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2017-2018 CIU Student Handbook



Statement on Human Sexuality and Marriage

The basis for this official statement of Columbia International University is found

in its Statement of Faith (CIU Constitution Article VII):

“1. The Bible is the inspired Word of God, the written record of His supernatural

revelation to Himself and to men, absolute in its authority, complete in its

revelation, final in its content and without any errors in its teaching.”

Christian understanding of human identity is grounded in the Word of God. The

significance of human sexuality is particularly evident in the account of creation.

Human beings, fashioned by God in His own image, are created male¹ and female

(Genesis 1:27). This complementary nature of human sexuality is affirmed again

in the second chapter of Genesis. Woman is fashioned out of man (Genesis

2:18–24). Thus, from the beginning human sexual identity is reciprocal. That is,

one’s own human nature is properly understood in complementary relationship to

another who is alike in nature, but opposite in sex. Like the rest of God’s creation,

the sexual differences between man and woman are pronounced “very good”

(Genesis 1:31). We therefore affirm that God wonderfully and immutably creates

each person as male or female. By God’s grace, human sexuality both enriches

and fulfills our personhood. We also affirm that gender differentiation and male/

female uniqueness are part of a divine design that God indelibly engraved upon

creation. Based on our biblical and theological study, there is no argument for

a “third gender” among humans nor is there an argument that changing one’s

gender is possible. Gender confusion and dysphoria are ultimately the biological,

psychological, social and spiritual consequences of the human race’s fallen

condition, which affects all persons individually and collectively. We reject all

attempts at constructing one’s own sexual identity by medically altering the

human body, cross dressing, or similarly practicing behaviors characteristic of the

opposite sex as morally objectionable and sinful (Deuteronomy 22:5).

Based on Scripture, CIU believes that sexuality is an essential element of human

nature. Yet, while it is an obviously significant influence in human life, God did not

intend sexuality to be the defining characteristic of humanness. Rather, Scripture

indicates that human beings find their ultimate identity through God’s grace in their

relationship with Christ. Paul, the apostle, urged followers of Christ to understand

that “there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal.

3:28). The apostle’s words are intended to place human sexuality in a redemptive

context. It is of secondary importance to an individual’s relationship to God. That

relationship is equally accessible to both sexes through faith in the redemptive

work of Jesus Christ. Misunderstanding of human sexuality, then, is a result of

humankind’s fall from innocence (Genesis 3) through which the complementary

nature of human sexuality, like all other human relationships, was distorted. Adam

and Eve’s disobedience not only led to death and separation from God, it also

alienated human beings from one another. It is this alienation that distorts and

deforms the sexual relationships God intended between men and women.

Holy Scripture bears witness to God’s will regarding human sexuality. Sexual desire

is rightfully fulfilled only within the lifelong union of a man and a woman in (holy)

matrimony (Gen 2:24). Heterosexual marriage is rooted in the order of creation. It

is not just a matter of tradition. Marriage is intended to be an enduring covenantal

relationship which reflects Christ’s own unconditional commitment to the Church