Statement on Gender, Marriage, and Sexuality
The following statement was drafted to provide the congregation at Desert Springs Church with an explicit articulation of what is assumed and taught from Scripture throughout our ministries concerning gender, marriage, and sexuality. While we could say more than this, we certainly can’t say less. We pray that this statement will serve to unify our body and equip us all for a clear and cogent witness to the goodness, the beauty, and the truth of God’s Word on these precious gifts of God to us all.
We believe that God created human beings in his image in two sexual kinds—male and female (Gen. 1:26-27). Gender is a part of God’s good creation and is bound to its roots as a biological reality. It is identifiable at birth and is to be evident in the course of everyday life in expressions of masculinity and femininity.
God designed men and women to unite in marriage, which is: complementary (involving one of each sexual gender), comprehensive (involving all of life, including physical sexual union), exclusive (monogamous and faithful), permanent (until separated by death), and a generative union (designed for and oriented toward the bearing and rearing of children) (Gen. 2:18-25). Through this union, a husband and wife picture for humanity the relationship between Christ and his church (Eph. 5:22-33).
A part of God’s benevolent design, marriage is basic to human flourishing and arises in cultures across history from realities that are discernable in creation (Rom. 1:18-27): the anthropological reality that men and women are different and complementary; the biological reality that they unite to create new life; the sociological reality that children deserve to be with the mother and father that created them. Only a man and a woman can unite in marriage since only a man and a woman can unite in a way that honors the nature of human sexuality.
Sexual intimacy is the exclusive privilege and responsibility of a husband and wife (1 Cor. 6:18; 7:2-5; Heb. 13:4). Because of Adam’s sin, every human being is born sexually perverted, creatively and destructively seeking sexual fulfillment in ways that ignore the Creator, reject his design, and distort his intent. Any form of sexual immorality (including adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, incest, and use of pornography) is sinful and offensive to God (Matt. 15:18-20; 1 Cor. 6:9-10).
While all people are sexual sinners, God offers redemption to all who confess and repent of their sin, seeking His mercy for forgiveness through Jesus Christ. By means of God’s Spirit, his Word, in the context of the church, real transformation is possible for sexual sinners of every kind, even if final glorification awaits us in the new creation.
All persons—regardless of what they may believe or practice—are worthy of kindness, dignity, and respect because they are made in the image of God. Love for God and people requires that Christians speak clearly about these things and that they do so in a manner consistent with the compassion and conviction of the Lord Jesus Christ.