Principles of the Process
Statement of Beliefs Regarding Gender, Marriage, and Sexuality
We believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female. These two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God (Gen 1:26-27). Rejection of one’s biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person.
We believe that the term “marriage” has only one meaning: the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture (Gen 2:18-25). Parkside Church will only conduct a marriage ceremony and recognize the marriage between a biological man and a biological woman.
We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other (1 Cor 6:18; 7:2-5; Heb 13:4). We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman.
We believe that any form of sexual immorality (including adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, and use of pornography) is sinful and offensive to God (Matt 15:18-20;1 Cor 6:9-10).
We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ (Acts 3:19-21; Rom 10:9-10; 1 Cor 6:9-11).
We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity (Mark 12:28-31; Luke 6:31). Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated.
We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of Parkside Church as the local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to the Parkside Church members and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by Parkside church in any capacity, or who serve as volunteers, agree to and abide by the Scriptures and the doctrines of Parkside Church.
Marriage is a relationship designed and ordained by God between a man and a woman
Marriage is a relationship designed and ordained by God, and its significance is emphasized repeatedly in Scripture. In illustrating the relationship of Christ with His bride, the Church, God chose the analogy of the marriage relationship (Eph. 5). In light of the biblical significance and responsibilities intended by God for marriage, it is essential that the church take seriously its participation in a marriage, as well as its responsibility in preparation.
We have developed a philosophy of ministry to premarital couples which we believe is consistent with God's Word, and which reflects the high standard to which God will hold a man and woman as they commit themselves to marriage. The following are important principles to which we are committed in the conduct of our responsibilities toward God in premarital ministry:
Principles that we are committed to in the pre-marital process
1. Parkside will consider couples who wish to take advantage of our pre-marital program on a case-by-case basis. Applicants should understand that couples seeking to be married under the auspices of Parkside Church, by a Parkside pastor, must first complete and be approved through the pre-marital process.
2. Preference in scheduling will be given to Parkside Church members and their families. The program is intended to provide the first step in an ongoing context for the nurture of Christian marriages at Parkside.
3. Listed below are some of the reasons that requests for weddings may be denied or delayed. If upon reviewing this list, you recognize your relationship to be represented here, please feel free to discuss the issue with us as soon as possible.
A. We may not:
1. Marry a couple if they currently maintain a sexual relationship and are unwilling to abstain for a period of time determined by a pastor; or if they have, in the immediate past, led a life-style which does not represent biblical purity.
2. Marry a couple if we believe the maturity level of either partner is not such that he or she can fully accept the responsibilities of marriage at that particular time.
3. Marry a couple if the marriage is radically opposed by family members, Christian peers or pastors. Each case will be reviewed for special circumstances.
4. Marry a couple if they have not allowed themselves time to build the pattern of a stable relationship.
B. We will not:
1. Marry a believer and nonbeliever. 2 Cor. 6:14ff
2. Marry a couple when a previous divorce situation gives doubt as to the biblical correctness of the marriage.
3. Marry a couple if they do not satisfactorily complete the premarital counseling program requirements, or if counselors in the premarital program recommend against the marriage in the course of the counseling process.
4. Marry a couple if they are found to have represented themselves untruthfully regarding their relationship or premarital issues during the process.
5. Please consider that the time necessary for completing this pre-marital process is 6-7 months. For a typical order and timeline of events please, click here.