Definition of Holy Matrimony (Marriage)
The Old Anglican Catholic Church, USA believes and teaches 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.
Holy Matrimony (or Marriage) is a Sacrament of God's Church. 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.) 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 in order to preserve the function and integrity of the Old Anglican Catholic Church, USA as the local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to the church members and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by the church in any capacity, or who serve as volunteers, agree to and abide by this Statement on Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality. (Matt 5:16; Phil 2:14-16; 1 Thess 5:22.)
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 and are not in accord with Scripture nor the doctrines of the Old Anglican Catholic Church, USA.
Response Regarding Recent Court Decisions
A Joint Statement of the Old Anglican Catholic Church, USA, Churches and Ministries in Communion regarding the United Supreme Court Decision on Gay Marriage (June 26, 2015):
As a Biblical fellowship united in Christ by His Word and Sacraments, we are also united in our common work to care for the people of this fallen world for whom Our Savior died. We serve under the commission and command of Christ for all He came to save, knowing that we also have our hope of salvation in none other than Jesus Christ.
Jesus has taught us that fellowship with Him is fellowship through His Word. Just as there is no other Name given under heaven whereby we must be saved, there is no saving fellowship with Jesus apart from faith in His Word. We cling to the clear and plain teaching of Jesus through His Word (the canonical books of the Christian Bible, breathed out by His Holy Spirit through His Prophets and Apostles) as we cling to Jesus for our own forgiveness, life, and salvation.
Apart from Jesus and His Word, we have nothing in ourselves to share with each other, nor anything to offer the suffering world. Ours is a ministry of mercy, compassion, and grace, founded upon Jesus and His Word which give to us and all people His divine mercy, compassion, and grace. He is our font of all blessing, and the font from which we strive to bless others.
Therefore, be it known to all that as a Christian fellowship united in Jesus and His Word, our pastors and chaplains will not embrace, condone, legitimize, or practice any social mandate or paradigm contrary to His Word which would compromise our fellowship in Christ. We will not participate in nor recognize any marriage contrary to the sacramental image of marriage God established in the Garden of Eden, taught by Jesus in the Gospels, expounded by St. Paul in his epistles, and confessed by the orthodox churches of Christ over her millennia of history. In various times and places, the churches of Christ have had to choose between fellowship with Christ by His Word, and friendship with the world which rejects Jesus and His Word. All Christians are called to chose life in Christ by abiding in His saving Word through an active and living faith.
In all things and in all matters, this fellowship will abide in Christ and His Word, for our own salvation and for the service and care of the world. No court of man's construction or decision of man's politics can trump the Word of God. Here we stand. May God help and preserve us, for Christ's sake. Amen.
Statement of the Anglican Church in North America
We, the Old Anglican Cathoic Church, USA join with and support the Statement of the Anglican Church in North America:
A Statement from the Anglican Church in North America
The Archbishop and Bishops of the Anglican Church in North America have received the recent ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States of America (June 26, 2015) and are deeply grieved by the stark departure from God’s revealed order. We are concerned for the inevitable results from this action to change the legal understanding of marriage and family life.
While this decision grieves us, God’s truth and the goodness of the order established in creation have not been changed. The kingdom of God cannot be shaken. We pray with confidence that God will reveal his glory, love, goodness, and hope to the world through his Church as we seek to follow him in faith and obedience.
Jesus Christ teaches that God is the author of marriage from the beginning of time (Matthew 19:4-6). God’s design for marriage has always involved a man and a woman: “a man shall leave his father and his mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). These truths have ordered civilization for thousands of years. Where God’s designs are followed in any society, including his designs for marriage and families, the result is the greatest possible blessing and abundance of life.
The Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is often summarized as, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Because of his love, we love and care for all those who experience same-sex attraction. The Anglican Church in North America continues to welcome everyone to experience the transforming love of Jesus Christ.
Marriage is established by God for the procreation and raising of children and for the good of society. For this reason, governments have an interest in marriage and have delegated authority from God to protect and regulate it. But no court, no legislature and no local magistrate has the authority to redefine marriage and to impose this definition on their citizens.
The United States of America, so its founders believed and taught, is a nation under God whose citizens’ fundamental rights are derived from the Creator. There is no right to a relationship which is contrary to the Creator’s express design. We cannot accept the Supreme Court’s decision purporting to find a fundamental right to same-sex “marriage” any more than we can accept its claim to have found a right to destroy human life in the womb. We will work with others to overturn this decision, and we pray that others will join with us in this effort.
Meeting this week in Vancouver, British Columbia, we are reminded that our Canadian members have been living under a similar legal standard for the last ten years. Their situation includes minimal legal protections for those who in good conscience cannot recognize this redefinition, and it is our prayer that stronger protections will be put into place and honored in the United States.
In the meantime, we shall continue to exercise our religious freedom to perform marriages for those who come for holy matrimony as defined by our Church. The Anglican Church in North America only authorizes and only performs marriages between one man and one woman. We respect the consciences of those clergy who may decline to perform marriages as agents of the state. We ask our churches to respect such decisions and help make arrangements to minister to those seeking to be married. We are also well aware that this ruling may create difficulties for our lay members and Christian institutions as they seek to be faithful in upholding God’s design for marriage, and we will make every effort to find ways to support and stand with them.
The Church bears witness to the truth of God’s Word and God’s design of marriage (see attached statement on “Bearing Witness”). When government oversteps its rightful authority, “we must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).
Today there is no place for either triumphalism or despair, so we prayerfully and sincerely urge a spirit of charity by all. We speak out of a concern for the consequences that our people and our neighbors will suffer from an unjust and unwise decision by five justices of the Supreme Court. We call those justices to repentance, even as we echo Jesus’ words, praying for God the Father to forgive them, for they know not what they have done.
We call our people to a season of prayer for marriage and offer the accompanying Litany and Prayer to guide us. (Please click the link below to view the liturgy).
Unanimously adopted by the College of Bishops of the Anglican Church in North America. June 26, 2015
Read more at www.anglicanchurch.net/
Statement by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops
We, the members of the OACC-USA support the following statement:
Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, reacted to a 5-4 ruling by the judges of the Supreme Court which in effect grants a constitutional right to a same-sex marriage (SSM). The ruling ( here ) effectively redefines marriage in 50 states. Some 36 states and the District of Columbia already allow SSM, 20 of them following the Supreme Court’s 2013 Windsor Decision striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
“Today [June 26, 2015] the Court is wrong again. It is profoundly immoral and unjust for the government to declare that two people of the same sex can constitute a marriage.
The unique meaning of marriage as the union of one man and one woman is inscribed in our bodies as male and female. The protection of this meaning is a critical dimension of the “integral ecology” that Pope Francis has called us to promote.
“Mandating marriage redefinition across the country is a tragic error that harms the common good and most vulnerable among us, especially children. The law has a duty to support every child’s basic right to be raised, where possible, by his or her married mother and father in a stable home.
“Jesus Christ, with great love, taught unambiguously that from the beginning marriage is the lifelong union of one man and one woman. As Catholic bishops, we follow our Lord and will continue to teach and to act according to this truth.”
"And He answered and said unto them, Have you not read, that He who made them at the beginning made them male and female, ... " (Matthew 19:4, NKJV)