Report of the Study Committee to Address Questions Concerning the BPL on The Family 
EDITOR’S NOTE: The committee was formed by Conference in response to the seven-year BPL review committee. The below report resulted in the 2022 Conference adjusting our statements about the Family in our Biblical Principles of Living at First Reading. The 2023 Conference approved these statements at Second Reading.
103-4.2 to more adequately define biblical marriage
FIRST READING 2022 Yes – 143; No – 1. Minutes
SECOND READING 2023 Yes – unanimous. Minutes
103-4.6 to address single-parent and blended families
FIRST READING 2022 Yes – 137; No – 2. Minutes
SECOND READING 2023 Yes – more than 2/3s majority. Minutes
Whereas, this Study Committee was asked by the 136th BFC Conference to answer questions regarding the BPL entitled, “The Family,” and
Whereas, the Study Committee met five times to address the questions given to it by 136th BFC Conference, and
Whereas, the Study Committee did look at each question the BFC Conference gave to the Committee in detail, and
Whereas, the Study Committee did unanimously come to agreement on answers to these questions, therefore be it
Resolved, that the following resolutions constitute the answer of the Study Committee on re-examining BPL 103-4, The Family, to the questions given:
Question 1: Does the current statement adequately define biblical marriage and provide adequate response and/or direction regarding culture’s use of domestic partnership, civil union, common-law marriage, and same sex marriage?
Answers to question 1:
Resolved, that the statement below will be our answer to the first part of the first question asked by the Study Committee to review BPLs—Does the current statement adequately define biblical marriage?
It is our intention to propose this addition to BPL 103-4 – The Family – for adoption at First Reading at the 139th BFC Conference:
103-4.2 The marriage covenant is defined as a man and a woman committing themselves to a unique, exclusive, and lifelong relationship with each other and becoming “one flesh,”9 under God’s authority as found in the Bible.
9 Genesis 2:24 (add this to the list of verses below)
And further Resolved, that we renumber the original Article 103-4 – The Family – as follows:
Section 103-4.1 will remain the same.
Current Section 103-4.2 will be renumbered to 103-4.3, 103-4.3 to 103-4.4, 103-4.4 to 103-4.5, and so on to the end of Article 103-4.
The final section would now be renumbered to be 103-4.11.
And further Resolved, that our answer to the second half of question 1 be that the BPL on the Family provides an adequate response and /or direction regarding culture’s use of domestic partnership, civil union, common-law marriage, and same-sex marriage.
Question 2: Does the current statement provide adequate guidance regarding the local church’s interaction with those involved in domestic partnership, civil union, common-law marriage, and same-sex marriage in such areas as membership, church involvement, believer’s baptism, etc.?
Resolved, that the answer for question 2 given by the Study Committee to review BPLs be as follows:
The Study Committee to re-examine Article 103-4, The Family, reviewed this Article and also reviewed Article 103-3.4 on Sexual Holiness and concluded that 3.4 adequately answers Question # 2.
Question 3: Does the current statement adequately address the structure of single-parent homes and provide guidance for the church in caring for these families?
Whereas, The Study Committee discussed the need to keep the category as broad as possible while calling attention to certain cases, such as single parents as well as singles who are part of an “original family” unit, we propose the following amendments (note the bold print constitutes the additions to 103-4.6), and therefore
Resolved, that this be our answer to question 3, proposing this addition to BPL 103-4.6 for adoption at First Reading at the 139th BFC Conference:
103-4.6 Within the church there exist family units such as single-parent and blended families as well as never-married adult singles who are a part of family units that require special attention and mercy from the church. With prayer, loving support, wise counsel, and God’s abundant grace these families and individuals can be nurtured. The church should gladly and unwaveringlysupply comfort, encouragement,
affirmation and deep fellowship for all family units and individuals of family units for the ministry of the Word (Ephesians 4:16).
A request for members of BFC Conference
As you are reading the above report, should you have questions or comments, please contact one of the members of the committee prior to BFC Conference so that we can prepare to address your comments/concerns at BFC Conference.
Family Study Committee members: Clyde D. Bomgardner Jr, Chairman; Nancy Maurer, Secretary; Lisa Bomgardner, Brad L. Boyer, Jared M. Burkholder, James D. Reff II, Andrew J. Schmersahl.