Satan. Lucifer, also known as Satan and the Devil, is a literal spiritual being. He was created by God as the most beautiful of all of the angels. He led one-third (⅓) of the angels in a rebellion against God and was cast out of heaven. He now works to destroy mankind by keeping them away from the saving grace of Jesus Christ. He works not only outside the church, but also on the inside, to destroy the works of the Holy Spirit. He was defeated by Jesus' death and resurrection and will one day be cast into the lake of fire. (Isaiah 12:14-15; Job 1:6-9; Revelation 12:3-5)
Roman Catholic Beliefs. The Roman Catholic doctrines of purgatory, praying to Mary and the saints, granting indulgences, praying for the dead, veneration of relics, papal infallibility, transubstantiation, and infant baptism are in direct violation of God's Word. (Revelation 22:18-19)
Councils of Churches. The beliefs, goals, and methods of the World, National, and state Councils of Churches are not in accordance with God's Word, which prohibits all true Christians from joining or associating with these organizations. (Ephesians 5:11)
Family Forms. It is recognized that a family can take four (4) forms:
a) A married couple (a male husband and a female wife) who may or may not have children (Genesis 1:27-28).
b) A single parent household, in which a male or female parent is charged with responsibility of raising and nurturing his or her natural or adopted children (1 Timothy 5:4).
c) A widow or widower who is left without children at home (1 Timothy 5:4).
d) A single person who has chosen to live on his or her own as a separate household (1 Corinthians 7:8).
Marriage. Marriage was instituted by God and is regulated by Him. For this reason, Harvest House must resist all attempts to alter marriage from what the Bible has revealed about it. The purpose of marriage is companionship between one man and one woman (Genesis 2:18) in a permanent relationship which can end only when one of the partners dies.
A Christian should only marry another Christian (1 Corinthians 7:39, 2 Corinthians 6:14). Their relationship is to express God's original intention for marriage: the wife's role alongside her husband as an equal.
We believe that weddings were created by God and that God performed the first wedding Himself. Weddings are designed to be a covenant of, not two but, three persons – the third being God. Weddings are therefore a Christian worship service.
Family Life. Married couples (husband and wife should cultivate a relationship of mutual love and respect (Ephesians 5:21, 22, 25, 33). They should remember their unique oneness (Mark 10:6-9), their equality (Genesis 1:27, Galatians 3:28), the complementary nature of their union (Genesis 2:18), and their responsibility to help bring each other to full Christian maturity in all areas of life (Ephesians 5:22-28).
A husband should follow the Bible's admonition to love his wife in the way Jesus loved the church (Ephesians 5:25). Such Christian love, as described by the Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 13:4-7), demands that the husband respond openly and cooperatively with his wife (Ephesians 5:21, 28-31).
As the head of the Christian home (1 Corinthians 11:3, Ephesians 5:25), the husband and father should exercise his delegated authority without being authoritarian, and should fulfill his responsibility under Christ by providing for the physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs of each family member (1 Timothy 5:8). In the case of a single parent, he or she will be considered the "head of the house" along with the responsibilities that accompany this position.
The wife should follow the Bible's admonition to be submissive, though not subservient, to the headship of her husband (Ephesians 5:22-24) by cooperating with his efforts to provide the home with authority and stability under Christ.
Together, the husband and wife should exercise proper discipline tempered with love (Proverbs 3:11-12, Hebrews 12:5-11, Colossians 3:21). They should also create and maintain a Christian atmosphere with the home (Ephesians 6:4, 2 Timothy 3:14-15). Such an atmosphere should consist of the following:
a) Communication with the heavenly Father through prayer (1Thessalonians 5:17), especially at mealtimes, whether in seeking His aid or giving thanks.
b) Daily, directed worship is a way for the family to express love and trust in God, and to sense His presence in the home (Matthew 18:20).
c) Spontaneous and directed teaching of Bible truths at every opportunity (Deuteronomy 6:20-21a).
d) Christian symbols and works of art in the home (Deuteronomy 6:6, 9).
e) A consistent example in Christian living (Christian parents are encouraged to present their children to the Lord before the church body for the blessing (or dedication) of children and the affirmation of Christian parenting. (Luke 2:22)
f) Children and young people should obey their parents in all things in the Lord (Ephesians 6:1, Colossians 3:20). This was the example of Jesus (Luke 2:51).
Male and Female. The Bible says that God made humans male and female. Today, mentally and morally ill people, along with our fallen society and government, are trying to change what God has done, by attempting to turn men into women and women into men. This is not only done on the mental and emotional level, but on the societal and even the physical level through surgery, hormones, and other procedures. This is not only impossible, but a clear rejection of what God has done. God's Word rejects any attempt to change a person's gender or sex. Any reference in this Constitution to a man or a male refers to a person who born biologically a male. Any reference in this Constitution to a woman or a female refers a person who was born biologically a female. This especially applies to any reference to sex, marriage, or the family. (Matthew 19:3-5)
Abuse. Abuse in any form, either inside or outside of the family, destroys the dignity and value God has placed in people (Luke 3:14). However, corporal punishment, administered in a loving manner is not abuse but an act of love, commanded by God (Proverbs 3:11-12)
Illicit Sexual Relations. The biblical view of sex firmly establishes it within the framework of marriage and family life. Therefore, Harvest House cannot condone premarital sex, adultery, bigamy, polygamy, any form of sodomy (including homosexual or lesbian behavior), or bestiality (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). All are clearly contrary to the expressed will of God concerning the union of one man and one woman together in this most sacred and binding of human relationships (Romans 1:20-32; Deuteronomy 22:23-27).
Divorce. Divorce was never in God's original plan, and is one of the consequences of the fall of man. According to Jesus in Mark 10:5, the Mosaic directive concerning divorce came only as a concession to man's hardheartedness.
In the New Testament, Jesus indicated that divorce may be granted on the basis of fornication (Matthew 5:32, 19:9). Fornication includes all forms of sexual sin, such as adultery, prostitution, sodomy, incest, bestiality, homosexuality, and lesbianism. Continual and deliberate sexual sin by a marriage partner is a justifiable cause for divorce.
The Apostle Paul cites another exception which applies to the marriage of a believer and an unbeliever (1 Corinthians 7:12-15). If an unbelieving partner chooses to dissolve the marriage, the believing partner may yield to the divorce. This same exception also applies when a believer renounces faith in Christ or assumes the position of an unbeliever and chooses to dissolve the marriage. Such persons are considered unbelievers because they place themselves outside the divine directive.
Even though the Bible admonishes Christian spouses not to divorce each other (1 Corinthians 7:10-11b), there may be situations in which a spouse decides a divorce is essential (e.g. when the spouse or children suffer severe physical or emotional abuse). (1 Corinthians 7:11). God does not advocate divorce in such situations, but when it does occur, He regulates it. The principle remains – no divorce – but the Bible recognizes that the ideal is not always observed because of hardheartedness. In all cases, however, every effort should be made to bring about repentance, restoration, and reconciliation. Bringing about reconciliation which leads to harmony and compatibility is always preferable to divorce.
Remarriage. The Christian has biblical grounds for remarriage in the following situations:
a) The death of the spouse. In this case, the partner may remarry a believer (1 Corinthians 7:39).
b) The marriage and divorce both occurred prior to salvation (2 Corinthians 5:17, Ephesians 2:1-7).
c) The spouse is guilty of marital unfaithfulness and will not repent and live faithfully with the partner, and the offended partner is innocent of such conduct. Marital unfaithfulness includes adultery, prostitution, sodomy, incest, bestiality, homosexuality, lesbianism, and pornography.
In all other cases, Scriptures tell us that the formerly married person should remain unmarried.
Family Planning. In the Christian view as based in the biblical revelation, it is only within the marriage relationship that children should be conceived, brought into the world as a precious gift in trust from God, and nurtured to full personhood. (Deuteronomy 23:2)
As responsible Christians and parents, some couples may for valid reasons determine not to have children, or others may need to determine the number and spacing the responsibilities of family planning and to use those methods which are medically and psychologically suited to their needs. They will not use methods which conflict with Harvest House's stand on abortion (Section 9).
For those couples who for physical reasons cannot bear children, Harvest House advises them to consider the adoption of children. Such couples should seek the assistance of reliable placement agencies to avoid possible unfortunate circumstances and to avail themselves of competent counsel. (Galatians 4:5)
Life. Life is the gift of God (Genesis 2:7) which beings at fertilization and continues until natural death. Since only God can give life, only He has the right to take it away. The only circumstances under which human can justifiably take another human life are found within the Scriptures: war (Deuteronomy 7:1-2), capital punishment (Numbers 35:19), and self-defense (Psalms 82:3).
a) Abortion and Infanticide. Abortion and infanticide are major moral problems in our society. Human life is sacred from the moment of conception (Jeremiah 1:5). Consequently, abortion nor infanticide can be recognized morally or Scripturally as a means of birth control, as a solution to a pregnancy resulting rape or incest, as a way to prevent or eliminate congenital hereditary defects, or because of sickness, disease, injury, or the person's "quality of life." Therefore, Harvest House opposes the practices of abortion (killing a child between conception and birth), except when the mother's life is immediately threatened, as determined by two (2) competent physicians, one of whom has been or would attending her pregnancy (in that situation, after much prayer, the mother and father must make their own decision), and infanticide (killing a child after birth). (Exodus 21:22-23)
b) Euthanasia and Suicide. Because of the commandment, "Thou shalt not murder" (Exodus 20:13, Deuteronomy 5:17), Harvest House cannot condone euthanasia (any action which hastens the death of another person, or the withholding of food and water from another) for the purposes of escaping the suffering and difficulties caused by sickness, disease, injury, old age, infirmity, the person's "quality of life," depression, or for any other such reasons. Because of the dignity of human life and the Christian's privilege of dying and going to be with Christ, the Christian or the Christian's family members, in the event that the person lacks the capacity to do so, should have the privilege of rejecting artificial means for the sustaining of life when the maintenance of life is dependent upon these artificial means.
Human Relations. Harvest House respects human personality which is inherent in every race, nation, and creed. The Bible instructs that there is no basis whatsoever for a belief in the superiority or inferiority of any people. Therefore, Harvest House opposes any action or practice that produces discrimination based on racial, national, ethnic, or social differences, since God "made from one, every nation of men to live on the face of earth" (Acts 17:26). Harvest House admonishes all members to oppose every influence, whether it is economic or social, which would debase, impair, or bring into bondage those whom God has created in His own likeness.
Harvest House acknowledges that mankind's basic need is for the saving grace of Jesus Christ and is therefore committed to the telling of the good news of the Gospel to all persons. But Harvest House also recognizes the commandment to love all men in the name of Christ. Therefore, Harvest House admonishes all members to strive for a society characterized by unselfish compassion and service to all. (Philippians 2:3; Matthew 25:31-41; Luke 6:31; 1 Corinthians 13:4-7; 1 Peter 3:8-12).
Peace/Bearing Arms in War. Harvest House recognizes the rightful authority of the civil government and holds it responsible for the preservation and defense of our national compact against treason or invasion by any belligerent force (Numbers 10:9), but Harvest House disapproves of engaging in voluntary, national, aggressive warfare.
Harvest House affirms the right of Members to serve and bear arms in the national armed forces (Numbers 10:9). Harvest House also supports the right of an honest conscientious objector to refuse to bear arms in military service, and to instead choose humanitarian service to his or her nation. (Romans 12:18)
Alcohol, Tobacco, and Drugs. Christians are directed in the Bible to be temperate in all things. This implies discipline in all emotions, passions, and appetites. It means the proper use of wholesome food and drink. (Proverbs 20:1; Isaiah 5:22; Romans 13:13; 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, 5-11, 6:10, 6:19; and 1 Thessalonians 5:22)
a) Alcoholic Beverages. Alcoholic beverages are injurious and at the core of significant social problems. The manufacturing, vending, and use of alcoholic beverages are contrary to the best interests of personal and social morality, economy, and welfare and a violation of God's Word. Therefore, Harvest House stands in opposition to the alcohol industry and advocates abstinence by all people from using alcoholic beverages in any form, except as a medical prescription. (Leviticus 10:9; 1 Corinthians 3:16)
Furthermore, Harvest House believes that even the moderate use of alcohol by believers undermines our efforts to oppose the alcohol industry and may be a stumbling block to others. Members are to abstain from the use of beverage alcohol of any kind. They are expected to oppose the manufacture, sale, and consumption of alcoholic of any kind. They are not to be involved as a direct investor, manager, or owner (full or partial) of business which engage primarily in manufacturing or selling alcoholic beverages. Neither should Members lease or rent property to those who would use it primarily for manufacturing, storing, or selling these harmful beverages.
b) Tobacco. The Bible reveals that our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit and instructs believers to live pure lives. Harvest House believes, and experience demonstrates, that the use of tobacco is injurious to the physical body and is a detriment to the best stewardship and witness of our lives. Therefore, all Members are urged to abstain from its use in any form. (1 Corinthians 3:16)
Harvest House urges its leaders to teach about the hazards of tobacco use and that deliverance is available through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. (Ezekiel 44:23)
c) Drugs. The scientific, medical, law enforcement, and welfare segments of our society have given witness to the corrupting and devastating results of narcotic, hallucinogenic, mind-altering, and mood-altering drugs. Members are to exercise under the most strict prescription and observation of skilled members of the medical profession. (Leviticus 10:9; 1 Corinthians 3:16)
Gambling. The Bible teaches that the love of money is destructive and that productive work fits into God's plan for life. Gambling, on the other hand, stimulates the desire to get something for nothing and it seeks material gain by a fatalistic faith in chance. Harvest House has observed that organized and commercial gambling is a threat to business, breeds crime and poverty, and is destructive to the best interests of good government.
Because gambling is a menace to personal character, social morality, and biblical stewardship, Harvest House urges all Members to abstain from participating in gambling in any form, including lotteries, and to raise a proper protest against the spread of illegal and legalized gambling. (Proverbs 28:19-20; 1 Timothy 6:7-11; Luke 16:10-13; 1 Corinthians 4:2).
Pornography. The distribution of pornographic material in various media is one of the causes of the moral decline of our nation, and it is an exercise in lust. Harvest House encourages Members to take an active part in any local movement to eliminate the distribution of pornographic material in their respective communities. In case there is no such movement in their communities, Members are encouraged to take initiatives in carefully and prayerfully organizing such a movement. (Proverbs 6:24-28; 1 John 2:16)
The Occult. The Holy Scriptures teach us to seek supernatural guidance from God only. Therefore, all Members are to abstain from any participation in the occult. This includes all types of fortune-telling (including palm-reading, tarot cards, and divination), astrology, communication with spirits or the dead (such as seances or psychic phenomenon), and witchcraft. (Deuteronomy 18:22; Galatians 5:13-20)
Decision Making Foundations – Personal Convictions. The Bible is the primary source of correct guidance and the final authority by-which Christians should determine proper conduct regarding moral issues. The Bible's specific prohibitions must always be obeyed. In areas where Scripture does not give explicit directions or absolutes, the following guidelines will assist Members in making wise lifestyle decisions based on biblical principles.
a) Pray for guidance (James1:5).
b) Study all biblical passages related to the issue (2 Timothy 2:15).
c) Review the laws of the land regarding the issue (Romans 13:1-7). The Bible instructs believers to obey the laws of the land in which they live, but not use those laws to justify disobeying biblical principles (Hebrews 13:17).
d) Seek the counsel of mature Christians (Proverbs 15:22, 27:17).
e) Carefully weigh and consider current scientific and medical evidence regarding the issue (Proverbs 18:15).
f) Consider any harmful effect your action may have others. (1 Corinthians 3:14, 14:1)
g) Consider any harmful effect on your testimony (Romans 14, 1 Corinthians 10:32,33).
h) If in doubt, act according to your conscience and continue developing our convictions (Romans 14:23).