Doctrine/Policy Regarding Marriage (WELS)

Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod


one man/one woman for life

In light of the recent changes in the laws of our country (USA) regarding marriage, the church body to which I belong felt that it was important and necessary to state our beliefs and the guidelines of marriage as established by the Lord God at the beginning of time. The WELS does not deviate from Scripture in any way therefore we take heed to the words of the apostle Peter in Acts 5:29…We must obey God rather than men.
As WELS Christians Scripture is the foundation of our faith and our lifestyle is a reflection of that saving faith in Jesus as our Savior. The WELS does not believe in same sex marriage or any type of gay lifestyle because it goes against God’s Word. Therefore our WELS Pastors will not officiate in any same sex marriage. Those who are gay are welcome to visit our churches and hear the Word, but will not be allowed to be members unless they realize the sin of their relationship and repent.

The WELS Doctrine and policy regarding marriage is as follows:

The Bible teaches that marriage was established and given by God at the time of creation. As He designed and instituted it, marriage is the life-long union of one man and one woman (Genesis 2:4). It is a relationship that is to be honored and kept pure (Hebrews 13:4; Ephesians 5:22-33). As a man and woman promise life-long faithfulness to each other as husband and wife, God himself joins them as one. Marriage is not simply a contract between two consenting individuals, nor is it merely a creation of human society, culture, or tradition. God himself instituted marriage at the time of creation, and God himself joins a man and woman in marriage today.
The biblical teaching on marriage emphasizes the blessings God intends to convey to those joined together in the marital relationship. Through marriage God provides partners well suited and complementary to one another. In marriage,God provides a partner who will provide encouragement and support. Marriage is also to be the God-ordained means to procreate and to establish a stable environment in which children can be nurtured both physically and spiritually. Marriage is the one context God intended for the use of the blessing of sexual intimacy, where the sexual union of one man and woman is an expression of love and oneness rather than a sinful satisfaction of lust. Finally, since we live in a fallen world, in marriage God provides a restraint for selfishness and sin as each partner strives to live the pure life that God intends for his people (1 Thessalonians 4:3-8).
This is the Bible’s teaching about the origin, definition, and nature of marriage. For that reason it is also the doctrine of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. Every congregation and called worker accepts the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the written Word of God and the only rule and norm of faith and practice. That marriage is the God-ordained union of one man and one woman is the clear teaching of the Bible, and therefore is the teaching and confession of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. (WELS)

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