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STANDARD OF CONDUCT
1) Word of Life Fellowship, Inc., including domestic and foreign affiliations under the Word of Life structure, is dedicated to the Lordship of Christ in all areas of life. The distinctives of Word of Life lay in its philosophy and goals. The Word of Life family is a community of a board of directors, staff members and students (hereafter referred to as “associates”). Each associate consequently bears certain responsibilities and obligations within the organization for the implementation of its philosophy and goals. In order that the organization functions efficiently and its goals be realized, it is necessary that there be a mutual commitment to a corpus of standards which involve the willing surrender of certain individual purposes and goals.
2) Word of Life follows specific Biblical principles, which relate to Christian behavior. Therefore, Word of Life prohibits practices, which are clearly forbidden by the Word of God, such as drunkenness, sexual immorality, dishonesty, and the like (I Corinthians 6:9-20). Further, to expect associates to exemplify Christian love, consideration for the rights of others, honesty, and a high sense of Christian ethics is to expect only that which the Word of God teaches to be primary in the character of the Christian (Ephesians 4:24-5:8).
3) Word of Life is firmly committed to a literal interpretation of the Bible and rejects any attempt to “reinterpret” Scripture in light of “modern” moral or psychological theories. In the Biblical account of creation, the family was the first societal institution ordained by God (Genesis 1:27, 2:18-22). Furthermore, Scripture plainly declares that the first two humans created by God were a man and a woman (Genesis 1:27, 2:18-22). God joined the man and woman in the holy rite of matrimony and commanded them to be fruitful, multiply, and replenish the earth (Genesis 1:28). Therefore, the only legitimate marriage is the joining of one man and one woman (Genesis 2:24, Romans 7:2, I Corinthians 7:10, Ephesians 5:22-23). In both the Old and New Testaments, God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity should take place outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. Accordingly, all forms of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex (Genesis 2:24, 19:5, 13, 26:8-9, Leviticus 13:22, 18:1-30, Romans 1:26-29, I Corinthians 5:1, 6:9, I Thessalonians 4:1-8, Hebrews 13:4). Since Word of Life believes that all sexual activity outside of a marriage, including homosexual practices, are in direct opposition to God’s Word and constitute a direct contradiction to God’s institution of the home, Word of Life will not employ or continue to employ men or women who promote or participate in homosexual behavior or any other sexual activity outside of marriage.
4) Word of Life recognizes the principles of Christian liberty within the sphere of those things, which are intrinsically innocent. However, Word of Life also recognizes that liberty needs to be restricted in certain instances. Scriptural precedent is found in Acts 15 and Romans 14, where certain practices inherently innocent were forbidden because they could do spiritual harm to other members of the Christian community. Verses for reference include:
I Corinthians 6:12 — Lawful, but not expedient (not profitable for our good)
I Corinthians 10:23 — Lawful, but not edifying
I Corinthians 8:9 — Could be a stumbling block
Romans 1:32 — Christians are different, and by living like the world, we approve of it. There should be no pleasure in watching sin.
Ephesians 5:6-7, 11 — Don’t be deceived with vanity and participate in it.
Colossians 3:17 — Make sure it pleases the Lord, not the emotions-flesh or self.
Hebrews 12:1-2 — Lay aside weights as well as the sin.
5) Certain principles of conduct are a necessary part of the effort to establish an atmosphere within which the goals of Word of Life can be realized. For this reason and in an effort to maintain a consistent and above-reproach testimony to youth, Word of Life requires associates to refrain from the possession or use of alcoholic beverages, all smoking products, recreational and illicit drugs, from gambling, and from social dancing. Ceremonial dancing at special family events such as weddings and anniversaries is permitted. Biblical discretion and restraint will be exercised in all choices of entertainment, including radio, television, all forms of audio and visual recordings, movies, stage productions, computer and video gaming, various forms of literature and social media (Psalm 101:3, Romans 14:13-17, I Corinthians 9:22-23, I Corinthians 10:31, 2 Corinthians 6:3, Philippians 4:8, Ephesians 5:3-4, I Timothy 4:12, Titus 2:12). Furthermore, it is expected that associates will actively support a local Bible-believing church through service, giving, and allegiance (Hebrews 10:24-25).
6) Word of Life rejects the principle that exposure to and/or experimentation with doubtful and objectionable practices is essential to the development of moral or intellectual discernment and/or discrimination. Word of Life reserves the right to make the final decision in any questionable area.
7) Word of Life recognizes that observance of Word of Life standards does not comprise the whole of an individual’s responsibility to God and hence does not necessarily indicate that one is living a life of full commitment. The philosophy of Word of Life, however, maintains that willingness to obey these standards shows a maturity and spiritual concern for the whole Christian community (Galatians 5:13-24).
8) Conduct that is an offense to good taste, sound morality, or Christian propriety will not be acceptable. While some may not have personal convictions wholly in accordance with Word of Life standards, the purpose underlying them necessitates the honorable obedience to them. If an individual can no longer in integrity conform to them, that person should withdraw from Word of Life. Willful disobedience of these standards will bring about dismissal from Word of Life immediately.
To ensure that the position of Word of Life will be maintained in an uncompromising manner and believing that a consistent and exemplary life should be expected of those who undertake the instruction and guidance of Christian youth, it is required that associates shall individually affirm by signing the following at the time of initial association and shall so reaffirm at such time as determined by Word of Life.
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