June 26, 2013

It's Time to Get Out of the Marriage Game...

It’s time to get out of the marriage game. Let me clarify that. It's time for the Church to get out of the State's marriage game.

Today the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, making clear what's been true for a while. The Church's marriage is not the same thing as the State's marriage. Maybe it never was.

Ask what marriage is, and what it isn't. You'll get different and opposing answers on just about every single issue.

The latest ruling is the freshest in memory. Is marriage between a man and a woman, or two consenting people? Today the Supreme Court made it clear that the State defines marriage differently than the Church.

Does it even matter if two people are married at all? There are 3 states (Mississippi, Florida, and Michigan) that outlaw cohabitation, though none of them enforce this law. While the State has told us that marriage is everyone's option, it is nobody's imperative. The Church, in light of the 6th Commandment, calls us to fear and love God so that we would live a sexually pure and decent life in what we say and do, and for husbands and wives to love and honor each other. There is a proper way for a man and a woman to spend their lives together, and that is marriage. Apart from this, any sexual relationship, heterosexual or homosexual, is equally sinful.

Is divorce a big deal? To the state, it's just a matter of signing a few papers and figuring out who gets the kids. No big deal. I seem to recall the church taking a stance on divorce that sees it as sinful.

Here's why all this matters:

Is marriage about Christ and the Church? Today's ruling is a concrete division, but it's not anywhere near the biggest issue dividing the Church's idea of marriage and the State's idea of marriage.
 Ephesians 5:31-32 says "'Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.' This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church." This is what it's all about. Marriage was given by God to teach us how Christ relates to His bride, the Church. He loves her and gives Himself up for her, even upon a cross. He washes her with water and presents her holy and without blemish. Marriage is about Jesus. 

That's what I care about. To define marriage as anything other than an image of Christ and His Church is to define marriage differently than the Church. Whether it's between a man and a woman out at the lakehouse promising to love each other just like they do in the movies, whether it's between a man and a man promising to do their best to take care of each other in sickness and in health, whether it's between a woman and a woman sending a message about equality, if Christ and the church isn't put forward as the source, definition, and foundation of marriage, then it's not what we believe.

Wherever marriage is corrupted, either by heterosexual couples not honoring it, or by homosexual couples redefining it, the image of Christ and His Church is cast aside.

We're not out to be bigoted. We're not trying to ruin people's lives. We're defending our God, because to us, marriage is a religious term that speaks directly to who our God is and what He does for us. Christ forgives sinners. That's what this is all about.

What now? It’s time to call it like it actually is. Let's stop pretending like the Government and the Church are performing the same function when two people say "I do." Let Caeser be Caesar and the Church be the Church. It's time for the Church to stop signing off on government tax breaks by performing civil marriages. What does that have to do with us? It's time for the State to stop telling us what we may and may not believe about God and His Word. Isn't there something written in the constitution about that?

Let's bless the marriages we see as right before God. Let's put forward a clear teaching about the blessings given by Christ to His church. Let's proclaim this sacred union as is proper.