Marriage

The goal of this position paper is to clarify the position of First Christian Church of Mountain City GA concerning the marriage covenant as God created it. This paper is not intended to take the place of the Bible which remains the ultimate authority and the only rule for faith and practice. The expiration date for this paper reinforces the idea that while the position is being clarified by the use of this document, the Bible will be consulted on a regular basis to ensure a strong foundation for this doctrine.

The Bible says that the institution of marriage was created by God (Gen. 2:21-25). Therefore we believe God's Word should be our source of authority for defining marriage and setting the boundaries for the marriage relationship. The Bible says that God intends for marriage to be a monogamous, life-long, loving relationship between a man and a woman (Gen. 2:24; Matt. 19:6). Marriage is the highest of all human relationships, provided by God as the best environment for relational intimacy (Gen. 2:18, 25) and child rearing (Gen. 1:27-28). The love between a husband and a wife is to be an illustration of the love and faithfulness between God and his people (Mal. 2:13-16; Eph. 5:22-33).

In order to preserve the sanctity of marriage, we have instituted a wedding policy and practice to hold high the ideals of biblical marriage and sexual purity. We require an 8-session premarital class before couples can be married by our minister. Unmarried couples who are cohabiting are asked to repent of their sexual impurity and separate before they can begin the premarital sessions. We recognize that this may produce financial hardships for some couples, and we are willing to try to work out an acceptable solution that glorifies God and maintains the purity that is restored through repentance.

According to Jesus Christ's instructions in the Bible, Christians must live in a manner distinct from that of the world. Christians are commanded to hold a higher standard of moral virtue and purity, guided by the principles of God's Holy Word. For this reason, we stand firm on our belief that the Bible does not allow for same-sex marriages. Furthermore, the minister reserves the right to refuse services to any couple he believes are not ready to enter the marriage covenant.

Because of the interpretive challenges inherent in understanding the Bible, we do not require our members to agree with the elders' conclusions regarding marriage. However, we do ask that our members obey the elders' directives and submit to their conclusions without divisiveness, recognizing that these are difficult decisions to make. We will continue to seek God's guidance and grow in our understanding of God's Word in this and all doctrinal matters.


Wedding Policy

Requirements:

The bride is a woman and the groom is a man. They should both be willing to participate in pre-marital counseling using materials provided by the minister officiating the wedding. Other arrangements can be made for pre-marital counseling if first approved by the minister.

Ceremony:

The minister will work directly with the bride and groom and any other persons designated by both the bride and groom to create the ceremony that is desired. However, there is a basic outline provided of what is needed as a bare minimum for the ceremony to be performed by the minister.

Reception:

The minister does not make it a practice to attend receptions unless specifically requested by both the bride and the groom.

Facilities for the Ceremony:

The minister is flexible as far as the place for the ceremony is concerned as long as it does not place the minister in a compromising situation. The minister is not responsible for attaining the facilities or any liability of those facilities. The bride and groom must work these details out before the minister will enter into an agreement to perform the wedding.

Fee:

The minister reserves the right to adjust the fee according to the situation. All money owed the minister must be given prior to the rehearsal for the wedding ceremony. The charge for pre-marital counseling is included in the fee for the ceremony.

Consensus:

Since this is a blessed event for both the bride and groom, all decisions concerning the ceremony and pre-marital counseling must be agreed upon by both the bride and groom. If there is a disagreement, the minister will mediate to the fullest extent of his abilities to resolve the conflict. If the conflict cannot be resolved, the wedding will be put on hold until a consensus can be reached.

Our Vision

To become a Biblically-functioning family of believers growing...

  • Deeper through worship
  • Larger through evangelism
  • Stronger through discipleship
  • Warmer through fellowship
  • Broader through ministry