I’ll make myself clear right now, marriage is between one man and one woman. Period. That’s how God set it up. That’s how the Bible has it. That’s how God describes the relationship that He has with His creation, Christ and His Bride, the Church. There is no way around it.
I am, however, fascinated by the craziness surrounding the “Defense of Marriage Act”. Here’s why: If I don’t need legislation for Baptism, Confirmation, First Communion, Funeral Rites, and the like, why do I need legislation on marriage? Personally, I am starting to think that I would like the government to get out of the marriage business altogether. Going against the 6th Commandment is for the Church to discipline, not the state. After all, when was the last time someone was arrested for having an affair? Living together outside of wedlock? How about the “hook ups” that are reported to happen on Spring Break? Let’s be honest here, it’s a little hypocritical to state that marriage is between one man and one woman but then “shack up” with whoever you are with personally. If we are to follow this as the Bible commands, as so many cry and scream for when something like the Defense of Marriage Act comes up, we are to follow it fully. “Thou shalt not commit adultery” goes for homosexual acts, living together, “hook ups”, casual sex, and the like. We need to really legislate against all of it if we are going to do put some force behind using the Scriptures to defend marriage. Which leads me to my original thought: Should we not allow the Church to take care of marriage and let the rest of the world decide what it wants to do?
Before that statement is misinterpreted to think that I am *advocating* sin, I will point out that any transgression against the 6th Commandment is exactly that. Sin. It shouldn’t be done. For a Christian, it is “illegal”, not against the State, but against God and His Word. So it not going to church (think 3rd Commandment) and taking an office pen for personal use (7th Commandment). It is impossible in a free society to legislate entirely from a Christian standpoint. Laws on the books that require one to go to church would undoubtedly cause unrest and anger towards the government and the Church. It’s important that the government not govern our personal lives directly, as much as it is to allow us to live our lives as we wish.
This means that if the State wants to allow two men to marry, two women to marry, two men and a woman to marry, etc, it should be allowed, however, it shouldn’t be called marriage. Marriage is given by God. It’s a church thing. I pledged my love, obedience, and faithfulness to my husband on May 20, 2006, in front of God and a gaggle of pastors, my family, and friends. Those vows have nothing to do with the State. The State could care less if I cheated. God, on the other hand, will care. That is a sin against Him (as well as my husband). Instead, call it a business contract, call it whatever you wish, really, except marriage. Marriage is something given by God in a religious context. When it comes to separation of church and state, this is one place where the liberals will demand that religion enter into the government, but instead of putting God as the creator of marriage, it puts the government in place of God, thereby making an idol.
I believe that when the government entered the marriage business, even when it was just about one man and one woman, we were already headed for the “slippery slope” of today. It was already problematic because you can’t legislate morals, ethics, or beliefs. That’s church territory. The government has taken on a lot of “church territory”, from charity and the care taking of the poor, needy, homeless, and infirm, to legislating how and when one can witness their faith, things that are not for a government to decide if it is built on liberty.
The thing about liberty is, sometimes people will use it in ways we disagree with. They will use it to get into same sex relationships and even bigamy. The answer isn’t to turn to the government to decide what is morally right and wrong. The answer is to understand what liberty means; the freedom to express oneself without trampling on another person’s rights within reason. The Second Tablet of the Law must be followed. The answer is to remember that to limit someone elses liberty is to limit our own. This may mean that we congregate with like minded people. The Lutherans will rally around the Lutherans; the gay and lesbian groups will rally around themselves. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean intolerance as this is happening already. It means we respect each other’s differences, and we are willing to co-exist peacefully though we do not agree. I would much rather have this set up than to be subjected to the whims of society as it is decided what is right and wrong for that age and then applied to all. I would rather have the freedom to live as a Christian than the persecution of a martyr because the times changed and I am now being forced to do what someone else thinks is right.
So where am I on the Defense of Marriage Act and the recent Supreme Court rulings? I don’t know. The cat’s already out of the bag. The government is already in the marriage business. To that end, I agree wholly that marriage is between one man and one woman. But is there a better way in our society to regain the liberties we had when the country was still being formed? I still wonder if everything shouldn’t be contractual and leave the marriage business to the church. For me, this is still open for debate on what is best.
What do you think?