The Marriage Policy Of:
Trinity Lutheran Church, Decatur, Illinois
I. Beliefs: God’s Word teaches us that God’s gift of ‘marriage’ has only one meaning in God’s eyes: ‘the sacred, life-long, union of one man and one woman, united as husband and wife, in a single, exclusive union, until death do they part (ie. Genesis 2:18-25; Matthew 19:4-6). As a result, God’s Word also instructs us that sexual intimacy is to occur only between one man and one woman, united as husband and wife, in God’s gift of marriage (ie. 1st Corinthians 6:18, 7:2-5; Hebrews 13:4). Our Lord further teaches us that any form of sexual immorality, delineated in His Word (ie. fornication, adultery, pornography, homosexual/ lesbian behavior, transgender sexuality, pan-sexuality, bi-sexuality, incest, orgies, or any form of sexual intimacy outside of the God-ordained bounds of one man and one woman, united as husband and wife, in God’s gift of marriage) is truly sinful and offensive to our Lord (ie. Matthew 15:18-20, 1st Corinthians 6:9-10), and is deserving of death (see Romans 1:18-32, 6:23; and Galatians 5:19-21).
Thankfully, our gracious Lord still loves all those whom He has created, even though we have all sinned against Him. And He wants ‘none to perish, but everyone to come to repentance,” 2nd Peter 3:9. Therefore, He proved His love for us in sending Christ to die on the cross, as an atoning sacrifice for our sins (Romans 3:21-28; and 5:8). As a result, we truly believe that God offers full and free forgiveness, and complete restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, and seek His mercy and grace through Jesus Christ, our Savior (1st Corinthians 6:9-11, 1st John 1:8-9).
Finally, God’s Word teaches us that every person is to be given compassion, love, and kindness (Mark 12:28-31, Luke 6:31). Hateful and harassing behaviors, and/or attitudes, toward any individual, are to be repudiated, for they are not in accord with God’s Word, nor the love of Christ, our Savior. And such actions and attitudes hinder the work of the Gospel from saving the lost.
II. Policy: In accord with the above ‘Beliefs’, the official ‘Marriage Policy of Trinity’ is as follows:
“The marriage policy of Trinity Lutheran Church, 1960 East Johns Avenue, Decatur, Illinois (hereafter referred to as ‘Trinity’) – a member congregation of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod – is, and always has been, consistent with the Synod’s beliefs on marriage (as stated above). We believe that marriage is the sacred, life-long, union of one man and one woman, united as husband and wife, in a single, exclusive union, until death do they part, as defined in God’s Word (ie. Genesis 2:18-25; Matthew 19:4-6). We also believe that sexual intimacy is to occur only between the one man and one woman, united as husband and wife, in God’s gift of marriage (ie. 1st Corinthians 6:9-10; Hebrews 13:4), and that God gave marriage as a picture of the beautiful relationship between Christ, and His bride, the church (Ephesians 5:21-33). In view of same-sex marriage, we also hold to the official position of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, as set forth in the 1998 Resolution 3-21 (“To Affirm The Sanctity Of Marriage and to Reject Same- Sex Unions”), which is, that homosexual unions come under categorical prohibition in both the Old and New Testaments (ie. Leviticus 18:22, 24: 20:13; 1st Corinthians 6:9-10, 1st Timothy 1:9-10) as being contrary to the Creator’s design (ie. Romans 1:26-27). These positions and beliefs can be found on the LCMS website (www.lcms.org), along with other statements, papers, and reports on the subject of homosexuality and same-sex civil unions and “marriage”. Our pastors WILL NOT officiate over any marriage inconsistent with our beliefs and this policy, and our church property WILL NOT be used for any marriage ceremony, reception, or other activity that would be inconsistent with our beliefs and this policy.”
III. Note: Couples desiring to be married at Trinity must abide by the ‘Beliefs’ and ‘Marriage Policy’ (above), and by the booklet: ‘Specific Guidelines For A Christian Wedding At Trinity Lutheran Church, Decatur, IL’. You can request a copy of these ‘Guidelines’ from the pastor or the secretary of Trinity. At least one member of a couple desiring to be married at Trinity must be a member, in good- standing, of Trinity. (This Updated Marriage Policy Was Passed Unanimously By Trinity’s Voters On November 12th, 2017.)