We, the Free Presbyterian Church of North America (FPCNA), declare our commitment to the authority of the Word of God as the sole rule in matters of faith and practice. Our ethical standards will not be determined by individual experience, by the will of the majority, or by civil government, but by the authority of sacred Scripture.
We, therefore, affirm that man is created in the image of God in two distinct sexes, male and female. God made Adam and gave him Eve to be his wife. In so doing, God instituted marriage as being between one man and one woman, as confirmed by Jesus Christ. God, in wisdom and grace, included in His creative order the propriety of sexual relations between a man and a woman in the context of marriage. The command of God to our first parents was “to multiply,” indicating that unfallen mankind was created with a heterosexual orientation. All sexual relations and inclinations deviating from this created order arise in consequence of man’s fall into sin.
We hold the scriptural position that adultery, heterosexual fornication, homosexuality, incest, bestiality, and pedophilia are violations of God’s will as expressions of human sexuality, and that all sexual activity outside of biblical marriage is sin.
The only sexuality that is affirmed in the Word of God is heterosexuality, which must be expressed only in marriage. However, the child of God may choose not to pursue marriage for various reasons, including the good of the kingdom of God.
The issue of sexual orientation and identity is of particular relevance for the church which is under growing pressure to recognize homosexuality and gender fluidity as legitimate expressions of human sexuality. We cannot accept the notion that true believers will be content in identifying themselves as “gay Christians,” or any other unbiblical variants of sexual identity. As the homosexual act is sin, so the inclination towards it is sinful. Through the work of the Spirit, the inclination of sinners is changed. By nature, they are inclined towards sin. By regenerating grace, they are inclined towards righteousness. Even though indwelling sin remains, the power of sin is broken in reborn souls. Christ delivers from all sin: its penalty, its power, and eventually, its presence. Since believers will be finally delivered from all sin in glory, we hold that they will not be content in affirming an identity from which they will be delivered in the eternal state.
Except for some rare medical conditions, the gender of an individual is determined by his or her chromosomes and anatomy. Any desire or attempt to reverse an individual’s gender constitutes a rejection of the will and wisdom of our Creator and is therefore sin.
Any form of sexual sin will lead to misery and, without repentance, to eternal separation from God in hell. Thus, out of compassion for lost souls, we affirm our commitment to warn them of the wrath of God towards all ungodliness and to bring them the gospel of hope. Persons engaged in homosexual practice can know both forgiveness of sin and power over sin. Out of sincere love for our neighbors, we must seek to present Christ to them in a manner that is faithful to God’s truth regarding sin and the necessity of salvation, but that also shows the love of Christ to all who will turn to Him in repentant faith.
Those who come to faith in Christ will endeavor, by the Spirit, to put to death the deeds of the body. True Christians, in turning from homosexuality, may face real battles and temptations regarding their former sexual desires. However, as is the case with all Christians, their desires and attractions should not determine their actions. Their actions must be ruled by the Word of God, which teaches us what conduct is holy and righteous. Recognizing that succumbing to homosexual temptation is to commit sin, believers will therefore renounce their same-sex attraction and behavior as being against the law of God. Furthermore, the Spirit of God will carry on His work of sanctification so that all who are in Christ are “enabled more and more to die unto sin [and its desires] and live unto righteousness.”
As a church that believes in the grace of God in the gospel, we aspire to encourage and support all believers in their walk with God as they seek to put sin to death. An outworking of that will be seen in our willingness to give adequate time to teach, counsel, and pastor people who have been converted from a background of sexual sin in its various forms. We will endeavor, by God’s grace, to be open in our reception of such people into the fellowship of our churches so that they can be discipled by their fellow believers.
Since parents and other relatives experience distress at seeing a loved one walk outside the will of God, the pastoral care of families with individuals practicing sexual sin must be sensitive, compassionate, and committed.
The above pastoral considerations should also be applied in respect of persons committing sin in relation to their God-appointed gender.
The matters discussed above affect the practices of the FPCNA in the following ways:
a. Concerning sexual sin and discipline:
We reaffirm our determination to faithfully and lovingly discipline those guilty of sexual sin in accordance with the teaching of the Word of God as reflected in our Book of Church Order.
b. Concerning ordination:
We disallow the ordination of practicing homosexuals, men who would assert their identity as celibate homosexuals, transgender individuals, or any other unbiblical variant of sexual identity.
c. Concerning church membership:
Communicant membership in our churches is open to those believers who are in sympathy with our doctrinal and ethical positions. We are happy therefore to receive into membership believers who have turned in repentant faith from a homosexual lifestyle or transgenderism. We disallow from membership those who would assert their identity as celibate homosexuals, transgender individuals, or any other unbiblical variant of sexual identity.
d. Concerning “same-sex marriage”:
From the conviction that God has instituted marriage as a covenant between a man and a woman, we assert that same-sex marriage is a misnomer. Though society may affirm same-sex marriages, God does not. Therefore, our ministers will not conduct a marriage between persons of the same sex.