Statement on Marriage, Gender & Sexuality
New Hope Church of Oxford
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), and that rejecting 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 and that is marriage sanctioned by God which joins one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture (Genesis 2:18-25).
We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to only occur between a man and a woman who are married to each other (1 Corinthians 6:18; 7:2-5; Hebrews 13:4). 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; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10). Furthermore, we believe all people are created in God’s image, designed by God as either male or female—the two being distinct and complementary sexes and genders—and that design cannot be altered on the basis of self-identification or medical procedure.
We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of the church as the local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to the church members and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by the church in any capacity, or who serve as volunteers, should abide by and agree to this Statement on Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality and conduct themselves accordingly (Matthew 5:16; Philippians 2:14-16; 1 Thessalonians 5:22).
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; Romans 10:9-10; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11). We believe the issues of gender, marriage, and sexuality are complex as they apply to individuals. There are such things as same-sex attraction and gender identity confusion because we exist in a fallen, sinful world in fallen bodies with desires warped by sin. Because every person is created in the image of God and is of inestimable worth in God’s eyes, the church will minister according to the gospel of Jesus Christ to anyone in need of help in working through these issues towards living in and daily exercise of whole-hearted faith in Jesus Christ (Galatians 6:1-2; 1 John 3.7- 10, 5:1-4).
We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity (Mark 12:28-31; Luke 6:31). 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 the church