Ok. Now that I hooked you with this seemingly shocking statement let’s begin by reaffirming the biblical foundation for marriage. We can assume from reading the second chapter of Genesis, through inference of the narrator, that immediately following the moment God presented Eve to Adam, God defined marriage as follows
“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” (Gen 2:24)
I use the King James version here as I believe it best expresses God’s desire for the heart of man to his wife. Merriam-Webster defines the word “cleave” as: to adhere firmly and closely or loyally and unwaveringly. This is important because it lays the foundation for the very purpose of why God established marriage.
We know through the study God’s word that the marriage between man and woman is a likeness to our bond to Christ our savior, both individually and as the collective body of Christ. This bond brings us back into relationship with God our Father that we terminated through our rebellion. For this reason husbands are called to
“love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Eph 5:25)
His “wife”. Not his “other.”
We can assume from God’s word, in this case from what is not stated, that there was a singular intended definition from the beginning of creation. Therefore, any future definitions, while accepted by society, and sanctioned by government, is a distortion of, thus a counterfeit to, the original. We further know from scripture that Satan often distorts and/or counterfeits that which God ordains to entice both the aware, and often the unsuspecting, into rebellious acts toward God, what we know as “sin” going back to the original sin of mankind. I would contend that this counterfeit definition of marriage is not only intended to entice those who are being drawn toward the sin of homosexuality to engage in it, but to further engage in the sin of pride when one tries to justify their sinful actions using justification through the rebellious actions of governments. Yet it goes beyond that in my mind. I believe this tactic by Satan is intended to add to the chains of the person bound by homosexuality, by tricking them into mocking the marriage of Christ to the believer(s) through the act of unknowingly marrying themselves to Satan himself as a counterfeit.
What then should the response of the Church be to this modern social definition of marriage? Acceptance of this world’s definition, which I contend would be acceptance of Satan’s counterfeit? Business as usual perhaps, where we try to coexist with this counterfeit? As you read this the world, in its ignorance of what marriage actually represents, is crying out “how is same-sex marriage harming anyone?” I’ve tried quickly, maybe too quickly, to lay the foundation and framework for what I believe is not only the proper (and singular) definition of marriage, as well as what I believe is the root of the counterfeit for a reason, so that the Christian reader may see that the intention of this counterfeit is to discredit through dilution the purity of God’s original intent, thus further clouding the minds of the lost from grasping God’s witness to the world of his love, and path to re-establishing unity with him, through the sacrifice of his son Jesus and the gift of salvation.
As noted at the beginning of this post I believe it’s time for the Church to rethink the very definition of marriage. Don’t get me wrong. After laying out God’s definition of marriage, the root of the counterfeit, or the sins tied the counterfeit, I’m not suggesting we place ourselves above God by altering his definition in the slightest. I’m also not satisfied with the notion we simply comply with Satan’s definition nor even to try to co-exist with it. Yes we are stuck with dealing with society’s blindness to the ditch they have fallen into, but we don’t have to cooperate any more than what is necessary by law. In other words we may find ourselves functionally co-existing because we cannot deny the reality that we walk in God’s truth in the middle of an active rebellion towards said truth and must continue to function in this world, but that should not mean that we grow silent regarding the truth of this or any matter.
While I will avoid venturing into all the social and business ramifications in this post, when it comes to how we express our Christ centered marriages in the eyes of a dying world, I believe it’s time for the Church, as a matter of witness, to establish an unequivocal differentiation before it is too late. It’s the nature of man to become used to things then forget how they came about. It’s how Western cultures, built on the foundation of Judeo-Christian principles, forgot said foundational principles including God’s intended meaning of marriage already discussed in this post. If we do not act quickly, future generations will lose all remaining awareness of the very intent of marriage, which I believe is the strategy of Satan.
While I wish we could prevent this strategy from succeeding through correcting that actions of courts throughout the Western world I do not believe this can be accomplished without an act of God himself and from what I read of the end times in his book I don’t see him acting in that way. What I sense is him calling us to stoke the flame within us to burn ever brighter in a darkening world so that those who are perishing can see the light, even as most will reject it and sadly perish. One way is through differentiating true Christian marriage from the counterfeit “marriage” ordained by this world and its god.
How do we do that? That is a question I have been wrestling with since long before the rebellious act of the U.S. Supreme Court as I have anticipated this rebellion for years. While I wanted to wait until I was fully satisfied that I could articulate this much needed action, along with the majority of ramifications, before posting it, I have concluded that it is of greater import that I post it in concept now so that the message might be out there. Perhaps it is not for me to perfectly define. Perhaps one far more gifted than I is meant to take this up, or already has, but I will attempt to basically articulate the concept here.
What I think the Church needs to do is modify our terminology of marriage while clearly not altering it’s meaning. Perhaps by using the term “Holy marriage” or “Christ marriage” or something else that conveys the message that there is an original purpose to marriage, thus pointing both the believer, and non-believer, back to redemption to God through Christ.
There is a secondary importance that should be noted here. Just as I long anticipated the federal government redefinition of marriage, something outside of it’s constitutional purview here in the U.S. by the way, I anticipate government assaulting churches that do not perform counterfeit marriages though stripping them of their 501 (c)(3) status.
While I’m actually an advocate of churches accepting taxation so that they aren’t tempted by loss of money to refrain from speaking freely I know it wouldn’t end there. One step toward protecting current 501 (c)(3) status (for awhile at least), and delay future persecution in general (in my non legal opinion) is to stop conducting standard marriages that involve cooperation with government via marriage licenses, and instead use this alternative (differentiating) definition and establish within each Church’s bylaws that we will ONLY conduct this newly coined marriage and will not participate in the government license process. There will of course be legal issues for the newly “Christ married” couple to deal with without a government issued marriage license signed by their church but they are not unsurmountable. Each couple can decide on their own if they wish to go to a local magistrate for a government issued conventional license. My suggestion would be to avoid it if at all possible but such issues as qualifying for family health benefits may require something other than a church-only issued license.
However, on the question of what is a proper “marriage” in God’s eyes, nowhere in the book of Genesis, or elsewhere, did God tell someone to go get a license (approval) from a government, and our government, at least here in the U.S., has long established that it has no legal jurisdiction over those who chose not to purchase it’s legal approval (license) except in a few jurisdictions that have established common-law marriage. In other words, nowhere in scripture is government involvement necessary to establish in the eyes of God and man that two people have agreed to witness to the world of God’s love for the world, and restoration of relationship to himself, by the sacrifice of his beloved son through the act of true marriage. It is time to untether ourselves from man’s rebellion and walk in the light for all to see.
“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;” 1 Peter 2:9
May we shine God’s light in the darkness even as this world hates the light.