San Antonio, Texas— The International General Council addressed several issues Thursday on its agenda in regards to sexual and gender identity, making clear the Church of God’s Scriptural and unwavering stance on these contemporary cultural issues.
The Church of God is meeting this week in San Antonio for their 78th International General Assembly.
The Council continued its tradition of applying timeless Biblical principles to the challenges of an evolving culture, equipping and empowering local church bodies to minister effectively and uniformly through changing times.
• The body of Ordained Bishops first adopted a Resolution Concerning Human Identity and Sexuality, rejecting the self-identifying with any sexual orientation or gender identity contrary to the Biblical view of gender and sexuality.
The resolution affirmed that any volunteer or employee of the Church of God must agree to and abide by these official teachings.
• The Council then approved a motion titled, “Biblical Fidelity in Gender Identity Affirmation.” This prohibits the usage of gender identity, including pronouns, that run contrary to one’s biological sex. Failure to do so becomes grounds for disciplinary action.
• In two separate measures, the Council elected to retain usages of the terms and ranks of ordained bishops and exhorters.
• The Council carried a motion that prohibits Church of God ministers, employees and institutions from feminizing God with the use of female pronouns and titles, with such usage a violation of the Declaration of Faith and making those who do subject to ministerial disciplinary action.
• The Council passed a motion to allow for the digital submission of motions to the motions committee (previously, only typewritten forms were received), while moving up the submission deadline to the second day of the International General Council (from the previous deadline of Day 3).
• A two-thirds majority of the Council added to the bylaws governing the International General Council, specifying they shall meet biennially in conjunction with the International General Assembly.
• A motion carried to add the general overseer of the Gereja Bethel Indonesia Church of God to the International Executive Council, while making the General Overseer of the Church of God a member of the Executive Council of the Gereja Bethel Indonesia Church of God.
The General Assembly concludes Friday, July 29, following a closing commissioning service. The next Assembly has been set for July 8-12, 2024 at the Indianapolis Convention Center.