So what is “marriage”? Actually the question I really am asking, is “is marriage something for the Church AND the rest of the world, OR is it something for just the Church?” Basically my point (if you don’t want to read further) is that for people who are “outside” the Church (belonging to Jesus the Christ as their Lord) can not possibly be held to our values, we should treat them with the same basic values that any human deserves, love, respect, and equality among all. I know, this sounds almost heretical, but seriously, can we really even expect someone who does not call Jesus their Lord to understand the blessing? NO, of course not. Therefore instead of fighting over values which are almost impossible to understand, none the less live, when not belonging to Christ, we need to focus on evangelism, discipleship, and worship of our Lord – and then we’ll see people’s values dramatically change. Now read the rest if you wish…
With the same-sex marriage issue hot underway, I have a harder and harder time with our institutionalized version of marriage. We’ve taken (one of many things) a biblical principal and turned it into a law for the land. While this is most likely the most ancient of traditions, and therefore seeped in emotions and dogma, is it really necessary for the government to be involved? Why must marriage be law?
To take this thought further, I wonder how much stronger the Church would be if marriage had remained only within the Church and the government simply provided the benefits of “marriage” (tax breaks) to registered households, since essentially this is what the marriage “benefit” essentially is (I’m in no way a tax expert, however). Forget legalized unions, marriages, etc… leave those titles up to us to decide. Let us be married before our God.
There’s a lot of issues which could arise from this, one being the idea that “marriage” is only for Christians… and that’s not what this blog entry is about, and not sure how we would walk that out, I fear it would simply become another thing for Christians to demand that “marriage” be trademarked or some crazy idea like that.
All of this to say, if people who do not have Jesus as their Lord, want to be together and have a ceremony of some type, leave it to them to do, and leave both the state and Church out of it. As Christians we ought not busy ourselves with “fighting” the culture, for our fight is not against flesh and blood, it’s spiritual – so let’s focus on winning souls and living as Jesus, who did not come to judge (as we do many times) but rather came to convict (point out, guide away, lead towards the light) us of sin.
In this way the Christian marriage would be unique, mean something more, and most of all, a truly different covenant defined by biblical standards, not governmental, cultural, or traditional definitions. I understand this doesn’t “solve” all the “problems”, but it’s at least a direction which firstly allows “us” (Christians) to walk the high road in humility, Secondly, it’s a graceful step out of the argument and allow the Christian marriage to be what we believe it to be – a covenant between a man and a woman to love, cherish, and support one another for our rest of our lives; all other unions can remain whatever they want to define them as, and we can befriend, and show that love is stronger than human will. God is much bigger than definitions of marriage, his love lives loud when we focus on walking with him instead of “proving” and “legalizing” “his” ways to the rest of the world.
As I’ve grown closer in my walk, I’ve come to realize “our” (I can hardly say I’m a part of “them” but can’t exactly divorce myself, since the body of Christ is ONE) methods need to change, and we have all heard it, if there is not love then there is no reason to claim Jesus as lord. This means we live by the spirit, in love towards everyone, and turn the other cheek when others mock or take offense, but we don’t bite back, and we don’t argue back – we walk the high road, and allow people to make their choices, we can’t make it for them (forcing “our” laws and viewpoints) – we can pray, we can talk, and for those that want to hear and see we can be a witness to Christ’s glory.