I am a single Christian male. I believe in the inerrant Word of God. I believe the Bible is infallible and that “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness…” 2 Timothy 3:16. I also believe that marriage needs to be redefined. Hopefully the righteous Christians have not clicked the “x” at the top right corner, yet. There is a small catch to this proposal of redefining marriage that might keep everyone engaged to the end (pardon the pun).
Currently, the cultural understanding of marriage is intertwined with two overriding authorities: government and God. Interestingly, however, both authorities vary greatly in their recognition of the other. The Bible boldly proclaims the need for law as stated in Romans 13:1; “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. ” However and ironically, while the Bible advocates for governmental authority, governments increasingly disavow God’s authority.
Those that want to use the Bible in defense of laws and governing institutions that disagree with Biblical principals are aware of the Biblical references to obey our government. They will often quote the passage from Romans noted above. But to what end and to what degree are Christians supposed to honor that which is in opposition to the very core of their beliefs? Should the Germans have blindly marched Jews into gas chambers? Should the Ten Boom family not have helped Jews escape death simply because the government demanded as much?
Peter and the apostles state in Acts 5:29 that “We must obey God rather than any human authority.” Should it not be obvious to the Christian that God’s Word trumps that of any man’s or any government’s? Perhaps obeying governmental authority over God’s Word means to accept worldly punishment when we side with God’s laws over earthly laws. With that scenario the Christian is both acknowledging worldly law, rules, and regulations, but not breaking God’s commands by participating in or teaching immoral laws (i.e., acknowledgement does not equal agreement). “But Peter and John replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges!” Acts 4:19
There is little choice but to acknowledge the ever growing cultural and legal recognition of homosexual marriage. But that acknowledgement does not mean God’s Word must be disavowed in the process. God intended for man and woman to be as one. Genesis 19:1-11, Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:13, Judges 19:16-24, Romans 1:18-32, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, and 1 Timothy 1:8-10, are just a few of the Bible passages that clearly speak against homosexuality. There are many verses that lift up the male and female union, but not one that honors homosexuality. Not one. I can proclaim these truths while simultaneously acknowledging the world’s legal denial of them.
So how can we both acknowledge this emerging worldly view of marriage under changing laws and also honor the never changing Biblical vision? The first step is to study God’s Word and pray. The next step is to consider the options as they present themselves. One option may be for the Christian church and those that profess the Christ as their redeeming Savior to exit the governmental system of marriage. Let the world have “marriage,” they have already claimed it anyway. We are not of the world. Therefore our covenants should be separate from the worldview. Yes, there will be consequences. No more tax breaks, perhaps. But there has always been a cost for proclaiming the name of Jesus.
Let us start a revolution by first calling marriage by a name that better reflects the purpose; a joining of one man and one woman to become one flesh under God’s covenant. Thus, instead of getting “married,” perhaps Christian couples should state they are getting a “God Covenant” at a “Holy Union Covenant Ceremony.” A God Covenant does not need governmental approval sanctioned by a certificate. Let them have marriage with their government license, consequences be damned.
Government should have never been allowed into our marriages in the first place. The church was not watchful. The wolf devoured the most innocent and holiest of unions and the sheep allowed it to happen. For centuries marriage was an oath before families and God. It wasn’t until 1923 that the Federal Government established the Uniform Marriage License Act. The reasons for licensing marriage were many, but racist ideology and money were probably at the core. For example, in order to make interracial marriage illegal, the government would need to have regulation over the process.
Letting the world have their definition of marriage, their certificates, their laws, does nothing to sacrifice the true plan of God’s intentions, if Christians refuse to conform. Christians need to reclaim the original intent of the union of one man and one woman as a promise before the one who created the idea in the first place. God does not grant certificates. He proclaims His truth through His Word. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24.
Would such a change be difficult? Sure, people thrive on tradition, especially when it comes to familial ceremonies. But Christians must continue taking stands for truth and elevating the Word of God even when the threat of persecution persists. Taking the idea of marriage back to its roots reinforces to the world what a union between a man and a woman is supposed to look like. Christians may live under the law, but they do not need to conform to that which is contrary to God’s law.
God’s covenant, no matter what name one gives it, will always be a celebration with the most holy of ceremonies. Commitment will not only be grand, but all the more meaningful when we are once again abiding by God’s laws, not man’s. So let’s welcome back the institution as created by God; a covenant between one man and one woman in a ceremony presided over by a respected religious leader, and witnessed by those in agreement. The only things left out are the government, tax breaks, and lies.