The Gathering Church Statement of Faith, Bylaws, and Policies
The following is a statement of our position of basic Christian doctrines. As once stated by a great missionary, "There are certain basic Christian truths about which there must be agreement. On all other doctrines there should be liberty. In all things there must be charity." It is our resolution to take an uncompromising stand on the essential doctrines of the faith, and extend "the right hand of fellowship" to all who hold to them. It is also our resolution to protect the liberty of Christians to hold different perspectives on the "non-essential" doctrines.
There are doctrines we may consider non-essential, but which are important. We therefore make known our belief on these, while presenting them with tolerance toward those who may hold a different position. We are committed to truth and accuracy in doctrine, but also understand that one can hold right doctrines and still do damage to the body of Christ by causing divisions over the non-essentials. We are therefore just as committed to the essential Christian character, believing that "In all things there must be charity." As the apostle stated, "The goal of our instruction is love, from a pure heart and a sincere faith" (I Timothy 1:5). That, too, is our goal and commitment as we promote the following teachings that we hold as truth:
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It is the policy of the Gathering including all Pastors and those in leadership to perform marriage ceremonies before God in accordance with Scripture. We do not perform legally binding marriages recognized by the state. Therefore for those individuals who wish to have their marriage recognized by the state need to do so according to the laws in the state of North Carolina in addition to the marriage ceremony that is conducted by the Gathering.
On Use of Facilities All real property facilities of The Gathering Church (collectively , the "Church Facilities"), whether leased, rented, or owned, including without limitation its sanctuary auditorium, fellowship hall, gymnasium, educational facilities, conference rooms and other meeting rooms or facilities used for the mission of the Church, wherever located, when used by the Church, its ministers, officers, staff or employees or its congregation members or Church attendees, and if used by other persons or groups with the permission of the Church or the ministerial or administrative staff of the Church, shall be used solely for purposes consistent or compatible with the mission, faith and doctrine of the Church, as defined in its Articles of Incorporation, Constitution and Bylaws, or in Statements of Faith adopted by the local Church from time to time, it being acknowledged and understood that the Church Facilities are intended not to be facilities of "public accommodation" as defined by law, but are facilities owned or leased by the Church, a North Carolina Non-Profit Corporation, dedicated solely for such permitted uses.
The Church's facilities were provided through God's benevolence and by the sacrificial generosity of Church members. The Church desires that its facilities be used for the fellowship of the Body of Christ and always to God's glory and His worship, although the facilities are not generally open to the public, we do on occasion make our facilities available to non members, both individual and groups, after approval by the Church consistent with this policy.
Facility use will not be permitted to persons or groups holding, advancing, or advocating beliefs, or advancing, advocating, or engaging in practices that conflict with the Church's faith or moral teachings, which are summaized in, among other places, the Church's Statement of Faith, Bylaws and other policies or statements of faith adopted by the Church. Nor may facilities be used for activities that express viewpoints that contradict, or are deemed by the pastor to be inconsistent or incompatible with the Church's faith or moral teachings, The Church designates the pastor as its final decision-maker on whether a person or group is allowed to use Church facilities for particular activities.
The restricted facility use policy is necessary for two important reasons. First, the Church may not in good conscience materially cooperate or participate in activities or beliefs that are contrary to its faith. Allowing its facilities to be used for purposes that contradict the Church's beliefs would be viewed by some as material cooperation with that activity and complicity in that viewpoint, and would be a grave violation of the faith and religious practice of the Body and its individual members (See 2 Corinthians 6:14; 1 Thessalonians 5:22).
Second, it is very important to the Church that it presents a consistent message to the community, which the Church staff and members conscientiously maintain as part of their witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. To allow facilities to be used by groups or persons who express beliefs or engage in practices contrary to the Church's faith would have a severe negative impact on the message that the Church strives to promote. It could also be a source of confusion and scandal to Church members and the community because they may reasonably perceive that by allowing use of our facilities, the Church is in agreement with the beliefs or practices of the persons or groups using Church facilities.
Therefore, in no event shall persons or groups who hold, advance, or advocate beliefs, or advance, advocate, or engage in practices that contradict the Church's faith use any Church facility. Nor may facilities be used in any way that contradicts the Church's faith (See Colossians 3:17).
The foregoing policy shall apply to any ceremony, whether or not recognized by law, involving persons of the same birth gender or transsexual persons, including a civil union, commitment ceremony, or so-called same sex marriage.