Foundational Statement on
Marriage, Gender and Sexuality
The approach of the practices of White Oak Baptist Church of Archer Lodge, North Carolina (hereafter referred to as “WOBC”) is based on our belief in statements and principles within the Christian “The Holy Bible” (hereafter referred to as “the Bible”). It is understood that not every member of WOBC may agree with the following statements in whole or in part. That is their prerogative as cooperating and loving members of WOBC and their freedom to practice under the principles of “The Priesthood of Believers.”
Creation of Each Individual: We believe that God has created each person as male or female, with the understanding that this is not always clear at birth. These two distinct, yet complementary, genders together reflect the image and personhood of God (See Genesis 1: 26-27; Psalm 139: 13-16).
Marriage: We believe that the term “marriage” is best understood in the context of the Bible: the uniting of one biological male (man) and one biological female (woman) in a single, exclusive union (See Genesis 2: 18-25 and Matthew 19: 4-6). We further believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other (See Exodus 20: 14; I Corinthians 6: 12-20; 7: 2-5; Matthew 5: 27-30; Hebrews 13:4). Finally, we believe marriage is a cultural institution made sacred with religious significance as it was created by God (See above). The essence of a Christian wedding ceremony is the worship of God which differentiates it from a civil act of union.
Sin and the Restoration of Forgiveness: Sin can be understood as any action or thought or attitude that interferes with a healthy relationship between the individual and God, between the individual and others, or between the individual and self. We believe that God offers restoration of relationship(s) to all who acknowledge their sin and move toward a changed behavior or attitude through Jesus Christ (See I John 1:9; Acts 3: 19; Romans 10: 9-13; I Corinthians 6: 15-20; Colossians 1: 10-23).
Treatment of Others: We believe that every person is to be shown love, compassion, kindness, respect and dignity (See Mark 12: 28-31; Luke 6:31). Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with the Bible nor the doctrines of WOBC.
Marriage and Wedding Practice at White Oak Baptist Church: Since the marriage ceremony is considered a sacred, religious observance within this body, and since the marriage ceremony within WOBC is best understood as between a biological male (man) and a biological female (woman), we hold that those who perform marriages or engage in a supporting role for marriages under the auspices of WOBC must follow this guide and perform the wedding ceremony only between a man and woman (See Matthew 5: 16; Philippians 2: 14-16).
Overview: The statements set forth above are part of a long-standing spiritual tradition at WOBC dating to its inception in 1859. They reflect the sincerely-held religious belief that marriage ceremonies performed at WOBC are acts of religious exercise with the understandings and beliefs as stipulated above.