Most Christian authorities and bodies view marriage (also called Holy Matrimony) as a state instituted and ordained by God for the lifelong relationship between one man as husband and one woman as wife. They consider it the most intimate of human relationships, a gift from God, and a sacred institution. Protestants consider it to be sacred, holy, and even central to the community of faith, while Catholics and Orthodox Christians consider it a Sacrament. Biblically, it is to be "held in honour among all…." according to Hebrews 13:4.
In the Church of God in ChristEdit
The Official Church of God in Christ (COGIC) Manual said this in 1973 regarding the Christian institution of marriage:
"The question about divorce prompts Jesus to give a discourse on the meaning and purpose of the marriage institution. (St Matt 19:4-6; St Mark 10:6-9). Jesus states that God made both male and female; that he created opposite sexes. He created them for each other. (Gen 2:24-25). Adam was made to sleep so that from his body was drawn a rib. from which woman was created, as is told in the creation story. This creation of woman, as the help "mate" is translated to mean a "help suitable." This mate of Adam, or the woman, was his counterpart. Jesus then reiterates this creation story to emphasize the importance of this fundamental fact that God united man and woman, male and female, and this union we call marriage. Jesus further states in essence that marriage in the sight of God takes place when man or woman do the following to meet the requirements:
- Leave parents to be joined to a partner (St Matt 19:5).
- The two become as one. in purpose and duty (St Matt 19:7).
When this is accomplished in the sight of God, marriage becomes the institution for the two persons engaging in such activity. The civil courts must solemnize marriage. too, for legal and varied reason. The stability of marriage rests in the foundation of a home. Marriage and family life are a cornerstone. Yet, Jesus places God's idea of marriage above that of the civil requirements because he counts it so important until he dares man or civil law to tamper with its indispensable significance (St Matt 19:6). Not what man has solemnized becomes a union of one flesh, but what God has unionized: and such union should not by any be dissolved. Therefore, we conclude that marriage is honorable in all and the bed is undefiled (Heb 13:4)."
Clergymen and "Clergywomen" MissionariesEdit
Bishops and preachers are allowed to get married, but they are allowed to only have one wife and they are allowed to indulge in all appropriate nuptial actions and sexual relations with their one and only wife and have children and raise a family. The same thing goes for the COGIC clergywomen missionaries. They are also allowed to remarry if their spouse dies from natural causes or by any other means of an accident, tragedy, or sickness that results in the death of their spouse, but are usually advised by the denomination to only remarry if they feel God is leading them to do so personally.
Marriage with non-Christians (those of other religions and faiths), unbelievers, atheists, skeptics, and opposers of the Christian FaithEdit
The COGIC usually encourages members who may be seeking marriage, courting or engaged to be married to an unbeliever who has not accepted Christ as Savior, rejects the Church and its teachings on sanctification, the Holy Ghost, and the tenets of the Church Of God In Christ to reconsider and seek to marry one who is
- a member of the Christian faith baptized and saved in the name of the Lord Jesus and a member of the Body of Christ, even if they are from a different Christian denomination
- or not antagonistic to Christian Pentecostal beliefs.
However, if the Pastor follows the leading of God and feels that the person seeking marriage with the unbeliever may be able to get them to get saved and be converted to the faith of Jesus Christ the Son of God and become a member of the Body of Christ, then the pastor may offer his blessings.
The Church of God in Christ has been and still is a very strong vocal and active opposer and conscientious objector to same-sex marriage and believes that God ordained marriage "between a man and a woman, not a man and a man, or a woman and a woman." The Church of God in Christ does not offer any blessings whatsoever to any two men or two women seeking to be joined together in holy matrimony. The Church of God in Christ teaches that gay marriage is wrong and sinful, and to be a part of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) community is an abomination and blatant disrespect to the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. The Church is a firm believer in the scripture Leviticus 18:22 "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination." The COGIC teaches that lesbianism is also a sin. Bishop J. D. Husband was expelled from the clergy for getting involved in many "gay" sex scandals with other unsaved men and many "lesbian" sex scandals with unsaved women. Countless men have been expelled from the Church of God in Christ clergy for even getting involved with the LGBT Community or even as much as supporting the LGBT Community and Same-sex marriage.
The COGIC stated in 2010 in a bylaw created by the General Assembly that if any "clergymember (whether they be a Bishop, Pastor, Elder, Deacon, Minister or any other ordained officer of the Church) gets involved with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LBGT) Community or even voices or takes action in showing support to the LGBT Community, they shall be dismissed and expelled from the COGIC Clergy and will not be allowed to carry on in their duties as ordained clergymen of the church."
Sexual Intercourse Outside of MarriageEdit
Premarital sex is completely prohibited and forbidden in the Church, especially as it pertains to the younger members (teens and young adults) of the church. The Church believes it is the responsiblity of the parents to teach their children to wait until they are married as adults to have sexual intercourse. The COGIC believes it is wrong to have sex outside of marriage or before marriage. These beliefs come from 1 Corinthians chapter 7 verses 1 through 16 (1 Corinthians 7:1-16).
Domestic abuse of a spouse is completely prohibited and forbidden in the Church of God in Christ and is counted as sin against God. If any man sexually or physically abuses his wife or if any woman sexually or physically abuses her husband, the COGIC teaches that they must repent of their sinfulness and if they continue, the Church will take the responsibility of offering and giving help and support to the abuse victim and bringing justice against the abuser and handing them over to the authorities. Sometimes the Church will take on these responsibilities the first time they receive report of a domestic abuse case. The COGIC has many domestic abuse outreach ministries that work with local authorities and state governments in the U.S. to give help and counseling to victims and bring justice against abusers and hand them over to authorities. Countless men have been expelled from the COGIC clergy and have been tried as criminals in local circuit & district courts. Most of these men who have been tried as criminals were sentenced to several years in prison for illegal domestic violence.