Statement Of Purpose: Cutting Edge International Church Marriage Policy
In keeping with the Vision Statement of the Cutting Edge International Church and our commitment of “Loving People, Sharing Jesus”, and recognizing God’s intent for marriages to reflect the relationship between Christ and His Church, Ephesians 5:21-23, we will provide instruction and guidance concerning sexual purity, beginning with our youth and encompassing the entire church body;
• marriage preparation based on God’s Word to all engaged couples;
• encouragement and opportunities for existing marriages to be strengthened;
• help for marriages that may be experiencing difficulty;
• encouragement and opportunities for blended families to succeed in having strong marriages.
Definition of Marriage: We resolve that as a matter of belief, doctrine and religious practice, our congregation reserves the term “marriage” for the covenant relationship between one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.
Staff Participation in the Solemnization and Celebration of Marriage: We resolve that members of our leadership, staff or clergy will be allowed to arrange for, officiate at or take part in the solemnization or celebration of a marriage only when it conforms to our congregational statements on faith.
Use of Facilities: This congregation reserves the right to refuse rental or allow use of its premises by individuals or groups not compatible with our goals, values and statements and for purposes which are not compatible with our goals, values and statements.
CUTTING EDGE INTERNATIONAL CHURCH
It is our desire that your marriage be the happiest relationship possible, and that it be all God intended it to be.
God created man and woman and from the beginning intended that they be joined in marriage so that each might give what the other lacked alone. Since God designed the marriage relationship, it makes sense that He knows best how to build a happy marriage.
As we read His Word, we are able to discern basic principles which must be understood and applied if we hope to experience joy and fulfillment in marriage. Ignoring these principles could result in failure and frustration in the marriage relationship.
Because we are committed to building strong marriages, we want to share the following guidelines. Our purpose is not to condemn or reject anyone, but to comply with God’s principles for marriage.
1. Marriage Preparation
In order for our church to better prepare couples for a life-long marriage, all couples who desire to be married at Cutting Edge International Church will agree to a minimum of four months of marital preparation, which will include:
• premarital counseling with the pastor/minister
• taking a premarital inventory,
• participating in the inventory follow-up with the minister and/or mentor couple.
“By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures. Proverbs 24:3-4”
2. Faith Commitment
Couples who wish to be married at Cutting Edge International Church must have a personal relationship with Christ and be committed to establishing a Christian home.
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?
2 Corinthians 6:14
To help insure the time needed for healing and possible reconciliation, no remarriages after divorce of a spouse will be performed until at least one year has passed from the time the divorce is finalized.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:28-29
Teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalms 90:12
Cutting Edge International Church realizes that re-marriages are just as valid and sacred to God as first marriages. Acknowledging that even the most optimistic statistics indicate that second marriages have at least a 60% divorce rate and that these marriages usually dissolve within six years, we desire to help your marriage with every opportunity to succeed. Therefore, divorced persons may be considered for marriage at Cutting Edge International Church should they meet one of these Biblical criteria:
• divorce occurred prior to conversion: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” 2 Corinthians 5:17
• divorce occurred because of sexual unfaithfulness by spouse: “I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.” Matthew 18:9
• desertion by an unbelieving spouse: “But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace.” 1 Corinthians 7:15
• former divorced spouse is deceased: “So then, if she marries another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress, even though she marries another man.” Romans 7:3
If a divorced person answers negatively in all cases, acknowledging that other extenuating circumstances often relate to divorce, the Senior Pastor will determine if the wedding should take place. Cutting Edge International Church, realizing God’s position on divorce, (“I hate divorce” says the Lord God of Israel. Malachi 2:16), and that God is forgiving (As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. Psalms 103:12), requests that the Senior Pastor include in the determination process the following criteria:
• Reconciliation with the former spouse is not a possibility: “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Romans 12:18
• The divorced person has repented and displays a changed heart and attitude: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” Psalms 51:10
• The divorced person has sought forgiveness from God and his or her former spouse: “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13
“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.” Matthew 5:23-24
5. Premarital Pregnancy
In case of premarital pregnancy, the marriage may or may not be performed depending on the maturity of the persons involved and other considerations. The final decision to perform the ceremony will be determined by the Senior Pastor.
“Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy and not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.” Hebrews 13:17
6. Remaining Celibate
Once a couple has entered into premarital preparation with Cutting Edge International Church, they will agree to remain celibate and not live together at any time prior to the wedding ceremony. The pastor/minister will not perform the ceremony if the couple is living at the same address or not remaining celibate.
It is God’s will that you should be sanctified; that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; for God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit. 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5; 7-8
7. No pastor/minister on the Cutting Edge International Church staff will marry a couple if another pastor/minister on the Cutting Edge International Church staff has refused to perform the ceremony based on spiritual reasons. “I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.1 Corinthians 1:10 “What God