The Church of God in Christ (COGIC) is joining the Assemblies of God and other Christian bodies in speaking about against President Obama’s endorsement of same-sex marriage.
COGIC is a Pentecostal Holiness Christian denomination with a predominantly African-American membership. COGIC has about 5 million members and 12,000 congregations in the United States. The following is COGIC’s official statement regarding same-sex marriage and civil unions:
“The president’s position regarding ‘same-sex marriage’ has set off a ‘firestorm,’ unlike any other debate in our civil society, perhaps, since the civil rights unrest of the mid-20th century.
“The advocacy for same-sex marriage, while in conflict with our nation’s long-standing moral posture, has indeed created opportunity for the church to communicate our unequivocal position about God’s design and foundation for humanity, the biblical mandate for heterosexuality through the bonds of matrimony and the centuries-old understanding of the only acceptable means of procreation, habitation and the establishment of the family.
“The president suggests same-sex relationships and male-female relationships committed to by oath before God and/or witnesses, where formal documents are signed before a civil or ecclesiastical figure. It further implies that both are equally good and valuable. In addition to this, it suggests that both equally contribute to the good and advancement of a society. From a fundamental view of Scripture, the same word should not be used to describe both same-sex and heterosexual relationships.
“Fundamentally, traditionally and historically, marriage has functioned to unite a man and women together in facing the challenges of life, to sanctify sexual involvement, to authorize the conception of children, provide an environment for the protection and development of offspring and to strengthen and sustain the family unit.
“Historically, the sexual coming together of husband and wife produces children who are the fruit of both their bodies and are united by blood to their brothers and sisters. This coming together of husband and wife is the means by which the world has been populated, and the human race sustained.
“A husband, wife and children are the bedrock of a society which also mirrors the universal church as a microcosm, or domestic church, out of which God’s values are modeled, nurtured and disciplined. This divinely inspired family framework, pronounced in Old and New Testament Scripture, is without compromise. To tamper with the foundation is to disrupt the order God intended. This order is the intended structure by which all humanity is expected to govern their lives.
“The human body is designed by God as male and female to anatomically accommodate individuals of the opposite sex in the conception, bearing and nurture of children; the human body is unquestionably designed to accommodate individuals of the opposite sex, not of the same sex.
“The Holy Bible, which is the authoritative Word of God, clearly prohibits sexual relations between members of the same sex. Though it does not isolate intercourse between individuals of the same sex as the only sin, it designates this and a series of other activities as sinful behavior from which the Christian is to abstain
“1 Cor. 6:9-11 (NKJV) says, ‘Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.’ (See also: Leviticus 18:22; Romans 1:26-27; and 1 Timothy 1:8).
“The Bible indicates that there is nothing that can excuse or eliminate the sinfulness of sexual involvement between individuals of the same sex. Neither so called “marriage vows,” civil unions, nor homosexual drives or passions are recognized by the Bible as justifications or acceptable excuses or rationale for sexual acts between individuals of the same sex. Sinful desires and inclinations must be resisted and overcome by the power of God in Christ Jesus, and by power of the Holy Spirit who strengthens our minds and our wills.
Our vocabularies are made up of thousands of words because there are so many distinctive entities and concepts to be referred to. Each word designates a category of entities which are unique to that word. Specific words are most useful when they reflect identical images, and when they do not create conflicting or unclear images in the mind of the speaker and the hearer.
“The Bible defines marriage as a relationship between one man and one woman (Genesis 2:24; 1 Corinthians 7:2; 1 Timothy 3:2, 12; Titus 1:6). To define marriage otherwise is to dilute and destroy its usefulness as a word which denotes what is highest and best about human society.
“While we are committed to proclaim and support the tenants of the Bible, and also to persuade others to do so, we recognize that in a free and democratic society morality cannot be legislated. We oppose violence and discrimination against individuals or groups because of sexual orientation. We do not feel that it is necessary to legalize same-sex marriage to provide the civil benefits and civil rights to all regardless of sexual orientation.
“We proclaim the value and worth of every human being regardless of sexual orientation.
“But, we passionately and unapologetically defend the right of faith communities to maintain the integrity of their message, mission and identity. We welcome to the church all people who seek to serve and know God and His Word.”
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