COG Missionary Group Very Pro Sexual Freedom

Missionary Group Very Pro Sexual Freedom

This Christian Missionary group is a very

pro-nudist and pro-sex .

Also, Check out: http://inkaboutit4u.com/?p=Web_Pages_List

 

After much study of the Bible they conclude God is

very pro-nudist and pro-sexual enjoyment with

sexual freedoms to show love to others.

 

God make it and God said it was very good.


"The Family" is a strong Christian Missionary group today and in the past.

 

Dave Berg, a former Christian Missionary Alliance pastor became the   leader of "The Family" or Children of God, COG World wide Christian missionary group,  was challenage by the Hippies (in the 60's and 70's) he was leading to God,  what was wrong with their "free sexual  love" and how did it violate God's "law of love"?

 

The more David Berg researched it the more he found that it was not in violation. That God is pro-nudist and pro-sexual freedom to love others and also included meeting others sexual needs under God's "law of love".

 

To God sexual needs are as important as having food and clothing needs.

 

In Ex21 10, 11 If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife. 11 If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment.

 

Today local Chruch feels food and clothing are very important but that sexual needs are not important at all. 

 

This is showing that sexual enjoyment is as important as having food and clothing.

 

The only major Doctrine different is they have a more open view about sexuality freedoms then the local church does. Because of that , the local church is against them and calls them a cult.

 

Over many years of reseaching the Bible, I agree more and more with "The Family" today sexual Doctrine statement below  and see the local church is very wrong on there sexual treaching and "the Family" is a lot more correct to the Bible about sexuality.

 

I wish there were local churches called "the family" i would rather have the option to go to them.

 

Theological Perspective on Sexuality  from Statement of Faith

http://www.thefamily.org/dossier/statements/faith.htm

 

30. Theological Perspective on Sexuality

 

We believe that God created human sexuality, and we consider it a natural emotional and physical need. As evidenced by Genesis 1:28, sexual relationships between men and women were designed, ordained, and commanded by God. Long before Adam and Eve sinned, God told them, "Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth." Later in verse 31 of the same chapter it says that God "saw everything that He had made"—which clearly included the first man and woman as well as their bodies and sexuality—"and behold, it was very good."

 

Thus, it is our belief that heterosexual relations, when practiced as God ordained, designed, and intended—between consenting adults of legal age—is a pure and natural wonder of God's creation, and permissible according to Scripture. Members of the Family, if they choose, may privately and with discretion, according to Family Charter 6 guidelines, interact sexually with other adults within the Family, as long as all parties concerned are in agreement and no one is offended by it.

 

 

Beliefs and Conduct Regarding Relationships and Sexuality

 

From   http://www.thefamily.org/dossier/statements/relationships.htm

 

 

 A Theological Perspective

 

We believe that sex, when practiced as God ordained, designed, and intended, is a pure, needful, and beautiful wonder of God's creation. We also believe that God designed and created sexuality not only for human procreation, but for human enjoyment and pleasure.—It is a gift from God. Despite some people's misperception that sexuality is virtually synonymous with sin, it is our religious belief that when practiced as God intended, between consenting persons of legal age, there is nothing evil or wrong with sex, nudity, or the human body.1

 

As evidenced by Genesis 1:28, normal sexual relationships between men and women were designed, ordained, and commanded by God long before man sinned, when God told Adam and Eve to "be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth." A few verses later it says God "saw everything that He had made"—which included the first man and woman, as well as nudity and sex—"and behold, it was very good" (v.31). Nudity and pure and natural sexuality as God intended remain just as clean and wholesome as when God first created and ordained them.

 

The Bible explains that humankind fell from the sinless state it was originally created in when first the woman and then the man disobeyed God and willfully ate of the forbidden fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Prior to their fall into sin they were pure in spirit, and all things were seen by them as pure, just the way that God had made them. After their fall, however, much of what was pure and simple no longer appeared to be so. They became capable of looking at things in both good and evil ways. We believe that this sin-tainted perception, the ability to see or imagine evil even where there is no evil, has characterized humanity to this very day.

 

Shame about sexuality and nudity, therefore, is just one of the many side effects of the sinful fallen condition of humankind. To add to the problem, we believe there have been many unscriptural and erroneous teachings about sex disseminated by various "moral" authorities over the centuries that have left much of humanity confused, uncomfortable, and guilt-ridden about their own sexuality.

 

In spite of the inherently sinful nature of humankind, Jesus promises that through the regeneration of God's Holy Spirit, we can be "born again" and freed from the curse of sin and shame. The New Testament says, "To the pure, all things are pure" (Titus 1:15)2. Therefore, although we have inherent weaknesses and imperfect attitudes toward sexuality and nudity because of sin, through Christ and His atonement we can regain purity of heart and attitude—not only toward our bodies and their natural functions, but many other aspects of life as well—for "Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the [Old Testament] law" (Galatians 3:13).

 

The Bible says in the Epistle of Paul to the Romans, "Whatsoever is not of faith is sin" (Romans 14:23 KJV) So although the above is our interpretation and belief of the Scriptures, we do not expect that other Christians who interpret these Scriptures differently will put them into practice in the same manner that we do. While our beliefs on sexuality are less conservative than most other Christians, we observe clear rules of discretion and sexual propriety in our communities.3

 

Marriage

God created and ordained the marriage union of man and woman. This marriage relationship is even used to represent His relationship with the believers, where Jesus is the Husband and the believers are collectively and individually depicted as His bride. We believe that marriage is the optimum situation and the ideal relationship for the parenting of children and the forming of stable families. In our communities the children and their needs are always given top priority.

 

 In cases of an unplanned pregnancy involving unmarried persons, it is considered ideal for the new father and mother to marry. If they decide not to marry, the man is responsible to care for the mother during her pregnancy and for the child until he is at least one year of age (The Charter 281-304).

 

Legally contracted monogamous marriages are the ideal for permanent relationships among our membership, and marriage is expected to be a commitment. Members who are of legal age to marry are free to do so. As in society at large, separations and divorce do occur in our communities (340-347).

 

Divorce

Married couples are encouraged to resolve their differences, especially for the sake of their children. Reconciliation, counseling, temporary separation, and other efforts are employed to help couples resolve their differences, but in the end if both parties agree to separate, they are free to do so. They may seek, if they choose, a legal divorce and an amicable arrangement for the custody of the children (348-351,384).

 

Personal Sexual Activity or Inactivity

We feel human sexuality is a normal and natural part of the human makeup as created by God. Therefore we do not believe there is any particular purpose, spiritual merit, or wisdom in trying to totally deny or suppress one's own sexuality, providing that it is not perverted or contrary to the Scriptures. We find no particular scriptural precedent for condemning personal sexual activities such as self-pleasuring through masturbation, and therefore feel it is a permissible activity if performed in private. If any person wishes to refrain from sexual activity or chooses not to marry, that is a personal decision, right, and prerogative.

 

Sexual Relationships Between Consenting Adults

We feel that sexual relationships and activities among adults are for the most part individual matters. However, members living in Family communities must agree to observe the following guidelines and principles, as outlined in the Family International's [the Family] Love Charter:

 

All members shall strive to adhere to the principle that we refer to as the Law of Love.4 This principle applies to all interactions with each other, not just sexual relationships. Briefly stated, when applied to sexual matters the Law of Love declares that all parties involved must consent to any sexual activity or relationship before it may be pursued.5 The relationship should not be harmful in any way to those involved, nor offend or run contrary to the expressed or implied wishes or personal conscience and convictions of any individual involved. No form of sexual harassment or coercion is permitted either by word or deed (6, 280).

 

Members are at all times to be mindful and respectful of the feelings of others and the effect their actions may have on those with whom they live in community. Sexual affections or activities are to be avoided in public areas of the Home (275).

Members may only engage in sexual activities that are mutually agreed upon by both partners and permitted for their age group as listed in The Charter (275-280).

 

Our communities do not prohibit sexual relations between a married person and someone other than his or her spouse, as long as all parties involved are in agreement. However, care is to be taken that such relationships do not affect the stability of their marriage or are in any way detrimental to the care and well-being of their, or other, children in the community. Again, we apply the principle of the Law of Love, that if such liberties are exercised, no participants or third parties should in any way be harmed or offended as a result (273).

 

Although polygamy has some basis in Scripture, and is legally permitted in some cultures, the Family has no official policy on polygamy, neither encouraging nor forbidding it as long as local legal requirements are adhered to.

 

Members may not engage in sexual perversions or any other sexual activity that is in any way harmful or dangerous (233, 304-307).

In the interest of health and safety, policies have been in place since 1987 disallowing full-time Family disciples permission to have sexual relationships with those who are not Family disciples or Family disciples who have joined or rejoined the Family for less than six months (233-234, 279-280).

 

Age Restrictions for Sexual Relationships

The Charter codifies limitations on age ranges of sexual interaction permitted to full-time Family disciples. As a fellowship active in over 100 countries, these limitations have been crafted bearing in mind the laws regulating sexual interaction in the majority of the countries around the world. These limitations are strictly enforced in the interest of the protection of Family minors. In countries where the legal age of consent is higher than the Family's Charter guidelines, the laws of the land must be adhered to (xx, 94).

 

Family young people assume full adulthood at 18, at which time they may engage in consensual sexual relations with members 18 and over. The Family's Charter permits 16- and 17-year-old members to engage in sexual interaction, if they so desire, but only with consenting partners ages 16 through 20.

 

Teenagers are educated as to the responsibility of engaging in sexual interaction, and those 16 and 17 years of age must have the permission of their parents or resident guardians to engage in any sexual relations. Teenagers aged 14 and 15 may date others aged 14 through 17, but only with parental permission; any sexual interaction is strictly limited to kissing and petting. No sexual interaction is permitted for those under the age of 14.

 

Members 18 years and older who have any sexual interaction with minors under 14 will be excommunicated from Family membership. It is an excommunicable offense for members 21 and over to engage in sexual contact or sexual relations with those under 18.

 

Protection of Minors

We are diametrically opposed to any form of abuse or exploitation of children whatsoever, and our membership is resolute in its agreement to abide by this position under penalty of excommunication from our fellowship.

 

In the United States, child abuse has been rated a national epidemic, with estimates ranging as high as one in six children having suffered sexual abuse.6 In April 1997, a survey in the Ukraine revealed that every fifth or sixth child of both sexes under 18 suffers from sexual harassment. In Japan, out of 350 women students surveyed, 68 percent had been sexually abused during childhood. In India, sex crimes have increased by 37 percent in the past five years.

 

These distressing statistics are no doubt repeated in many other countries. Children and adolescents are vulnerable and need special protection, a need that has been recognized by the Family. We have taken stringent measures to ensure that the minors in our communities are protected from any sort of abuse, whether physical, sexual, emotional, psychological, or otherwise. We are confident that the guidelines set down in The Charter for our communities in this regard afford our children a safe and protected environment.

 

Our strict policy disallowing sexual interaction between adults and underage minors was not always clearly stated in our literature. It was with great dismay that we came to realize that during a transitional stage of our movement, from 1978 until approximately 1985, there were cases when minors were subject to sexually inappropriate advances. In hindsight, we realize we should have anticipated potential problems arising from our liberal stance toward sexuality and established more stringent rules. This was corrected officially in 1986, when any contact between an adult and minor (any person under 21 years of age) was rendered an excommunicable offense. This was revised in March 2003 to 18 years of age.

 

The Family's success in protecting our children and ensuring their well-being has been documented by independent and court-appointed investigations in five different countries in the early 1990s of almost 700 children living in Family communities (approximately 17% of our children). After extensive physical, psychological, and educational testing, all of the children were found to be healthy with no sign of abuse. This speaks clearly to the enforcement of policies in place to safeguard children in Family communities.7

 

Sex Education

We believe in presenting the children in our fellowships with honest and factual age-appropriate information about sex. We do not encourage children to engage in sexual activities among themselves. We have found it best to take a communicative, but generally conservative, stance on educating our children regarding sexuality. Family children and teenagers are taught to recognize and report any inappropriate or abusive incidents to their parents and overseers.

 

Birth Control

We believe that every life that comes into this world is a deliberate creation of God. However, the decision to use or not to use birth control is regarded as an entirely personal matter between the individuals concerned and God. Individual members and couples decide for themselves, after prayerful consideration of our teachings, what they believe to be God's will in their lives (280).

 

Abortion

Our Bible-based beliefs diametrically oppose abortion. It is our belief that life begins at conception, and therefore abortion is strongly discouraged. (See Deuteronomy 27:25; Psalm 106:38; 139:13-16 for the scriptural basis of these beliefs.) Medical decisions in cases where the life of the mother is in danger because of the pregnancy are to be made by those directly involved.

 

Response to HIV

To protect the health of our members and children in particular, considering the close quarters of communal living, any prospective members seeking to join a Family discipleship community must be free of HIV/AIDS (182). Applicants testing positive for HIV cannot be accepted as residents of our communities. They may retain membership if they live in their own homes and can work with other Family members, but must live apart from Family Homes. Family members are active on several continents promoting AIDS Awareness programs and assisting AIDS victims.

 

Homosexuality

Male-with-male sexual relationships are specifically forbidden and condemned by Scripture (Romans 1:27; Leviticus 18:22; Genesis 18:20-22; 19:1-29). We have therefore ruled that any male members found engaging in any such sexual activity will be excommunicated from our fellowship (233). Scripture does not forbid female-with-female sexual affection, nor do we. However, strictly lesbian relationships are not permitted in our communities (306).

 

Pornography

Our publishing policy is to only print what is a natural, normal, tasteful portrayal of human sexuality that is of artistic or educational value, and that gives credit to God's beautiful design and creation. While we take no offense at classical and artistic depictions of the human body, we do not produce, promote, or in any way condone pornographic literature, photos, or videos, nor do we accept, print, or publish any photographic or graphic illustrations of sexually illegal practices or perversions (305).

 

* * *

 

Footnotes:

1 The policies articulated in this statement (originally published in 1993) apply to Family communities known as "Charter Homes" governed by The Family's Love Charter (referred to as The Charter) and are drawn from that document. Any previous writings, philosophic or theological speculations, or individual opinions of members or leaders contrary to this statement that could be construed as lending credence or justification to any conduct disallowed herein have been officially renounced and are not to be taken as official policy of our organization. Should any of the policies described herein not be considered legal in some countries, the Family's Charter mandates that all Family members conduct themselves according to the local laws regarding their activities.

 

2 All Bible verses are taken from the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

 

3 These rules are codified in n The Charter, which is comprised of two main components—the "Charter of Responsibilities and Rights" and the "Fundamental Family Rules"—outlining the most important and basic principles, goals, and beliefs of our movement, and defining our method of government.

 

4 The scriptural basis of the Law of Love is Jesus' words: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets" (Matthew 22:37-40 KJV). The apostle Paul writes, "For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself" (Galatians 5:14 KJV). He also states, "For the commandments, 'You shall not commit adultery,' 'You shall not murder,' 'You shall not steal,' 'You shall not bear false witness,' 'You shall not covet,' and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law" (Romans 13:9-10).

 

5 See also the Family Statement entitled "God's Law of Love: The Family's Foundation Principle."."

 

6 In the United States during 1990, there were 1,044,480 child victims of substantiated maltreatment, of whom 130,248 had suffered sexual abuse. Over half of these victims were under 10 years of age. Statistics from: "The United Nations Report of the Secretary-General on Domestic Violence," 20 July 1990; James Patterson & Peter Kim, The Day America Told the Truth; "Child Abuse: Statistics, Research, and Resources," Internet posting by Jim Hopper, Ph.D.; Alan Guttmacher Institute; U.S. Department of State: "Ukraine Country Report on Human Rights Practices for 1997."

 

7 Documentation available upon request.

 

* * *

 

Work Cited

 

Family, The. Love Charter, The. Bangkok: World Services, 1998.

 

* * *

 

What Is the Family International?

The Family International (formerly known as the Children of God) is a fellowship of Christian communities with members in over 100 countries. Our current membership numbers about 8,500 full-time members and 7,000 associates.

 

The Family has four main objectives:

 

To share with others the life-giving message of love, hope, and salvation found in God's Word, conveying the joys of knowing Jesus as a personal Savior.

To ensure that each of our children receives a godly upbringing in the best possible environment we can provide.

To produce and distribute a wide selection of devotional, inspirational, and educational materials.

To actively assist the needy through producing and performing inspirational, dramatic, and musical benefits; serving as volunteers in disaster relief; and seeking ways to provide comfort and material assistance for the disadvantaged.

If you have any questions or comments, we invite you to contact us at one of the following addresses:

 

 

 

http://www.thefamily.org/dossier/statements/lol.htm

 

 

 

God's Law of Love

 

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

The Guiding Principle of the Family International

 

An expert in the law tested Jesus with this question, "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?" Jesus replied, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like unto it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the law and the prophets hang on these two commandments." (Matthew 22:35-40)1

 

Jesus defined the "Law of Love" in general terms in this important passage in the New Testament. He expressed it another time in His famous "golden rule": "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the law and the prophets" (Matthew 7:12). The apostle Paul echoed this principle when he wrote: "The entire law is summed up in a single command: Love your neighbor as yourself" (Galatians 5:14). These biblical passages express the heart and soul of all of God's laws and should guide all our actions and interaction with others. We refer to them as "God's Law of Love."

 

It is our understanding from these and other Scriptures that loving God first and foremost and loving others result in the ultimate fulfillment and completion of biblical law, including the Ten Commandments. If we as Christians love the Lord with all our heart, soul, and mind, and our neighbor as ourselves, we will naturally fulfill the spirit of all the other laws. For example, we won't put other gods before Him or take His name in vain. To love our neighbors as ourselves precludes murdering them, stealing from them, lying to them, or coveting what they have.

 

The motivation for us—as Christians—to obey these commandments should not be out of a fear of divine judgment, but rather because we are compelled by our love for God and others to exhibit consideration and kindness to our neighbors. We refrain from activities forbidden by the Ten Commandments because they would not be in accordance with our love for God and others.

 

We believe that through the Lord's salvation, and because of His Law of Love as expressed in the verses listed above, Christians are released from the hundreds of rules under the Mosaic laws in the Old Testament and are no longer required to observe them. The Family International's [the Family] members do practice some aspects of the Mosaic law out of common sense and as a part of love. For example, we refrain from eating foods classified in the Bible as "unclean," or engaging in unhealthy habits such as smoking or over consumption of alcohol or food, because to do so would hinder our health—and thus our ability to minister to others. However, we do not feel bound to refrain from those practices as religious ordinances.

 

We therefore hold as a basic tenet that if a person's actions are motivated by unselfish, sacrificial love—the love of God for others—and are not intentionally hurtful to others, these actions are in accordance with Scripture and are lawful in the eyes of God. "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace. Against such there is no law" (Galatians 5:22-23).

 

Religious Law vs. God's Grace

John wrote in his Gospel: "The law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ" (John 1:17 NKJ). Jesus further emphasized the newness of His approach when He said, "A new command I give you: Love one another" (John 13:34). Not surprisingly, this radical doctrine—of no longer being bound by the law, but bound only to love God and your neighbor as yourself—caused a raging controversy between Jesus and His followers on the one hand and the religious leaders of the day on the other. The scribes and Pharisees of Jesus' day lived under the Old Testament's Mosaic law, and said of Jesus' doctrine, "This is against Moses and against the law" (Luke 10:27; Acts 6:11-14; 21:28).

 

The controversy over whether or not keeping the Mosaic law should be required of new believers spilled over into the early Christian movement. From its very inception, a struggle has ensued between those who believed that Christ's sacrifice on the cross was the fulfillment of biblical law, releasing believers from the Old Testament Mosaic laws, and the legalists (referred to as "the concision"), who believed that all the Old Testament laws, customs, and traditions must be observed, in addition to one believing in Christ's atonement for sins.

 

As recorded in the book of Acts in the Bible, Paul reached out to the Gentiles with the gospel of salvation, but he and his converts were at times constrained by the elders of the Early Church in Jerusalem to compromise and observe some of the Mosaic laws. Yet Paul maintained the conviction that the old Mosaic law was ended, fulfilled, and superseded by Christ's sacrifice on Calvary. He wrote, "Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes" (Romans 10:4). "We have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code" (Romans 7:6). "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law" (Galatians 3:13).

 

Some Christians feel that they should still follow the Mosaic law, but unfortunately this can often result in legalism and an unkind or unloving standard that emphasizes rules rather than Jesus' love. However, a thorough study of the Scriptures illuminates Jesus' true intent. Paul explains: "[You] are not under the law, but under grace" (Romans 6:14 KJV). "Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law" (Galatians 3:25). "[You] are become dead to the law by the body of Christ" (Romans 7:4 KJV). We are to live by His new standard, the Law of Love.

 

The Law of Love Is a Stricter Code

In many ways, God's Law of Love requires a stricter code of conduct than the Mosaic law. The Ten Commandments, the central tenets of the Mosaic law, stated that people were expected to act justly and righteously, but under Jesus' Law of Love, much more is required of humankind—sacrificial love and mercy.

 

This godly love is a much higher ideal to aspire to than mere religious righteousness. Under the Mosaic law, there was little forgiveness or mercy. It was "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth" (Exodus 21:24; Leviticus 24:20). Jesus, to the contrary, said, "Do to others what you would have them do to you" (Matthew 7:12). Jesus even went as far as to say that we should love our enemies and forgive them! (Matthew 5:38-44). This ultimate application of Jesus' Law of Love renders it much greater, more extensive, and more profound than the old Mosaic law.

 

In fact, Jesus' law is so much more difficult to keep as to render it humanly impossible without divine help. Jesus told His disciples, "Without Me, you can do nothing" (John 15:5 KJV), while on the other hand Paul also tells us we "can do all things through Christ who strengthens us" (Philippians 4:13 NKJV).

 

Our founder, David Brandt Berg (1919-1994), in referring to this principle wrote, "Jesus' law is much stricter [than the Mosaic law], much more difficult to keep—in fact, impossible. If the old law was impossible, Jesus' law is even more impossible! You can't possibly keep His Law of Love unless you're saved and you have Jesus in your heart—the Spirit of God's love within you, to give you the power and the strength to love others more than you love yourself" ("Grace," pars. 35-36).

 

The Love Charter [for Family disciples]2 summarizes this principle in its reference to Jesus' Law of Love, by stating that full-time Family members are responsible to "endeavor to live by the principles of Jesus' Law of Love: to love, care for, and interact lovingly and harmoniously with all members of their Home and the community in which they live." This key principle sets the tone for The Charter: "Unselfish love—the love that puts the needs of others before our own, the great love that lays down its life for others, the love of God in our hearts—that is the heart and soul of this Charter" (6).

 

Sexuality and the Law of Love

 

It is our belief that Jesus' Law of Love can also be applied to our sexual interaction with others. Although Christian scholars throughout history have explored this subject, applying Jesus' Law of Love to sexuality sets the Family apart from mainstream Christian theology.3 David Berg taught from the Scriptures that sexuality is not inherently evil in the eyes of God, and furthermore, that because of these Scriptures, loving heterosexual relations between consenting adults, regardless of marital status, are permissible as long as others immediately affected by these actions are not hurt or offended.

 

God created human sexuality, and the Family believes our members' love for one another is an expression or illustration of God's love for us. We consider actions carried out in love for one another lawful in God's eyes.

 

It is our understanding of Scripture that Mosaic prohibitions and traditions in this regard no longer apply to those saved in Christ, who operate under Jesus' Law of Love. "Love does no harm to a neighbor, therefore love is the fulfillment of the law" (Romans 13:10). Consequently, Family adults, be they single or married, are free to engage in loving sexual relationships with other consenting adult Family members, provided their actions are loving and with the agreement of others concerned.

 

We regard sex as an emotional and physical human need. Married Family members, if they choose, may interact sexually with adult singles within the Family because "the love of Christ constrains them" to help their brothers or sisters in need—those who do not have a companion. Single adults may also sexually interact with other consenting single adults, in order to fill this emotional and physical human need. Such giving is regarded as a sacrifice and is respected in the Family as being evidence of unselfish love.

 

Boundaries of the Law of Love

Although Family theology is liberal regarding sexuality, we also are cognizant of the need for strict boundaries to prevent any hurtful or abusive activities. As Paul wrote, "Everything is permissible—but not everything benefits. Everything is permissible—but not everything is constructive" (1 Corinthians 10:23). "For brethren, you have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh" (Galatians 5:13 KJV).

 

When the Law of Love as a principle was originally introduced in the Family in 1974, though much was understood in theory about its biblical basis and potential for good, little was understood about the possible ramifications of its practice in regards to sexuality. Regrettably, there were cases where the Law of Love was not applied lovingly and unselfishly; this was not in line with David Berg's intent. Over the years, the Family has seen the need to adopt a series of rules and restrictions, which serve as safeguards to ensure that any sexual interaction between members is indeed ruled by the Law of Love. These rules, along with those pertaining to other spheres of life, were ultimately codified in the Family's Charter (78, 273-307).4

 

Family members recognize the need for such boundaries to balance the freedom of the Law of Love with the responsibility of rightly applying it, and they acknowledge that to step over these boundaries would be a sin. Any sexual relations must be entirely consensual and age-appropriate, with no party feeling pressured in any way to engage in activities against his or her personal wishes. The Love Charter ensures that any abusive actions will be dealt with immediately and can result in a member being expelled from our fellowship (234-35).

 

What About Adultery?

In presenting our views on the acceptability of sexual relations under the Law of Love between consenting adults, regardless of their marital status, the question inevitably arises, "What about adultery?"

 

In support of the view that such relations would be adulterous, some cite the biblical story of the woman who was caught in the act of committing adultery and brought by the religious leaders to Jesus with the intention that she be stoned to death. They said to Jesus: "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do You say?"

 

Jesus responded, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." Convicted by their own consciences, one by one her accusers left. Jesus ultimately told the woman, "Go and sin no more" (John 8:4-11).

 

In commanding her to sin no more, the interpretation of some is that Jesus was in effect saying that adultery was a sin. We agree that it was a sin for her because she was under the Mosaic law and Jesus' fulfillment of the law by His death on the cross had not yet been accomplished. Nevertheless, Jesus superseded the Mosaic law, which condemned the woman to death by stoning, by saying she did not have to suffer that punishment: "Neither do I condemn you" (John 8:11).

 

Our position as believers is different from this woman's, however, because the New Testament makes it clear that as Christians saved by grace, we are no longer bound to the Mosaic law. Paul explained, "If you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law" (Galatians 5:18). If we are acting in accordance with the guidelines and restrictions of the Law of Love in that "love does no harm to its neighbor" (Romans 13:10), then there is no sin.

 

In stating our beliefs above, it is not our intent to assert that adultery no longer exists in the world today, or that all Christians must preach and practice the sexual aspects of the Law of Love. We acknowledge that the world is rife with adultery. To not be classified as adultery, the act must fall within the guidelines of God's Law of Love, as previously stated, and one must have received Jesus' freedom from the Mosaic law by accepting His gift of salvation through grace.

 

Many spouses in secular society engage in furtive extramarital affairs, contrary to the desires or knowledge of their spouses. These relationships result in broken trust and hurt feelings, often destabilizing marriages and resulting in broken families. Such behavior is unacceptable in our fellowship, as it violates the basic principles of the Law of Love. Stepping outside of the stipulated boundaries of the Law of Love contravenes the Family's Charter (273-307). Although we are not bound to the Mosaic law, our sexual interaction with others must be carried out in accordance with Jesus' Law of Love and must not hurt or offend others. If the guidelines for married members having the willing consent of their spouses, hurting no one, and doing all things in love are not followed, then such behavior would be considered sin.

 

Responsible Relationships

It is to be expected that an intimate relationship may have physical and emotional consequences. The Love Charter establishes guidelines regarding the responsibilities of those involved in intimate relationships.

 

In 1998, Maria, David Berg's wife and successor, articulated specific guidelines regarding the responsibility of those involved should a pregnancy result. The purpose of these rules is to ensure that the single mother and child are properly cared for. In any situation that arises involving a child or children, no matter what the circumstances, the needs of the child are to be considered. If marriage is not possible or not desired, the Family's Charter establishes guidelines for the care of the pregnant mother and the newborn child. In most cases of an unplanned pregnancy, the marriage of the father and mother is considered the ideal.

 

God created and ordained the marriage union of man and woman. Marriage is even used to depict His relationship with the believers, where He is the husband and the believers are individually and collectively depicted as His bride. We believe that marriage is the optimum situation and the ideal relationship for the parenting of children and the forming of stable families (281-304).

 

The Law of Love—In Action

The Law of Love is the cornerstone of the Family's entire way of life. The essence of the Law of Love is having enough love to do to others what you would want them to do to you, and helping those in need, just as you would want them to help you in your need. Putting the Law of Love into action may entail helping others materially; showing encouragement, comfort or sympathy; going out of your way to assist another; or supporting each other morally, physically, or financially.

 

Our members are engaged in an ongoing effort to apply the Law of Love to their everyday lives. This is manifested in Family members actively pursuing their missionary work of spreading the life-giving message of hope and salvation found in God's Word. Family members also work to meet people's physical needs by devoting their time and talents to serving as volunteers in disaster relief, providing physical and spiritual comfort and assistance to the disadvantaged, performing at musical benefits, and engaging in other community projects. "For Christ's love compels us" (2 Corinthians 5:14) to do everything within our power to help those in need and bring God's words of comfort and hope to those in despair.

 

Conclusion

Jesus' commandment to love God and others should govern every aspect of a Christian's life. As is clear in the following passages from David Berg's writings, it is expected that love should be the main motivation for every action of Family members. At the heart of practicing the Law of Love is the consistent, sacrificial consideration of others.

 

Berg writes:

 

Let me emphasize here that the preeminent requisite for [Family members] must be the same driving passion which motivated the apostle Paul and all the apostles and all the martyrs and every great man or woman of God—in fact, that irresistible compassion which should motivate every child of God in everything you do, everything you say, everywhere you go, with everybody, and which that great apostle summed up in these few famous and ringing words which have cried out from the heart of every true Christian in every true good deed he has ever done, and for which indeed he is willing to die—"The love of Christ compels us" (2 Corinthians 5:14).

 

If we have real love, we can't face a needy situation without doing something about it. We must take action like the Good Samaritan did! (Luke 10:25-37). Compassion must be put into action. That's the difference between pity and compassion: Pity just feels sorry; compassion does something about it.

 

We must demonstrate our faith by our works, and love can seldom be proved without tangible manifestation in action. To say you love [people] and yet not try to help them physically in whatever way they may need—food, clothing, shelter, and so on—this is not love! True, the need for real love is a spiritual need, but it must be manifested physically in works—"faith which works by love!" (Galatians 5:6).

 

For "whoever has this world's goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth" (1 John 3:17-18). ("Declaration," pars. 9-13)

 

* * *

 

Footnotes

1 All Scripture quoted is from the New International Version of the Bible unless otherwise specified.

 

2 The Love Charter consists of two main components, "The Charter of Responsibilities and Rights" and "The Fundamental Family Rules." These outline the most important and basic principles, goals, and beliefs of our movement and codify its method of government.

 

3 See also "Christianity and Sex, Parts 1 and 2," in the Family's Christian Digest series.

 

4 Because our Fellowship is multinational and multicultural, Family guidelines for permitted age-appropriate sexual activity have been standardized according to the laws in the majority of countries where our members reside. Infraction of Family policies that protect minors from any form of abuse is categorically forbidden and grounds for excommunication. Members are expected to take into account the sensitivities of the cultures, in addition to the laws, of the particular nations in which they live (Charter xx, 94).

 

* * *

 

Works Cited

Berg, David. "Amazing Grace." Good News Sep. 1984.

 

---. "Our Declaration of Love!" Good News Oct. 1977.

 

Family, The. "Christianity and Sex, Parts I,II." Christian Digest Vol.1, Issues 21-22; Bangkok: World Services, 1995.

 

---. Love Charter, The. Bangkok: World Services, 1998.

 

* * *

 

What Is the Family International?

The Family International (formerly known as the Children of God) is a fellowship of Christian communities with members in over 100 countries. Our current membership numbers about 8,500 full-time members and 7,000 associates.

 

The Family has four main objectives:

 

To share with others the life-giving message of love, hope, and salvation found in God's Word, conveying the joys of knowing Jesus as a personal Savior.

To ensure that each of our children receives a godly upbringing in the best possible environment we can provide.

To produce and distribute a wide selection of devotional, inspirational, and educational materials.

To actively assist the needy through producing and performing inspirational, dramatic, and musical benefits; serving as volunteers in disaster relief; and seeking ways to provide comfort and material assistance for the disadvantaged.

If you have any questions or comments, we invite you to contact us at one of the following addresses:

 

Web site: www.thefamily.org

 

The Family International

PMB 102

2020 Pennsylvania Ave NW

Washington, D.C. 20006–1846

USA

 

Call in the USA at:

1 (800) 4–A–FAMILY [1 (800) 423–3264], or

1 (202) 298–0838

E-mail: publicaffairs@thefamily.org

 

The Family International

Maxet House

Liverpool Road

Luton, LU1 1RS

England

E-mail: info@thefamilyeurope.org

 


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