Doctrine on Marriage and Sexuality
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church believes and confesses the “canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the inspired Word of God and the authoritative source and norm of its proclamation, faith and life.” (NALC Constitution, Article 2.03 — echoed in the Constitution for Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Article 2.02.c, adopted October 21, 2012)
The Triune God reveals a clear, consistent word regarding marriage and sexuality in Holy Scripture. He establishes marriage as the intimate relationship of a man and a woman to be ended only in death: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27) and “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24)
Our Lord Jesus Christ quotes these two verses when asked about divorce: He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” Matthew 19:4-6)
Furthermore, God commands that sexual relationships are for marriage alone. All forms of sexual behavior and relationships outside the marriage of one man and one woman are prohibited. The commandment, “You shall not commit adultery,” (Exodus 20:14) is primary, and Leviticus 18 records detailed, explicit prohibitions. Two of the many other Scriptural prohibitions are: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:27-28) Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
Article 6 of The Common Confession, the Appendix to the NALC Constitution, summarizes the Scriptural witness to God’s will for marriage and family: We believe and confess that the marriage of male and female is an institution created and blessed by God. From marriage, God forms families to serve as the building blocks of all human civilization and community. We teach and practice that sexual activity belongs exclusively within the Biblical boundaries of a faithful marriage between one man and one woman. Therefore in obedience to our Lord and in submission to the authority of Scripture over all matters of faith and life, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church strives to ensure that all of its preaching, teaching, practices and policies are in accord with God’s will for marriage and sexuality.