any form of sexual immorality (including adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, and use of pornography) is sinful and offensive to God.
- Matthew 15:18-20 Amplified Bible (AMP) But whatever comes out of the mouth comes from the heart, and this is what makes a man unclean and defiles [him]. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts (reasonings and disputings and designs) such as murder, adultery, sexual vice, theft, false witnessing, slander, and irreverent speech. 20 These are what make a man unclean and defile [him]; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him unclean or defile [him].
- 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 Amplified Bible (AMP) Do you not know that the unrighteous and the wrongdoers will not inherit or have any share in the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived (misled): neither the impure and immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor those who participate in homosexuality, 10 Nor cheats (swindlers and thieves), nor greedy graspers, nor drunkards, nor foulmouthed revilers and slanderers, nor extortioners and robbers will inherit or have any share in the kingdom of God.
We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of ANTORCHA INTERNATIONAL as the local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to the ANTORCHA INTERNATIONAL followers, members and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by ANTORCHA INTERNATIONAL in any capacity, or who serve as volunteers, agree to and abide by this Statement on Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality.
- Matthew 5:16 Amplified Bible (AMP) Let your light so shine before men that they may see your moral excellence and your praiseworthy, noble, and good deeds and recognize and honor and praise and glorify your Father Who is in heaven.
- Philippians 2:14-16 Amplified Bible (AMP) Do all things without grumbling and faultfinding and complaining [against God] and questioning and doubting [among yourselves], 15 That you may show yourselves to be blameless and guileless, innocent and uncontaminated, children of God without blemish (faultless, unrebukable) in the midst of a crooked and wicked generation [spiritually perverted and perverse], among whom you are seen as bright lights (stars or beacons shining out clearly) in the [dark] world,16 Holding out [to it] and offering [to all men] the Word of Life, so that in the day of Christ I may have something of which exultantly to rejoice and glory in that I did not run my race in vain or spend my labor to no purpose.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:22 Amplified Bible (AMP) Abstain from evil [shrink from it and keep aloof from it] in whatever form or whatever kind it may be.
We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ.
- Acts 3:19-21 Amplified Bible (AMP) So repent (change your mind and purpose); turn around and return [to God], that your sins may be erased (blotted out, wiped clean), that times of refreshing (of recovering from the effects of heat, of reviving with fresh air) may come from the presence of the Lord; 20 And that He may send [to you] the Christ (the Messiah), Who before was designated and appointed for you-even Jesus, 21 Whom heaven must receive [and retain] until the time for the complete restoration of all that God spoke by the mouth of all His holy prophets for ages past [from the most ancient time in the memory of man].
- Romans 10:9-10 Amplified Bible (AMP) Because if you acknowledge and confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and in your heart believe (adhere to, trust in, and rely on the truth) that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart a person believes (adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Christ) and so is justified (declared righteous, acceptable to God), and with the mouth he confesses (declares openly and speaks out freely his faith) and confirms [his] salvation.
- 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 Amplified Bible (AMP) Do you not know that the unrighteous and the wrongdoers will not inherit or have any share in the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived (misled): neither the impure and immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor those who participate in homosexuality, 10 Nor cheats (swindlers and thieves), nor greedy graspers, nor drunkards, nor foulmouthed revilers and slanderers, nor extortioners and robbers will inherit or have any share in the kingdom of God. 11 And such some of you were [once]. But you were washed clean (purified by a complete atonement for sin and made free from the guilt of sin), and you were consecrated (set apart, hallowed), and you were justified [pronounced righteous, by trusting] in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the [Holy] Spirit of our God.
We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity.
- Mark 12:28-31 Amplified Bible (AMP) Then one of the scribes came up and listened to them disputing with one another, and, noticing that Jesus answered them fitly and admirably, he asked Him, Which commandment is first and most important of all [in its nature]? 29 Jesus answered, The first and principal one of all commands is: Hear, O Israel, The Lord our God is one Lord; 30 And you shall love the Lord your God out of and with your whole heart and out of and with all your soul (your life) and out of and with all your mind (with your faculty of thought and your moral understanding) and out of and with all your strength. This is the first and principal commandment. 31 The second is like it and is this, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.
- Luke 6:31 Amplified Bible (AMP) And as you would like and desire that men would do to you, do exactly so to them.
Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture nor the doctrines of ANTORCHA INTERNATIONAL.
M A R R I A G E P O L I C Y
Because God has ordained marriage and defined it as the covenant relationship between a man, a woman, and Himself, ANTORCHA INTERNATIONAL will only recognize marriages between a biological man and a biological woman. Further, the pastors or ministers and staff of ANTORCHA INTERNATIONAL shall only participate in weddings and solemnize marriages between one man and one woman. Finally, the facilities and property of ANTORCHA INTERNATIONAL shall only host weddings between one man and one woman.
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