We agree with the Baptist Faith and Message that "Marriage is the uniting
of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. It is Godís
unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His church and to provide
for the man and the woman in marriage the framework for intimate
companionship, the channel of sexual expression according to biblical
standards, and the means for procreation of the human race."
Any weakening of the traditional, Judeo-Christian definition of marriage
will undermine the foundation of Western culture and result in deep,
permanent fractures that will fundamentally alter American culture, indeed
all of Western civilization. The Colorado Statement on Biblical Sexual
Morality reflects our rejection of demands for redefinition of marriage when
it says, "We affirm that God established the moral definition of marriage,
and that it should not be changed according to the dictates of culture,
tradition, or personal preference. We deny that the morality of marriage is
a matter of mere custom, or that it should be allowed to shift with the tide
of cultural opinion or social practice."
We reject the claim that homosexual unions should be granted equivalent
moral status to heterosexual monogamous marriage, regardless of the
terminology used to describe those unions. We affirm the biblical model of
marriage, the union of one man and one woman for life, as the only
appropriate model for uniting people in marriage. We deny that this
conviction is incompatible with redemptive ministry to homosexuals.
Homosexuals need the Gospel of Jesus Christ and they need the ministry of
the church, just like everyone else. We call on our fellow brothers and
sisters in the Lord to reach out in redemptive ministry to homosexuals,
while at the same time opposing the unbiblical concept of homosexual
Marriage is the foundational institution of human culture (Genesis
2:18-22; Matt. 19:3-9; Eph. 5:22-33; Eph. 6:1; 1 Thess. 2:7, 11; 1 Tim.
The first social institution was marriage. As the foundation of the
family, marriage is the foundational cultural institution. The family is a
critically important institution in society because it supplies certain
essential components to the bedrock upon which all other human
relationships depend. In the family people learn compassion and mercy,
essential elements that enable society to care for the weak among us. They
learn how to cooperate with each other, an essential trait that enables
individuals to combine their energies to accomplish great tasks. They
learn commitment to others, an indispensable characteristic that assures
unity and success. Most important, they learn to sacrifice for the needs
of others, the linchpin of all healthy human relationships.
A family established on the marriage between a man and woman forces the
cultivation of these characteristics in ways that other relationships do
not. For heterosexual marriage demands the purest cultivation of these
characteristics in order to succeed. Modern marriage counterfeits fail in
significant ways to develop and model these characteristics. By their very
nature cohabitation and same-sex relationships avoid some of the dynamics
that a husband and wife must address. For example, those who cohabit often
are reluctant to make a permanent commitment to each other; and same-sex
relationships are never forced to deal with the fundamental differences
between the sexes.
Marriage is a covenantal relationship (Gen. 2:23-25; Mal. 2:14-16;
Matt. 19:5-9; Eph. 5:31).
The first commitment ceremony between a man and a woman involved a
commitment to a relationship. Marriage is more than a legal contract
between two individuals. Marriage, within Judeo-Christian teaching, is a
covenant relationship. It is the beginning point for successful long-term
relationships. Its basis is not performance but relationship. Marriage
according to the words spoken at the first marriage ceremony involves
leaving parental relationships and creating a permanent new relationship,
in which the two enjoy a pure, selfless intimacy. Therefore, we reject
current efforts to equate civil unions with marriage or to treat marriage
as a contractual relationship.
Marriage creates one unity out of the two corresponding genders
(Gen. 2:23-24; Matt. 19:4-6; Mark 10:6-9; 1 Cor. 6:16; Eph. 5:22-33).
In marriage the male and female form a single intimate union. When God
created man, He created a male and a female. As the Baptist Faith and
Message states, "The gift of gender is thus a part of the goodness of
Godís creation." Neither gender comprises the sum of all that it means to
unite human beings in a sexual relationship. God chose to typify certain
characteristics of humanity in the male and other characteristics in the
female. By definition, homosexual marriage is incapable of achieving this
"one flesh" union. Therefore, we reject the notion that homosexual
marriage is equal to heterosexual marriage.
Marriage provides the best environment for the personal, social, and
economic well-being of children (Eph. 5:22-33; Eph. 6:1; 1 Tim. 5:8; Titus
The biblical model of marriage reveals a husband and wife working
together, complementing each other, to provide a stable, successful home
in which children are equipped to fulfill their greatest potential.
Long-term homosexual relationships, especially among males, are extremely
rare. Children who grow up in single-parent/adult homes are more likely to
live in poverty all their lives. The absence of the support structures
provided by marriage results too often in underperforming, emotionally
distressed children who do not reach their fullest potential. The result
will be an ever-expanding government that must assume more and more of the
burden of taking care of the emotional, physical, and economic well-being
of its citizens. Therefore, we reject the practice of adoption by
Marriage encourages the development of healthy sexual identity in
children (Gen. 1:27-28; Gen. 2:18; Deut. 6:4-25; Prov. 1:8-9).
God designed the family to be a learning environment for children.
Children learn about sexuality by observing their parents. The absence of
both sexes as role models will make it more difficult for children to be
able to form a healthy understanding of their own sexuality and to
appreciate the differences of the other sex. Homosexuality violates three
fundamental principles of human sexuality. It violates the principle of
exclusivity. The creation record acknowledges Godís creation of only two
sexesómale and female (Gen. 1:27). It violates the principle of fertility.
The man and woman were designed to propagate their species through sexual
union (Gen. 1:28). While the gift of sex is not limited only to this
function, it is a fundamental expectation of sexuality that homosexual sex
is incapable of fulfilling. It violates the principle of complementarity.
God created a female to complete the male (Gen. 2:18-25). Therefore, we
reject the notion that children can be raised as effectively in homosexual
relationships as they can in heterosexual marriage.
Marriage is life-affirming (Gen. 1:27-28; Gen. 2:18; Prov. 5:18-19).
God instituted marriage as a means toward good. It was designed to
improve quality of life and enable healthy reproductive behaviors.
Homosexuals, especially males, do not tend to form long-term
relationships; and they tend to die of causes directly attributable to
their lifestyle 20-25 years earlier than heterosexual males. Therefore, we
reject the notion that any homosexual relationship can be the equivalent
of heterosexual marriage.
Marriage is the only appropriate context for sexual relations (Lev.
18:22; Rom. 1:18-32; Heb. 13:4).
We affirm the Colorado Statementís clear and extensive pronouncements
on biblical, sexual morality, and its conviction that the biblical
standard for sexual expression is heterosexual, monogamous marriage. We
reiterate its claim that "sexual behavior is moral only within the
institution of heterosexual, monogamous marriage." Therefore, we reject
the claim that homosexual sex between consenting adults constitutes an
acceptable, biblical sexual relationship.
Marriage is the ideal model for the family (Prov. 31:10-31; Eph.
5:22-33; Eph. 6:1-4; 1 Thess. 2:7, 11; 1 Tim. 3:1-7, 8-12; 1 Pet. 3:1-7).
We affirm those who have been forced for various reasons to live in
single-parent families. We commend those parents who have determined to do
the best they can to provide for and nurture their children in these
situations. We acknowledge that children can and do thrive in these
families. However, we do not believe that these represent the best
environments for children to reach their fullest potential for reasons we
have already stated.
Therefore, in order to cherish and protect marriage as a crucial asset to
our society and in view of what we have expressed, we call for the