Witness for Biblical Morality: Session Resolution
We, the Session of Community Presbyterian Church of Danville, California, resolve and declare that we seek to be a church committed to follow Biblically revealed standards of moral thought, behavior, and relationships within our homes and church, God helping us.
"Christian marriage is an institution ordained of God, blessed by our Lord Jesus Christ, established and sanctified for the happiness and welfare of mankind, into which spiritual and physical union one man and one woman enter, cherishing a mutual esteem and love, bearing with each other's infirmities and weaknesses, comforting each other in trouble, providing in honesty and industry for each other and for their household, praying for each other, and living together the length of their days as heirs of the grace of life." (Westminster Confession of Faith);
"Because the corruption of man is apt unduly to put asunder those whom God hath joined together in marriage, and because the Church is concerned with the establishment of marriage in the Lord as Scripture sets it forth, and with the present penitence as well as with the past innocence or guilt of those whose marriage has been broken; therefore as a breach of that holy relation may occasion divorce, so remarriage after a divorce granted on grounds explicitly stated in Scripture or implicit in the gospel of Christ may be sanctioned in keeping with his redemptive gospel, when sufficient penitence for sin and failure is evident, and a firm purpose of and endeavor after Christian marriage is manifest." (Westminster Confession of Faith,): and
"The relationship between man and woman exemplifies in a basic way God's ordering of the interpersonal life for which he created mankind. Anarchy in sexual relationships is a symptom of man's alienation from God, his neighbor, and himself.... The church, as the household of God, is called to lead men out of this alienation into the responsible freedom of the new life in Christ. Reconciled to God, each person has joy in and respect for his own humanity and that of other persons; a man and woman are enabled to marry, to commit themselves to a mutually shared life, and to respond to each other in sensitive and lifelong concern; parents receive the grace to care for children in love and to nurture their individuality. The church comes under the judgment of God and invites rejection by man when it fails to lead men and women into the full meaning of life together, or withholds the compassion of Christ from those caught in the moral confusion of our time." (The Confession of 1967)
We do now call ourselves and our congregation to a life that:
- Respects all family members in an atmosphere of love, forgiveness, and grace and so avoids any kind of abuse of children, spouses, and/or parents;
- Confirms God's intention for humanity that those who enter into marriage shall seek in mutual love and respect to live, one man and one woman, in Christian fidelity as long as both shall live;
- Fulfills God's design for the gift of sexuality to be exercised and enjoyed only within the covenant relationship of Christian marriage of one man and one woman;
- Acknowledges God's expectation that the unmarried shall live a pure and celibate life refraining from sexual intimacy, whether such perceive his/her sexuality to be inclined toward heterosexuality or homosexuality;
- Obeys the voice of God to extend the privilege of ordination to church office only to repentant sinners, whether heterosexual or homosexual, and to withhold this ordination privilege from the unrepentant whose practice of sexual sin prevents their manner of life from being "a demonstration of the Christian gospel in the church and in the world";
Those who are called to office in the church are to lead a life in obedience to Scripture and in conformity to the historic confessional standards of the church. Among these standards is marriage between a man and a woman or chastity in singleness. Persons refusing to repent of any self-acknowledged practice which the confessions call sin shall not be ordained and/or installed as deacons, ruling elders, or teaching elders.
- Extends to all who sin in failing to keep these revealed standards of God regarding family abuse, Christian marriage, human sexuality, celibate continence, and ordination to church office that same forgiving love that the father extended to the prodigal son, and that same costly grace which Christ himself extended to the woman taken in adultery when he said to her: "Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more."
(Approved by Session 4/11/1991) Revised 5/2013