Sunday, May 27, 2007

Church Says They're Living In Sin

Just read the story of a Catholic couple who live together as husband and wife. However, their church says they are living in sin because their marriage wasn't sanctified by the church. He has been trying to find scriptural support which says that a marriage must take place in a church and be officiated by a priest.

Problem is that he'll never find that scripture (because it doesn't exist) and he'll never be accepted as married by his church, because of tradition.

I've seen issues like these over and over again in the past year. A similar one was where a man and woman legally divorced, but then reconciled and are living as husband and wife again (didn't redo the whole wedding thing, just made an agreement amongst themselves to reunite as husband and wife). Unfortunately, their church isn't recognizing their marriage either.

When I ask other Christians what the bible says on matters like the first example, I'm told that there are some things that Our Father has kept silent on. Truth is, though, that He hasn't been silent on the matter at all. Take a look:

Genesis 2:24 ~ Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.


Matthew 19:4-6 ~ (Christ speaking) And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.


Mark 10:6-8 ~ (Christ speaking) But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.


Ephesians 5:31, 32 ~ (Paul speaking on the roles of husbands and wives) For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

In all 4 of these passages, it clearly states that a man leaves his father and mother, joins with his wife and the 2 are now 1. I don't read any instructions stating that this must take place in a church or that it must be presided over by a priest, pastor, judge, etc. Our Father is obviously not silent on the issue, just that He hasn't instituted, ANYWHERE in the bible, the traditional weddings we find today.

Strong's concordance defines cleave as:

1) to cling, stick, stay close, cleave, keep close, stick to, stick with, follow closely, join to, overtake, catch
a) (Qal)
1) to cling, cleave to
2) to stay with
b) (Pual) to be joined together
c) (Hiphil)
1) to cause to cleave to
2) to pursue closely
3) to overtake
d) (Hophal) to be made to cleave

Again, no instructions on a ceremony.

Now, this isn't to say that a ceremony isn't a good thing. That's it's not a nice tradition to have, however, it doesn't appear that one is necessary!

Many will also argue that Christ performed His first public miracle at a wedding at Cana. Yes, the bible does tell us He performed His first miracle there, however the word used in the King James Version (from whence most other modern translations are derived) is "marriage", not "wedding". Furthermore, from the way it reads, it appears that what was called a "marriage" was actually the equivalent of what we call a wedding reception today. Remember, the miracle was that He turned water to wine. This didn't take place during any type of ceremony, it took place at a time when the guests were eating, drinking and being merry! There is no record of a wedding ceremony...there's no record of Christ, any of the apostles or any of the patriarchs before them performing any wedding ceremonies or even exchanging vows with their own wives! In fact, in Matthew 5:36, 37 Christ says:

Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil. (Incidentally, He said this immediately after speaking of marriage and divorce)

So, with no record of a wedding ceremony in a church with an officiant and no exchanging of vows, where does the Church...any church...get the idea that 2 people, living as husband and wife (cleaving to one another according to scripture) are, in fact, living in sin?! Further, with all of the scriptures above clearly defining the requirements of marriage, where do we get the idea that Our Father has been silent on the matter? The fact is that He has spoken...we just refuse to listen and, instead, continue to follow (and judge others according to) our own made up traditions!

Is this another example of what Christ pointed out in Mark 5:9

And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.

Have we chosen to reject what Our Father has said about marriage in all of the scriptures and, instead, chosen to uphold our "traditions" over His word?



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