Facility Use for Marriage Ceremonies
King of Glory Lutheran Church
Shakopee, Minnesota 55379
Origination Date: November 1, 2015
Approval Date: February 16, 2016
Approval Body: King of Glory Lutheran Church Council
Rationale: Legislation and legal efforts in the past several years have placed those who hold a Biblical view of marriage in a difficult position, as this position is considered bigoted or discriminatory by some. Those who appear to be arbitrary or ungrounded in their practices may place themselves at risk for legal action. At the same time, significant legal protections exist for those holding consistently to their strongly held religious beliefs. This document restates what we believe and practice, consistent with Scripture and our Constitution and By-Laws.
Facility Use for Marriage Ceremonies:
The purpose of this document, for use at King of Glory Lutheran Church, includes:
1. Identifying the Congregation’s interpretation of various Biblical passages and theology of marriage/divorce/remarriage
2. Setting the parameters under which the Congregation’s facilities may be used for marriage ceremonies
3. Protection of the Pastor from being asked to perform various marriage/civil union ceremonies in the Congregation’s facilities
As several attempts to redefine marriage have been made by individuals, legislatures and courts, King of Glory Lutheran Church deems it necessary to clarify its strongly held religious belief that marriage was created, is defined and exists today under the authority of Almighty God as defined in His Word. For the purpose of this document, the term “Marriage” is used in its Biblical context, and is distinct from same sex unions and civil arrangements.
Consistent with Holy Scripture and the Constitution (Article I, Section 1) of King of Glory Lutheran Church which states:
“This Congregation believes and confesses and the Pastor shall teach, that the Holy Scriptures,
the canonical books of the Old and New Testaments, are the inspired and inerrant Word of
God, revealed for our salvation and are the only source and rule of faith, doctrine, and life
of this Congregation.
King of Glory Lutheran Church affirms the following as strongly held religious beliefs and will conduct marriage ceremonies only in accordance with them:
1. Marriage is ordained by God in Genesis and affirmed by God throughout Scripture:
“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
2. Marriage is the union of one man with one woman, using no other determination than the gender observed by parents and/or attending physicians at the time of one’s birth: “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ So God created man in his own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Genesis 1:26-27
3. Sexual relationships are reserved for and to be celebrated within the bounds of marriage, by the command of God, who created for His glory both marriage and sexual union. These sexual relationships include cohabitation and any manner of genital contact. “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.” Hebrews 13:4
“Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, ‘The two will become one flesh.’ But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with Him. Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own. For you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:15-20
4. Marriage is designed by God to be permanent:
“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
Therefore, let these further applications be noted in regard to building use for marriage ceremonies at King of Glory Lutheran Church:
· Marriage ceremonies will only be conducted with the benefit of extensive pre-marital counseling
· Part of this pre-marital counseling shall include determining if both bride and groom are followers of Christ reflecting God’s instruction in 1 Corinthians 7:39 and 2 Corinthians 6:14-15
· A request that a marriage ceremony be conducted by someone other than the Pastor of King of Glory Lutheran Church will be reviewed by the Church Council, in consultation with the Pastor, on a case by case basis. The Pastor of King of Glory Lutheran Church will need to participate in some manner of the marriage ceremony. Such ceremonies must be conducted by someone in agreement with the marriage philosophy reflected in this document. Further, such a one conducting a ceremony must be duly authorized to do so by the State of Minnesota.
· Remarriage after divorce will be considered by the Church Council, in consultation with the Pastor, on a case by case basis. As remarriage after divorce is considered an open question in the Associated Free Lutheran Churches (the church body of King of Glory Lutheran Church), we also recognize the following:
o Neither the Church Council or the Pastor shall compel one another to violate conscience in order to carry out a marriage ceremony
o The permissive cultural view of divorce and remarriage for any or no reason is unacceptable, as it lies in conflict with the clear statement of Scripture, including Matthew 19:1-6. Remarriage after divorce should occur only within scripturally defined parameters.
o Scriptures used in this consideration will include, among others, Romans 7,
1Corinthians 7, Matthew 19:1-6 and Matthew 5:32
· If the Pastor of King of Glory Lutheran Church conducts marriage ceremonies outside of the facilities of this Congregation, he must do so in accordance with this policy. If he chooses to do otherwise, such service must be performed as distinct from King of Glory Lutheran Church.
General Use Addendum
Ceremonies and rituals performed with the facilities of King of Glory Lutheran Church shall be distinctively Christian, uncompromised by content from other religious, associations, sects or cults. Final determination will be made by the Church Council, in consultation with the Pastor. This is consistent with the Constitution of King of Glory Lutheran Church, Article II, Section 3.