Session

Session Resolution on Marriage

May 2015

For the Records of the First Presbyterian Church Moncks Corner

 

The session of the First Presbyterian Church of Moncks Corner resolves that the facilities of this church shall be limited to weddings between one man and one woman.

o   Whereas the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments describe marriage as between a man and a woman;

  • “Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him…’ The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman…’ For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:18ff.)
  • “Each man is to have his own wife, and each woman is to have her own husband.” (1 Corinthians 7:2)
  • “Wives be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord… Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church… each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.” (Ephesians 5:22ff.)

o   Whereas Jesus affirmed marriage between a man and a woman;

  • “And [Jesus] answered and said, ‘Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh”? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.’” (Matthew 19:4ff.)

o   Whereas the essential tenets of the Reformed faith as expressed in The Book of Confessions of the Presbyterian Church (USA) affirm marriage between a man and a woman;

  • “For marriage was instituted by the Lord God himself, who blessed it most bountifully, and willed man and woman to cleave one to the other inseparably, and to live together in complete love and concord (Matt. 19:4ff). Whereupon we know that the apostle said: ‘Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled’ (Heb. 13:4).” [Book of Confessions 5.246]
  • “Christian marriage is an institution ordained of God, blessed by our Lord Jesus Christ, established and sanctified for the happiness and welfare of mankind, into which spiritual and physical union one man and one woman enter, cherishing a mutual esteem and love, bearing with each other’s infirmities and weaknesses, comforting each other in trouble, providing in honesty and industry for each other and for their household, praying for each other, and living together the length of their days as heirs of the grace of life.” [Book of Confessions 6.131]
  • “Marriage is a union between one man and one woman, designed of God to last so long as they both shall live.” [Book of Confessions 6.133]
  • “The relationship between man and woman exemplifies in a basic way God’s ordering of the interpersonal life for which he created mankind… a man and woman are enabled to marry, to commit themselves to a mutually shared life, and to respond to each other in sensitive and lifelong concern…” [Book of Confessions 9.47]

o   Whereas an Authoritative Interpretation and the Book of Order in the Presbyterian Church (USA) allows for individual pastors [teaching elders] and congregations to make their own choice in the matter of church property use and wedding ceremonies.

  • “Exercising such discretion and freedom of conscience under the prayerful guidance of Scripture, teaching elders may conduct a marriage service for any such couple in the place where the community gathers for worship, so long as it is approved by the session; or in such other place as may be suitable for a service of Christian worship. In no case shall any teaching elder’s conscience be bound to conduct any marriage service for any couple except by his or her understanding of the Word, and the leading of the Holy Spirit.” [Authoritative Interpretation of W-4.9000 adopted by the 221st General Assembly 2014]
  • “Nothing herein shall compel a teaching elder to perform nor compel a session to authorize the use of church property for a marriage service that the teaching elder or the session believes is contrary to the teaching elder’s or the session’s discernment of the Holy Spirit and their understanding of the Word of God.” [Book of Order W-4.9000]