The Ravines Position Statements: in accordance to Scripture
Premarital and extramarital sexual activity
Both are sin, according to Scripture, and are destructive to human relationships, the church, and the individual. Physical intimacy, a gift from God, is designed to occur only between a man and a woman within the confines of a marriage relationship and no other place (I Corinthians 6:18; 7:2-5; Hebrews 13:4).
Marriage is an institution created by God. It is a covenant relationship united by God and established by mutual vows between a man and a woman, in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture (Genesis 2:18-25; Matthew 5:31-32; Matthew 19:4-6) and reflects the gospel (Ephesians 5:31-32). Permanent unity in marriage is possible in Christ and is demanded of Christ’s disciples who are married. We believe that the role of the husband and wife are given to us in Scripture such as stated in Ephesians 5 and I Peter 3.
Divorce and remarriage
Marriages should not be dissolved, as divorce is contrary to the will of God. People can, by persistent and unrepentant sin, separate what God has joined together. Scripture acknowledges that certain actions and attitudes which occur in a sinful world, and conflict with God’s will, can destroy a marriage relationship (Matthew 19:9; I Corinthians 7:15); however, these actions do not require divorce. Since failure to keep the marriage covenant is sin, the church should exercise a ministry of reconciliation and call marriage partners to confession, forgiveness, and renewed obedience.
The church should neither issue a clear prohibition against remarriage nor attempt to list with legal precession the circumstances under which remarriage does not conflict with biblical teaching. The church must apply biblical principles to concrete situations in the light of its best understanding of what happened in a particular divorce and what is being planned for a particular remarriage.
Moral failure and continued ministry
Our God is a redeeming God, and our ministry one of reconciliation. As in all situations involving sinful acts, the church leaders must apply biblical principles to each particular situation involving moral misconduct and failure among its leaders. The goal being foremost is to restore the individual(s) to the body of Christ; the church, and when appropriate according to biblical principles, to active leadership roles. (2 Cor. 2:6-8; Galatians 6:1; Colossians 3:12-14).
Homosexual activity is sinful and reflects the brokenness of our world. Persons of same-sex attraction should not be denied Christian community and should be loved by the church and given caring support and encouragement towards holy living. Christians struggling with same-sex attraction, like all Christians, are called to discipleship, to holy obedience, and to use their spiritual gifts in the cause of the Kingdom of God and empowered by the Holy Spirit to fulfill this call. Homosexual practice; however, must be condemned as incompatible with obedience to the will of God as revealed in Scripture. We believe that the Christian should exercise the same respect and compassion for those who struggle with sexual identity as we exercise for all whom we encounter.