We believe that the mission of every Christian is to bear witness to the arrival of God’s Kingdom in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and to his present reign over all creation; that obeying his twofold command to love God and neighbor is the joyful task of every believer; and that this law of love must shape the witness of the Church in every time and place within God’s world. We believe that love of Christ compels his disciples to bear witness to God’s truth and grace in every new trial and opportunity; that cultural shifts brought about by the Sexual Revolution (1960’s to the present) require a clear and compassionate response; and that Christians are called to offer a joyful and compelling witness to Christ’s redeeming love among all people, including members of the LGBTQ+ community. (Matt. 28:18–20; Matt. 22:36–40; John 13:34–35)
We believe that the Spirit of God is active on the stage of history and in the hearts of God’s children, and that the Church is invited to play an active role in expanding God’s Kingdom. Praise to God for his work in the world is an essential mark of faithful Christian witness. (Acts 9:31; Eph. 3:10)
Personhood and Dignity
In the beginning, God created humankind in his own image to represent his wise and gracious rule in the world, and to mirror his goodness as those who are fearfully and wonderfully made. Each person, including those within the LGBTQ+ community, reflects this image, possesses inherent honor and dignity, and is worthy of contributing to and benefitting from the common good of the societies to which they belong. We praise God for this. (Gen. 1:26–28; Ps. 139)
Care and Compassion
God reveals throughout Scripture his special desire to care for the vulnerable, to protect his image bearers from unchecked evil, and to establish justice and equity in his world. God has compassion on the needy and the oppressed—including those who suffer mistreatment on account of their perceived expression of gender or sexuality—and He invites all people to receive salvation in Jesus Christ, rest in His mercy, and trust in His tender care. We praise God for this.
Family and Belonging
God demonstrates that he is Father to the fatherless by welcoming into His family all who trust in Jesus, and by adopting them as his beloved sons and daughters. He invites all people to find family in the Church, and equips each member of the Body of Christ to minister His presence to their siblings in the faith. Further, Christ calls his church to be a people of hospitality so that all men and women—including members of the mainstream LGBTQ+ community—might taste the joys and blessings of kinship. We praise God for this.
We believe that human finitude limits all attempts to understand the complexity of God’s world, and that indwelling sin taints every effort to apply the gospel of Christ to its many and varied challenges. Lament toward God on account of sin, evil, and brokenness in ourselves, the Church, and the world, is an essential mark of faithful Christian witness.
Public Life and Justice
Many Christians have been slow to confront mistreatment of LGBTQ+ people, whether in the form of degrading stereotypes, unjust practices in a variety of different social contexts (such as secular housing or employment discrimination), or even acts of violence and persecution in various parts of the world. Sadly, these forms of mistreatment are often compounded by additional factors, as in the case of LGBTQ+ people of color. Many of these men and women never experience the Life offered in the gospel and will die before encountering any Christian who loves them in the way of Jesus. We lament this.
Christian Ministry and Discipleship
Evangelical Christian culture in North America has produced organizations, institutions, and ministries that frequently meet the needs of biological, nuclear families, but often neglect to care for unmarried people in general, and LGBTQ+ people in particular. Traditional Christian faith communities regularly promote forms of discipleship that elevate marriage, romance, and sexual pleasure over the unmarried state, implicitly suggesting that a life of singleness and celibacy is inferior or unfulfilling. Moreover, many leaders and organizations have avoided the duty of listening to people who experience same-sex attraction in order to understand the variety of ways in which their sexual orientation shapes their experience in the church and in the world. Many of these men and women have been deeply wounded by their families of origin on account of their orientation, and also experience great isolation and loneliness in the church. We lament this.
Doctrinal Practice and Culture
Evangelical Christian culture has been widely shaped by “ex-gay theology” and a variety of ministries which promote the pursuit of orientation change as a chief measure of sanctification for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and other same-sex attracted Christians. Many of these believers have learned to measure their human value and spiritual maturity by the degree to which they experience heterosexual desire, and to question the legitimacy of their faith on account of its absence or inconsistency. Thousands of men and women have suffered great spiritual harm and continue to live with deep emotional scars as a result of their participation in ministries focused on orientation change. Moreover, Christians have often disregarded the inherent dignity of LGBTQ+ people as fellow image-bearers of God, treating them more as political enemies than as people whom Jesus calls his church to love. Many LGBTQ+ people long to hear Christian leaders apologize for these unbiblical and damaging approaches to ministry, discipleship, and public life. We lament this.
We believe that God sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to redeem his broken creation and to make all things new; that victory over sin and death is sure on account of the shed blood of Jesus Christ; and that the family of God will soon be united in Glory. Hope in God on account of His sovereign grace is an essential mark of faithful Christian witness.
Salvation By Grace
According to the good news of the gospel, all whom Jesus saves are simultaneously sinful, yet counted righteous in the eyes of God by grace alone through faith in the perfect life, atoning death, and victorious resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave. Despite the ongoing presence of sin in every human person, Christians can rest secure in the love, delight, and affection of their Heavenly Father. This spiritual reality creates space for believers who find themselves attracted to the same sex to be honest about their orientation and its related struggles, to receive freedom from the grip of sin and shame, and to steward their sexuality in joyful faith and confident obedience. The faithful witness of these Christians who choose obedience to God over other earthly longings prophetically points to the beauty of Jesus, and inspires other believers to join in similarly radical forms of discipleship. Jesus is our hope.
Union with Christ
According to the good news of the gospel, the Church is comprised of all who turn from sin and trust in the saving work of Jesus. As those who have been united to him by faith and by his Spirit, the church is both the object of Christ’s pursuit, and the embodiment of his work in the world. Christ continues this work through his body, the Church, as believers in every time and place are empowered by his Spirit to become servants of all: drawing those on the margins into the community of faith, welcoming them with his mercy and love, and highlighting their unique honor and status in the Kingdom of God. Jesus is our hope.
Life in the Spirit
According to the good news of the gospel, Christ will soon return to make all things new, and to establish a world in which sin, death, sickness, and tears will be no more. This future age of life and resurrection is now present in the ongoing ministry of the Holy Spirit, as Christ animates his Body to bear witness in the world to the free grace of God; unites God’s people in truth and in love; and comforts believers with the knowledge that God’s promises are true. As those who now live as aliens and sojourners awaiting the world to come, the family of God looks with great hope and expectation for the day when they finally behold the full majesty and glory of their Father in heaven. Jesus is our hope.