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Statement of the Church of God Regarding Same-Sex Marriage Court Decision


Statement of the Church of God Regarding Same-Sex Marriage Court Decision

The June 26, 2015, ruling by the Supreme Court legitimizes same-sex marriage in all 50 states and overturns all state laws to the contrary. In a 33-page opinion, five of the nine justices agreed that no difference exists between same-sex marriage and the traditionally held union of a man and woman. Based on their interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment, they declared that no legal impediment should stand in the way of any couple who wishes to marry.

In a clarifying statement at the conclusion of the written opinion, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy made it clear that the ruling did not forbid churches from continuing to oppose the idea of homosexual marriage.

He stated, “Finally, it must be emphasized that religions, and those who adhere to religious doctrines, may continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned. The First Amendment ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths, and to their own deep aspirations to continue the family structure they have long revered.”

The Church of God stands with fellow Christians who understand that God intended marriage to be between a man and woman, as explained in Genesis and confirmed by Jesus, when He declared that the Creator has “made them male and female,” and that “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” Our church joined in the Supreme Court case by means of an amicus brief requesting consideration for this millennia-old view of marriage propounded by Scripture.

We urge the pastors and members of the Church to continue to hold high the biblical standard for godly marriage. A legal definition of marriage may have changed, but the orthodox understanding based on God’s revelation has not changed. We call upon men and women to demonstrate to a confused world the fulfillment that results when they covenant in marriage to practice faithful and sacrificial love. Action by the International General Assembly in 2014 protects pastors and congregations who do not wish to participate in same-sex marriage ceremonies, based on First Amendment rights to religious freedom. On that basis, we recommend that each pastor adopt the following personal statement that echoes the official church action:

1. I am a minister of the gospel, credentialed by the Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee).

2. It is the long-established biblical/religious belief and polity of the Church of God, which belief and polity I adhere to, that marriage is a spiritual union in which a man and woman are joined by God to live together as one.

3. Based on my personal religious beliefs and the beliefs and polity of my credentialing church, I refuse to perform same-sex marriages.

4. I base this refusal on my First Amendment guarantee of religious freedom, and on any and all exemptions granted to me under Federal and State laws.

5. This refusal shall extend to my church’s refusal to allow its facilities to be used for same-sex marriages or any celebration relating to same-sex unions.

The ill-considered opinion of the activist members of this Court will have far-reaching and threatening aftereffects in coming months and years. It evidences again the supreme importance of electing a president who will seek out and appoint constitutional jurists rather than judges who would rather be legislators.The Christian Church has understood during most of it existence that it is part of a kingdom that is not of this world. It has faced much hostility and endured much suffering, but it remains steadfast and victorious. We believe that despite the best efforts of antichristian forces, it will ultimately triumph.

Copyright © 2015 Church of God International Offices, All rights reserved.

What We Believe

We believe the entire Bible to be the inspired, infallible Word of God, the revelation of God’s will for mankind and the divine final authority for Christian life. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

We believe in one God, the Creator of all things, who is revealed in three Persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. (Deuteronomy 6:4; John 15:26)

We believe in the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ (John 1:1), His virgin birth (Matthew 1:18), His sinless life (2 Corinthians 5:21), His miracles (Acts 10:38), His vicarious death as the only acceptable sacrifice for the sin of the world (1 John 2:2), His bodily resurrection from the dead (Luke 24:39), His ascension to the right hand of God as our intercessor (Hebrews 4:14), His future return in glory, first to rapture His church (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18) and  second, to establish the kingdom of God upon the earth. (Revelation 20:6)

We recognize man’s need for repentance and acknowledge God’s gift of grace and mercy. (Romans 3:23-24; 1 Peter 1:3)

We believe in the new birth as the only means of receiving eternal life. The new birth involves a cleansing and deliverance from the penalty and power of sin. It is brought about through faith in the blood of Jesus Christ and repentance of sin. (John 3:3,5,7; Ephesians 2:8,9; 1 Peter 1:18-20)

We believe in the process of spiritual development (sanctification) shaped in the believer’s life by the Holy Spirit. This growth involves daily dying to sin and living unto righteousness (Romans 6:1-23), is expressed by living a holy life (Hebrews 12:24), and will be culminated at the return of Christ. (1 John 3:2)

We believe that the Holy Spirit is a promise from the Father for every believer and is distinct and subsequent to the experience of the new birth. That speaking in tongues, as the Holy Spirit gives utterance, is a physical indication of the baptism with Holy Spirit. (Matthew 3:11; Acts 2:4,38,39; Acts 19:4-6)

We believe in the sacraments of the church; the Lord’s Supper (Matthew 26:26-30; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26), baptism by immersion as a symbol and witness of the new birth (Matthew 28:19; 1 Peter 3:20-22), and the washing of the saints feet. (John 13:1-17)

We believe in divine healing for the total man, spirit, mind and body, and that this healing is accomplished in the redemptive work of Christ on the cross and appropriated in the believer’s life through prayer. (Isaiah 53:5; Matthew 8:17; 1 Peter 2:24; James 5:13-15)

We believe in the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and that His appearance will be accompanied by a bodily resurrection of those who have died. First, the righteous unto eternal life and second, the ungodly unto eternal damnation. (Daniel 12:2; John 5:28,29; Revelation 20:4-6, 11-15)

These statements of belief are used for teaching purposes and are based off of the statement of faith found within the Church of God, in which we hold to be an official statement of our faith.

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Sunday Morning Worship: 9:00 A.M.


Corporate Worship: Main Sanctuary: Bldg. A


Nursery for ages newborn up to 2 years: Nursery Wing: Bldg. A

Sunday Morning Worship: 11:00 A.M.

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Corporate Worship: Main Sanctuary: Bldg. A


Nursery for ages newborn up to 2 years: Nursery Wing: Bldg. A

Classes for 3 – 5 years: His Word Studios: Bldg. B

Children’s Church for K – 5th grade: His Word Studios Sanctuary: Bldg. B

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Nursery-Toddler (birth up to 2 years): Nursery Wing: Bldg. A

Preschool (3 – 5 years): His Word Studios Sanctuary: Bldg. B

Elementary Classes (K – 5th grade): His Word Studios: Bldg. B


Middle School Classes (6-8th grade): FMC: Bldg. D

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Waymakers – Charles White: Nursery Wing (Music, bible lessons and great fellowship): Bldg. A

Men’s Ministry – Rob Sherlin: Office Annex: Bldg. C

New Covenant – John Cantrell: Nursery Wing: Bldg. A

Cornerstone – David & Karen May: Corner Fellowship Hall (Current Series: Spiritual Warfare)

Choir and Band Rehearsal: Choir Loft: Bldg. A

Women’s Ministries – Tracey Walker: Office Annex: Bldg. C

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Corporate Worship: Main Sanctuary: Bldg. A


Nursery for ages newborn up to 2 years: Nursery Wing: Bldg. A

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Nursery-Toddler (birth up to 2 years): Nursery Wing: Bldg. A

Pre-School & Cherub Choir (2-5 years): Nursery Wing: Bldg. A

G.L.O.S.S (girls K-5th grade): His Word Studio’s: Bldg. B

Royal Rangers (boys K-5th grade): His Word Studio’s: Bldg. B

Lh2O Youth Group (6-12th grade): FMC: Bldg. D


Pastor Paul Lee’s Class: Waymaker’s Class: Nursery Wing: Bldg. A

Men’s Bible Study: Office Annex: Bldg. C

Legacy of Love: Office Annex: Bldg. C

Women’s Bible Study: Office Annex: Bldg. C

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