Lake Avenue Church is a church committed to building strong and lasting marriages in keeping with Scriptural teaching and priorities. As in all things, our final authority for what we believe about marriage and how we are to live in our marriage relationships is the Scriptures. Therefore, since we serve in a society in which there are differing views about what constitutes a marriage, our commitment to biblical authority leads us to search the Scriptures for its teaching about marriage.

Overview of Scriptural Teaching about Marriage

We believe, based on the teaching of the Scriptures in both the Old and New Testaments, that marriage is an institution ordained by God from the foundation of the world and intended as a lifelong union of one man and one woman. This idea is supported by the account of creation in Genesis 1-2. Genesis 1:26-28 provides that God created human beings in his own image, both male and female.

Genesis 2 provides a more detailed account in which God created the first man, Adam, and decided that it was not good for him to be alone (Genesis 2:18). God indicated that he would make "a suitable helper for him." God brought all of the animals to Adam, but none of them was a suitable helper for him, so God created Eve, the first woman, from part of Adam himself. God did not create a second man or an assortment of multiple women to be Adam’s helpmate, but one woman. Together they were man and wife and had "no shame" or sin in their union with each other (Genesis 2:15-25).

Jesus reaffirmed the teaching of the Old Testament when he said in Matthew 19:4-6, "Haven’t you read that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate."

The Apostle Paul further states in Ephesians 5:22-32 that marriage is not merely a human institution but a special divine metaphor intended to illustrate the union of Christ and the church. Consistent with the rest of Scripture, the Apostle Paul states that a union between a man and a woman constitutes a proper marriage because only this kind of union properly illustrates the relationship between Christ and his church.

I Corinthians 6:9–11 speaks of a variety of lifestyles as falling outside God-created morality, including those associated both with heterosexual immorality and homosexual activity. Thus, the Bible admonishes Christians to refrain from all kinds of sexual activity outside marriage (1 Cor. 6:12-20; Rom. 1:18-32).

The result is that though we strive to show God’s love to all people, live peaceably with all people, and obey legitimate government authority, in instances involving matters as foundational as marriage, we ultimately must obey God rather than any other authority if the two come into conflict (Acts 4:18-22). Lake Avenue Church affirms that the consistent teaching of Scripture is that marriage is a union of a man to a woman.

Our Policy on Marriage

As a result of this above-described summary of biblical teaching, the policy guiding the practice of this local church will be to view "marriage" as an institution involving a covenant between a man and a woman. Therefore, the teaching about marriage that takes place at Lake Avenue Church and the use of all church facilities shall also be in keeping with this understanding of marriage. It is also the policy of the church that pastors and members of the church staff shall only officiate at marriages between a man and a woman. We will seek to support and strengthen marriage as it is defined in Scripture.