In 2022, the Executive and Trustees of Pilgrims' Friend Society felt the need to clarify the charity's stance on issues relating to marriage, same sex attraction and gender identity in response to changing views within the UK church.
These Statements of Clarification are rooted in our Basis of Faith, and in particular the first point which states that we believe that the teachings of the Bibile are our sole and final authority.
Statements of Clarification
- We affirm God's love and concern for all human beings made in his own image
- We repudiate all attitudes and actions which fail to recognise that all are made in the image of God.
- We recognise that all of us sin and fall short of the glory of God
- We rejoice that God showed his love in that, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us - so that if we repent, we might be each reconciled to God despite our fallen state
- We accept that the only true hope for any of us is through faith in Jesus Christ. Unable to save ourselves, our hope must not be in "religion", our own works or how we believe we compare to others
- Our earnest ongoing prayer is that the Holy Spirit will change us to be more like Jesus, and that Jesus's mercy, love, trust, and grace would characterise how we engage with other people.
- Someone who fails to show the love of Christ towards others is acting in a way inconsistent with our Basis of Faith
- We affirm that marriage is an institution created by God in which one man and one woman enter an exclusive relationship for life. Marriage is the only God-ordained place for sexual relations. We therefore believe that to condone sexual relations outside such marriage would be to reject our position on the authority of the Bible.
- We affirm that at the moment of conception God created each person male or female and that we are called to live in our created state. We therefore believe that to condone rejection of that created state would be to reject our position on the authority of the Bible.
How the Statements work in practice
- Experiencing same-sex attraction is not a bar to working for us or coming to live with us. Rejecting our Basis of Faith (for example through unrepentant or ongoing sexual sin or condoning the same) may be.
- A person's sexual past is normally not a bar to working for us or coming to live with us. Rejecting our Basis of Faith (for example through unrepentant or ongoing sexual sin or condoning the same) may be.
- Differences between a person's biological sex and their sense of gender is not of itself a bar to working for us or coming to live with us. Rejecting our Basis of Faith (for example by presenting themself outwardly as a gender is that is contrary to their biological sex or promoting that being male or female is not God-ordained from conception but can be self-determined) may be.
- We recognise that some employees and residents may hold different viewpoints on certain beliefs but disrupting and undermining our communities by promoting beliefs that are contrary to our Basis of Faith or these affirmations may be incompatible with a person working for us or coming to live with us.
- A lack of grace towards others, for any reason, including relating to a person's same-sex attraction or their sexual past, would be inconsistent with acceptance of our Basis of Faith.
- A lack of repentance for any sin (whether sins that are sexual or non-sexual, such as pride or hypocrisy) would be inconsistent with acceptance of our Basis of Faith.
- Hypocrisy regarding our own sins and those of others would be inconsistent with our Basis of Faith.
- We want to provide communities of grace in which all who seek to live faithfully in accordance with biblical teaching are welcomed and affirmed.