The doors of the church remain wide open, the free offer of the Gospel proclaimed to all, but culture’s continued free-fall required us to clarify our Statement of Faith and amend our Bylaws. Hesitant to name specific sins given we are all sinners who have our own particular proclivities and sins to wrestle; we still felt it prudent to address our understanding of marriage given society’s recent redefinition. Adding to our motivation for action is our government’s penchant for forcible acceptance of whatever they deem evolving and enlightening—in this case, changing thousands of years of history’s definition and the Bible’s teaching on marriage.
So in our last Council meeting (elders and deacons), we took out pen and paper and unanimously voted in the following changes to our founding documents. To our Statement of Faith our revision now reads (bold words are the additions):
We believe that marriage is ordained by God and is between one man and one woman (Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:4-6), and that man has no authority to sever what God has joined together. God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16). Marriage, divorce, and remarriage must be regulated biblically, not culturally.
To our Bylaws, we have added the following statement:
Because of our biblical understanding of marriage, Evangelical Reformed Church does not allow any of its premises to be used for same-sex unions or celebrations. Likewise, the pastor(s) of Evangelical Reformed Church are not permitted to participate in any same-sex unions or celebrations.
It is sad we even have to address the matter. Nevertheless, it is a privilege to stand for what we firmly believe is biblical truth.
Pastor Rich Hamlin
December 3, 2015