Resolution Concerning Human Sexuality
As an evangelical denomination of believers who embrace the historic Christian understanding of Scripture, the Evangelical Methodist Church holds that sexuality is a gift from God and basic to human identity as well as a matter of behavioral expression. We hold that the full behavioral expression of sexuality is to take place within the context of a marriage covenant between a man and a woman and that individuals remain celibate outside of the bond of marriage. Therefore, we seek to cultivate a community in which sexuality is embraced as God-given and good and where biblical standards of sexual behavior are upheld.
Foundational principles from the Bible on human sexual relationships are as follows:
- Humans, being created in the image of God, are inherently relational beings. (Genesis 1:26).
- The inherent relational nature of humankind is expressed in a variety of contexts including family, marriage, work, and for Christians, the Body of Christ (Hebrews 10:24-25; I Corinthians 12:14).
- Humans were created as gendered beings. They were expressly blessed by God to be fruitful and multiply and to exercise dominion over the earth (Genesis 1:26-28).
- Heterosexuality is God’s design for sexually intimate relationships. Sexual union between a man and a woman is only to take place within the marriage covenant (Genesis 2:18, 21-24; Hebrews 13:4).
- Jesus reaffirms the marital covenant as existing between a man and a woman (Matthew 19:4-9).
- The New Testament teaches that followers of Christ are to remain celibate outside the bond of marriage. In sexual union, both body and soul are deeply impacted. A person who engages in sexual unions outside of the bond of marriage sins against his or her own body, which is the temple of the Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 6:13, 18-20).
- The sexual union between a husband and wife has been designed by God to bring them together as “one flesh,” creating a solid foundation on which to build a family (Genesis 2:18-24; Ephesians 5:31).
- In Scripture, several sexual behaviors are expressly forbidden, which include but not limited to: fornication, adultery, incest, unnatural sexual intercourse, and homosexual acts (Exodus 20:14; Leviticus 18:7-23; 20:10-21; Matthew 5:27-28; Romans 1:20-27; I Corinthians 6:9; Galatians 5:19; Ephesians 4:17-19; Colossians 3:5).
The Evangelical Methodist Church is committed to a biblical understanding of our God-given sexuality as reflected in this statement. Any deviation from a biblical standard of sexual behavior is sin and therefore is an opportunity for repentance, grace, and redemption, so that as a community we might honor one another and glorify God.
Passed by The General Conference of the Evangelical Methodist Church in March of 2014, meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana.