Because we believe that the Scripture is inspired by God, authoritative, and the only infallible rule of faith and practice for Christians, we commit to following the Scripture in all areas regarding doctrine and morality. All disputes regarding doctrine or ethics at Riverview Church will be decided by the Elder Board through their interpretation of the Scripture. This constitution cannot clarify and establish all areas of doctrine and ethics. Basic Christian doctrines are included above, and certain ethical teachings are included below in order to clarify the church’s stance on issues that are particularly relevant for our culture.
- Personal Commitment – It is the call of every Christian to personally exercise his or her faith, to participate in corporate and personal worship, and to use his or her spiritual gifts and resources to serve the church and community. Each individual should practice personal and family Bible reading and prayer and should be accountable to one another in order to grow in love of God and neighbor.
- Temperance – Temperance is a Christian virtue that means a person should practice self-control in his or her emotions, passions, and appetites. A person should submit to the church for accountability and to the Holy Spirit for aid in overcoming any addictions and excesses. (Exodus 20:6-7, 34:5-7; I Corinthians 6:13-14; Galatians 5:22-23; Philippians 4:8; Colossians 3:17; I Thessalonians 5:21-22; II Timothy 2:15; Titus 1:8-9, 2:2)
- Marriage – We believe that marriage is the God ordained union of one man and one woman that is sacred and morally binding for the entire life of both the husband and the wife. We believe that so called “homosexual marriage” is not a legitimate form of marriage. We do not recognize “homosexual marriage” and will not conduct weddings between members of the same sex. We also stand against the rampant and destructive divorce culture that pervades our world. We commit to working to help strengthen and restore marriages that are struggling. We also commit to working redemptively to restore those individuals who have become victims of divorce. Covenant partners who seek divorce against the counsel of church leadership will face church discipline and may be asked to relinquish their covenant partnership and any positions of leadership within the church. (Mark 10:4-12; Rom. 1; Rom. 7:1-3; I Cor. 7:10-16)
- Human Sexuality – God has uniquely created the sexual union as part of the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman. Sexual practices outside of this sacred covenant are sinful and destructive. We believe that fornication (sex outside of marriage), adultery, homosexual acts, and use of pornography are incongruent with God’s created order and are condemned by the Scripture. Christians should refrain from such practices and should seek purity in their lives. It is the church’s responsibility to work redemptively and compassionately with those who struggle with sexual temptation. We also believe that God has created each person with a distinct biological gender. While some people may struggle to fully identify with their biological gender, the church should work redemptively to help such individuals better identify with their created gender rather than to artificially attempt to change their gender. (Lev. 18:22, 20:13; Rom. 1:26-27; I Cor. 6:9-10)
- Human Life – We believe that God has created all humans in His own image, and that all people are precious and valuable. We believe that human life begins at conception and that unborn children are fully human and share the same value and dignity that all humans are given by God. Therefore we stand against our culture’s devaluing and destruction of human life due to social convenience through the practices of abortion and euthanasia. (Exodus 20:13, Psa. 139:13-16)
- Citizenship – We believe that God uses civil governments to maintain social order and justice. It is the duty of the Christian to be a good citizen and to show love to his or her neighbors. Christians should live at peace with others and should honor and obey civil laws, unless a law is unjust and violates God’s law. (Matt. 22:17-21; Acts 4:19-20; 5:28-29, 23:5; Romans 13:1-7; Titus 3:1-2)