Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
ON THE MATTER OF MARRIAGE
I had the privilege of solemnizing the wedding of Berend & Choi Wan last May. It brings me great joy to see God’s children come together in holy matrimony before Him. As I write this article, the events of August 7th, 1999, weigh fondly in mind. Witnessed by family and friends, Mabel and I took our marriage vows before our loving heavenly Father and Lord, “to have and to hold from this day forward – for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, to honour and to cherish and to be faithful to you till death us do part.” Those words were uttered in faith and confidence in the grace and strength of our Almighty God.
There will be a couple more weddings this year, and many more to come over the next few years as we look at the growing number of young adults within our congregation. It is indeed an honour for us, the elders, to participate in these upcoming wedding celebrations as we believe that the covenant of marriage which was firstly established by God in creation, signifies the mystery of the union between Christ and His church. Therefore, the Holy Scripture commends the ordinance of marriage to be honoured among all people. Even our Lord Jesus blessed this custom when he performed his very first miracle at a wedding in Cana of Galilee.
The union of husband and wife in heart, body and mind is intended by God for their mutual joy, and for the help and comfort given one to another in moments of prosperity and adversity – and when in the will of God – for the procreation of children and their nurturing in the knowledge and love of the Lord.
We believe, therefore, that marriage is not to be entered into lightly but reverently and in accordance with the purpose for which it was instituted by God. Thus, we will not consent to a wedding for anyone who has yet to place his/her faith in Christ or for anyone who wishes to marry someone of the same sex. We are convinced that Scripture has made it very clear that such a union is not honouring to God.
In the event a couple commits fornication, they must come before our gracious Lord to confess, repent and renounce their sins in the presence of the elders. Through godly counsel and continuous accountability, we trust that their marriage, blessed by the elders and sanctified by the blood of our gracious Lord Jesus, who died on the cross on behalf of our sins, will be made new. To this, I echo our Lord’s words in John 8; “Has no one condemned you? Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”
As part of our commitment to the subject of marriage, we are raising and developing, by God’s grace, within the church, marriage counselors who can journey alongside couples intending to enter this blessed covenant. The church will also continue to commit to the teaching, training and counseling on this matter of marriage. While this may not yet be an exhaustive guide, on behalf of the elders, I felt very strongly that this would be a good first step in introducing Bangsar Gospel Centre’s stand in the subject of marriage. Other circumstances and situations with regard to this holy and reverent covenant will continue to be addressed in the near future.
by Francis Dunn on behalf of the Elders