The Bible teaches that the appropriate place for sexual expression is in the context of a marriage relationship. The biblical description of marriage is one man and one woman in a lifelong commitment. In Matthew 19:4-5, Jesus says, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, 'Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'?”
Repeatedly, God uses the symbolism of His relationship with believers as the picture of marriage. Husbands are exhorted to love their wives as Christ loves the Church and wives are exhorted to honor their husbands as the Church does Christ. With this imagery and the truth of God’s ideal for marriage in mind, any sexual relationship outside the marriage context is described in the Bible as either fornication or adultery and (as stated in the sixth commandment) is prohibited throughout the Old and New Testaments. Therefore, sexual advance, activity or relationship between individuals not in a Biblical marriage covenant is sin. YFC leaders must not engage in sexual activity or cohabitation outside of marriage, but conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the above in such a way that their sexual expression and lifestyle is above reproach.
Scripture is clear in sharing that all Christians are to find their identity in Christ, including sexual identity. 1 Peter 2:9-10 tells us, “He called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. Once you had no identity as a people; now you are God’s people.” Because of God’s redemption of our identity, we find complete and appropriate expression of who we are, including our sexuality, when our actions align with God’s design. God’s design for sexual expression is in the context of a biblical marriage relationship.
Scripture is clear that sexual activity or sexual relationships between individuals of the same gender is sin (Romans 1:26-27) just as is any sexual relationship falling outside of God’s biblical design. Therefore YFC leaders must not engage in same-gender sexual advance, activity or relationship.i
Scripture is clear that God created two genders, distinct and mutually exclusive. Genesis 1:27 tells us, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” God’s created order has given unique identities to men and women for His glory, and each person’s gender identity is assigned to them by God’s design, therefore YFC leaders must not engage in transgender-related activities.
The purpose of these policy statements is not intended to judge, exclude or punish. It is to ask our leaders to be consistent with Scripture’s prescriptions for those who deal with sexual and gender identity issues, and to see every leader experience the fullness of identity possible only in Christ’s redemption of our lives, including our sexuality.
Sexual immorality such as the use of pornography is described in scripture as sin (Matt. 5:27-28). As servants furthering the gospel and providing spiritual leadership, we must live lives that are holy and consider the interests of others above our own. In so doing, YFC leaders must not engage in immoral behaviors such as the use of sexually explicit materials, products and pornography.
The purpose of this policy is not to be punitive to those who deal with sexual temptation or addiction, but to see every leader experience freedom in Christ.
YFC/USA places a high priority on healthy marriages, strongly discourages divorce, and supports the overriding scriptural “one-flesh” principle. While divorce, in and of itself, might not eliminate a man or woman from the ministry, it must be remembered that, in the light of Scripture, God’s ideal is that there be no divorce and that husbands and wives stay together until death separates them.
YFC/USA adheres to the Biblical model that divorce is only acceptable in the following instances:
Unfaithfulness of a spouse involved in an adulterous or illicit sexual relationship (Matthew 5:32)
Desertion by a spouse (1 Corinthians 7:10-15)
Spousal violence or abuse breaking the one-flesh principle (1 Corinthians 7:33-34)
In instances of marital difficulties, YFC/USA encourages reconciliation, that God may be glorified in the healing of relationships. Leaders are encouraged to prioritize the health of their marriages, and special consideration will be given to accommodating elective leaves of absence to resolve serious marital difficulties.ii
YFC/USA leadership retains the discretion to make assessments about the leader’s divorce, whether the divorce is consistent with Biblical principles and the ministry principles of YFC/USA and the effect this divorce will have any impact upon employment or other service with YFC/USA.