¶630.2.7 Sexual Intimacy
The biblical vision for healthy sexual intimacy is that it is a gift from God reserved for marriage
between one man and one woman. Sexual intimacy creates a unique life-long bond that Scripture describes as “one flesh” (Genesis 2:24; 1 Corinthians 6:16). When expressed within the
commitment of the marriage covenant, sexual intimacy is a great blessing and source of
fulfillment. The marriage covenant is designed to protect this one man and one woman bond
against that which is destructive and harmful to the couple, their children, the extended family, and society as a whole when one acts contrary to God’s design for sexual intimacy.
- The biblical word for “fornication” or “sexual immorality” includes pre-marital sexual
intimacy and lists it along with other forms of immorality as sin (Galatians 5:19-21,
Ephesians 5:3-5). Bonding sexually to a person to whom one has not covenanted in marriage robs the bond of an eventual marriage of its exclusivity. Similarly, sexual intimacy outside of a marital union occurring after divorce or the loss of a spouse is also fornication and undermines the biblical design for healthy sexual intimacy (1 Corinthians 7:8-9).
- Extra-marital sexual intimacy, which Scripture calls “adultery”, transgresses God’s moral law and betrays the marriage covenant. Adultery damages the one flesh union in that it contaminates the exclusive bond of marriage and undermines trust (Exodus 20:14, Mark 7:20-23).
- In keeping with our reading of the scriptures (Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; Romans1:21-27;
I Corinthians 6:9-11), we do not believe that the above biblical vision is fulfilled by
same-sex sexual intimacy. We maintain a distinction between same-sex sexual
activity and same-sex sexual attraction. Furthermore, we acknowledge that the church has often rejected, condemned, and mistreated LGBTQ people. As followers of Jesus, this grieves us, and we strive to live out our convictions about sexuality in ways that are gracious and Christ-like.
In all of the above instances, all persons are accountable to God for their thoughts, words and deeds (Romans 14:10-12; 2 Corinthians 5:10). Because Christians are part of fallen humanity we
must deal with many inclinations to sin. We trust the grace of God is available and completely
adequate to forgive and transform (1 John 1:9; Hebrews 7:25, 9:14).
The church has a corporate responsibility to be God’s agent of transformation to persons as they learn to live a Christian life that pursues the best of God’s design for healthy sexuality. This transformation can best occur as the church provides a loving and supportive environment. Because the sexual desire is so powerful, counseling is recommended as a part of the church’s pastoral care.
In summary, we recognize that this biblical vision contrasts with that of the prevailing culture,
and we present it graciously as an alternative to the culture’s view of sex and sexuality.