Great Banquet Statement on Human Sexuality and Addiction

In a time when views of human sexuality and marriage are rapidly changing in our society, when addiction to harmful substances and other destructive behaviors is also escalating, the Mid-South Great Banquet (MSGB) and Awakening Board seeks to clarify our position for the community. The MSGB is a non-denominational, ecumenical community of believers with a diversity of beliefs within the mainstream of Christian thought. We strive to create the atmosphere for a transformational experience with Jesus that fosters a life-long journey of following Him. Our ultimate desire is that, through the gospel, all persons may come to know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord of their lives.

God calls believers to live lives that honor God (Hebrews 12:14, Eph. 5:3-5) and to glorify God through their actions (1 Cor. 6:20; 10:31, Phil. 1:20). We are all broken, without exception. We have and do sin. We have self-righteously condemned others for their sins, even while committing our own, and stand in need of God’s forgiveness (Psalm 85:4-7). We approach these issues, rightly, only when we approach them with humility and genuine love. In selection of team members to represent the Great Banquet Community on weekends, we are guided by a desire to reflect the compelling worthiness of the gospel in the teaching of scripture.

The clear teaching of scripture guides us away from sexual immorality which we understand, at this time, to mean expressions of sexual activity outside of marriage as traditionally defined. This includes all expressions of same-sex and opposite-sex relationships outside the fidelity and trust of a committed relationship between one man and one woman. Addiction is a compulsive need for a mood-altering substance or behavior that is dangerous, harmful and/or destructive to the person. Either of these ongoing conditions might cloud a person’s witness. Persons who display these ongoing struggles will not be asked to serve on a Great Banquet or Awakening team. We, nevertheless, encourage everyone to be fully engaged in the blessed community and serve in every other way possible.

While we call upon fellow sinners everywhere to repent of their sins (Acts 17:30), we do so acknowledging we must continue to repent of our own. As followers of Christ we are committed not to condemn others for their brokenness. We believe there is no place for any form of cruelty, hate, or denigration of anyone who believes differently. We unequivocally condemn all injustices, sinful intimidation, and physical violence administered against anyone because of sexuality or addiction. As God’s people, we desire to identify with those struggling with sexuality issues or addictions, to walk lovingly alongside them, and to invite them to join us in following the Lord. We welcome all, regardless of beliefs or lifestyles, to attend this community’s weekends.