Document

EFCA Conference Resolution: Biblical Sexuality and the Covenant of Marriage

The presented resolution was approved by the 2017 EFCA Conference.

The EFCA Conference approved the Resolution on Biblical Sexuality and the Covenant of Marriage which was unanimously recommended by the EFCA Board of Directors.

Background

Due to cultural and legal changes and challenges, especially after the decision of Obergefell v. Hodges (June 26, 2015), in which the Supreme Court of the United States determined it is a fundamental right for same-sex couples to marry, the Spiritual Heritage Committee (SHC) was asked by many pastors and leaders of local EFC churches for help and guidance in making a statement affirming the biblical teaching on marriage. Added to this is the cultural normalizing of sexual fluidity. These two issues are connected in that the biblical teaching on marriage between a man and a woman, is grounded in God’s prior creation of humans as male and female. This led to the SHC’s presentation of the Resolution to the board with the recommendation it be brought to the Conference.

Rationale

The board brought this Resolution to the Conference for approval for the following reasons:

  • The needs and requests of pastors and local churches, along with legal and cultural changes prompt a need for a denominational Resolution.
  • The EFCA has a history of making statements as a Conference through Resolutions on important issues that affect the church.
  • This Resolution is grounded in the Bible, given expression in our Statement of Faith, and expounded in Evangelical Convictions.
  • Although these issues are not the gospel, they are connected to the gospel, and they are critical issues to address as the EFCA stands on the inerrant, sufficient and authoritative Scriptures.

Two Key Biblical Truths

This Resolution consists of two key biblical truths. First, God created human beings uniquely in his image as male and female, which addresses God’s biologically sexed creation which is “very good,” and which grounds the truth we affirm about marriage. Second, God has designed marriage to be a covenantal relationship between one man and one woman.

Resolution

EFCA Conference Resolution
Biblical Sexuality and the Covenant of Marriage
June 2017

WHEREAS, the EFCA Statement of Faith affirms that “God created Adam and Eve in His image” (Article III.3); and
WHEREAS, when God created Adam and Eve, He said, “‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness’ . . . . So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them” (Genesis 1:26-28a); and
WHEREAS, this means that God has created human beings uniquely as male and female as part of the divinely created order, and that this biologically sexed difference is foundational for human identity and ought to be recognized and valued; and
WHEREAS, Jesus refers to this difference in describing God’s design for marriage by declaring, “But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh” (Mark 10:6-8; cf. Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:4-6; Ephesians 5:31); and
WHEREAS, God’s creation of human beings as male and female provides a biologically sexed identity grounded in God’s good design;
NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY RESOLVED AS FOLLOWS:

The Evangelical Free Church of America affirms that God created human beings uniquely in His image as male and female, and He has designed marriage to be a covenantal relationship between one man and one woman.

Adopted this 21st day of June, 2017 by the EFCA Conference in Austin, Texas.


This Resolution on Biblical Sexuality and the Covenant of Marriage is an important affirmation of the truth of the Bible, as articulated in the EFCA Statement of Faith.