If I can be blunt to all the Christians out there, the real difficulty with marriage and the Bible is this – The Bible is not as clear as many Christians make it out to be about marriage. I did my study on Marriage and the Bible looking for one thing very specifically and that was defining point where a couple went from being not married to being married and I couldn’t really find one. There is no magical aura that surrounds the couple, no piece of paper that was issued to Abraham and Sarah. I want you to understand that the bible says nothing about having a service where people say “I do” to each other to be married. In the ancient world marriage was about a husband negotiating with a father for a bride, that couple going to a party or feast and then somewhere during that party the couple consummating the marriage with sex. No vows, no license and oddly no preacher – gasp.
If someone were to ask me what the problem is with marriage is in the USA from religious standpoint, I would say it lays with the clergy. In part there is this notion among the people of the cloth that in order for a marriage to be a marriage they must be involved. If that is the case then there are many Biblical marriages that were not legit, including Joseph to Mary. To be honest what I see is arrogance among the clergy in defining what marriage is with traditions made by them rather than looking purely at the Bible.
A pastor once told me he wouldn’t do a marriage of couple that was living together because he didn’t feel it would be right for him to say their relationship was right. My response went something like this. So living together is sinful but you wont do anything to move their sinful state of their relationship to a non-sinful state? Isn’t that what we are about moving things from sin to non-sin? Isn’t that called redemption? So you would rather they continue to live in a sinful state than doing the thing in your mind would move it from that state to something accepted by God? I don’t understand this logic or where in the Bible the notion is gotten that clergy have to sanctify a marriage for it to be a marriage.
Can clergy person out there show me a Bible verse where a priest or pastor is present at a marriage for it to be considered a marriage? I will take it either as plain teaching as an example. I already know it does not exist so the question comes is what we think about having a pastor at a marriage Biblical or simply established tradition?
In truth, Biblical marriage has very little to do with state or clergy approval but family approval. It is more about the parents of the bride and groom giving the nod to the marriage as well as the rest of the family being in agreement about it. Imagine that, something that creates a family should consider as its primary thing approval by the family.
Here is the truth. There is no place in the Bible that says a marriage must be approved and licensed by the state or sanctioned or sanctified by the church. If a couple’s families are OK with it that probably means more to God than anything priests or politicians say about whether the marriage is legal or sanctified. That is the problem right now is that the state and the church is fighting about who has authority over what is called marriage and to be honest neither of them has the right to claim this honor. Ultimately it is the families involved and God himself. The rest of the nuts that claim to speak for both of these need to simply shut up.
From the standpoint of government, there is one thing that I wish would happen. That they would get out of marriage all together. The homosexual community mistake with me was not their homosexuality. That exists whether they get married or not. The issue for me is that they have turned to the state for recognition and to be honest who gives a crap what the state says is sanctioned? Had the gay rights activists simply come to government and ask – Why are you even involved in defining marriage? I would have been on their side in getting the government out of marriage altogether and letting them and their families decide if they were married or not. Forcing others to accept your view of marriage at the end of the government’s threat of force if I don’t never sits well with me, but getting the government to basically say we have no power or responsibility over this issue is right up my alley.
The interesting thing is this, that had the gay marriage crowd taken this tactic, a lot of religious folks would have been right beside them advocating government out of the marriage business all together. Many religious groups would rather define marriage themselves than have the government do it for them.
The whole argument is on the wrong tangent right now. It should not be the legal recognition of marriage but why the state or religion are the defining powers of what marriage is. The real thing that should be fought for is that families are given this right to define what marriage is in their respective households.