Code of Ethics
The mission of the Association for Public Justice is both rooted in our Christian beliefs and specifically focused on exercising our call to act justly and therefore engage in the public sphere accordingly, through political activity and advocacy. The Association for Public Justice affirms that while theological unity on a vision for public justice involving God’s good purposes for government and engagement in public life is essential for all trustees, theological unity on other matters (that may be essential in a church community, for example) is not.
We affirm that Christ is Lord of all and seek to honor His command to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and love our neighbor as ourselves in both our mission as an organization and in our processes of governance. As leaders of the Association for Public Justice, we seek to model in our lives and in our governance the holistic, Gospel-centered pursuit of justice that the community of the Association for Public Justice embodies.
The Association for Public Justice affirms that human beings are created in the image of God with many talents and capabilities that, with maturation and development, make possible the exercise of a wide range of responsibilities—in personal relationships, families, economic enterprises, schools, churches, the media, non-profit organizations, politics, and government. Essential to the proper exercise of every responsibility is the opportunity to be responsible. Oppression or forced marginalization that stifles or destroys a person’s opportunity to exercise responsibility violates human dignity. Consequently we commit the Association for Public Justice and ourselves to the work of preventing and ameliorating intractable poverty, both by pursuing and supporting policies that allow civil society institutions to thrive and by supporting systemic reform, including reform of federal, state and local economic and welfare policy as well as housing policy, health policy, education policy and other policies that can enhance economic opportunity.
We affirm that citizens share with governments the responsibility to uphold a just political community. Because responsible citizenship includes not only abiding by the law, paying taxes, and enjoying the benefits of law-abiding behavior, but also helping to shape the political community to conform to the demands of justice, the Association for Public Justice trustees must be registered voters active in loving their neighbor through politics at all possible levels.
Communications & Social Media
As Members of the Association for Public Justice Board of Trustees, Board members commit to speaking with one voice on matters pertaining to the organization. Board members acknowledge that even their personal social media use will reflect on the organization and will seek to communicate in truth, love, and integrity.
Because we affirm core values of love for God, love for others, and integrity in all, we ask all the Association for Public Justice trustees to interact with one another, with public officials, with the news media, and with the broader community, including those who are opposed to the policies we advocate, with truth and grace (1 Corinthians 13:4-8) whether in person, electronically, in the press, or via any type of social media platform.
The Association for Public Justice affirms that human beings are created in the image of God with many talents and capabilities that, with maturation and development, make possible the exercise of a wide range of responsibilities—in personal relationships, families, economic enterprises, schools, churches, the media, non-profit organizations, politics, and government. Essential to the proper exercise of every responsibility is the opportunity to be responsible. Oppression or forced marginalization that stifles or destroys a person’s opportunity to exercise responsibility violates human dignity. Consequently, we commit the Association for Public Justice and ourselves to the work of preventing and ameliorating intractable poverty, both by pursuing and supporting policies that allow civil society institutions to thrive and by supporting systemic reform, including reform of federal, state and local economic and welfare policy as well as housing policy, health policy, education policy and other policies that can enhance economic opportunity.
Family Commitment & Support
Because families are a foundational social institution, they require investment and support for the sake of children and society. As trustees of the Association for Public Justice, we affirm that both caregiving work within families and paid-work are God-given callings that are worthy of respect. Further, we affirm that employers should treat all workers, regardless of their profession/status, with dignity, including respect for workers’ family responsibilities.
Because we believe that all people are created in the image of God (Gen. 1:27), we affirm the inherent dignity of all people at all stages of life, recognizing that the call in Scripture to love of neighbor (Matt. 22) extends to everyone in our community, especially the vulnerable and marginalized (Deut. 10:18).
As outlined in the “Membership Agreement,” the Association for Public Justice affirms and welcomes members with diverse theological views on marriage and human sexuality, and also affirms that a public justice perspective calls everyone in our Association for Public Justice community to distinguish theological beliefs within a community of coreligionists from public policy stances in a religiously diverse public square.
The Association for Public Justice board members have the unique task to serve as stewards of the Association for Public Justice’s mission, including its theological vision for what is best for human flourishing. Therefore, the board members of the Association for Public Justice ought to uphold both the theological vision for public justice and theological basis for human flourishing in our most foundational of human relationships, as described below:
Guided by the historic church’s understanding of sexuality and marriage as interpreted through Scripture and tradition, the Association for Public Justice believes that God created male and female in God’s own image; that the gift of full sexual union is reserved for marriage between one man and one woman; and that board members should therefore abstain from premarital, extra-marital and same-sex sexual relationships.
The Association for Public Justice holds that sexuality is a gift from God and basic to human identity as well as a matter of behavioral expression. We hold that the full behavioral expression of sexuality is to take place within the context of a marriage covenant between a man and a woman and that individuals remain celibate outside of the bond of this marriage covenant.
Foundational principles from the Bible on human sexual relationships are as follows:
Humans, being created in the image of God, are inherently relational beings (Genesis 1:26).
The inherent relational nature of humankind is expressed in a variety of contexts including family, marriage, work, and for Christians, the body of Christ (Hebrews 10:24-25; 1 Corinthians 12:14).
Humans were created as gendered beings. God’s original and ongoing intent and action is the creation of humanity manifest as two distinct sexes, male and female. Humanity was expressly blessed by God to be fruitful and multiply and to exercise dominion over the earth (Genesis 1:26-28).
Marriage between one man and one woman is God’s design for sexually intimate relationships. Sexual union between a man and a woman is only to take place within the marriage covenant (Genesis 2:18, 21-24; Hebrews 13:4).
Jesus reaffirms the marital covenant as existing between a man and a woman (Matthew 19:4 – 9).
The New Testament teaches that followers of Christ are to remain celibate outside the bond of marriage. In sexual union, both body and soul are deeply impacted. A person who engages in sexual unions outside the bond of marriage sins against his or her own body, which is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:13, 18-20).
The sexual union between a husband and wife has been designed by God to bring them together as “one flesh,” creating a solid foundation on which to build a family (Genesis 2:18 – 24).
In Scripture, several sexual behaviors are expressly forbidden, which include but are not limited to: fornication, adultery, incest, unnatural sexual intercourse, and same-sex sexual acts (Exodus 20:14; Leviticus 18:7 – 23, 20:10-21; Matthew 5:27-28; Romans 1:20-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9; Galatians 5:19, Ephesians 4:17 – 19; Colossians 3:5).
The theological basis of the Association for Public Justice for board members regarding sex, sexuality and gender identity is grounded in our long-standing institutional religious identity. This identity, in turn, is grounded in the teachings of the Bible as understood historic teachings of the church and interpreted in Reformed, evangelical theological traditions. This policy is intended to address transsexualism, transgenderism, and broader related gender identity issues. We acknowledge that uninformed and harsh actions by Christians have inflicted unnecessary pain on those who experience gender dysphoria and same-sex attraction.
Throughout the Scriptures--from Genesis through the ministry of Jesus and in the early church, Christians are commanded to steward the resources God has given us responsibly, for His Glory (Luke 16:11). Therefore, the Association for Public Justice requires that all Board members exercise faithful stewardship:
Because everything we have belongs to God, we commit ourselves to wise and ethical management of our personal finances. We will faithfully “give to Caesar what is Caesar’s,” and we will generously donate our personal resources to the local church, to the Association for Public Justice, and to other civil society institutions who are seeking to extend God’s love, mercy, and justice to the world.
Because we honor the sacred trust of members, donors, grantors and other funders, we commit to faithful management of the Association for Public Justice’s resources.
Because at creation God entrusted human beings with the particular responsibility for caring for the earth He made, we commit the organization and ourselves to sustainable environmental practices.