Friday, May 25, 2007

In The Beginning...

Lots of stuff on my mind these days. Been really examining my belief system and have come to some unexpected conclusions. Need a place to write it all down, so I can look at it, sift through it, sort it out and, hopefully, come to more conclusions.

I won't go to the very, very beginning, but I will go back to the most recent beginning. I was on my knees praying when I heard a whisper that said, "They're worshipping a false god." Prior to this, I'd been studying how the bible describes marriage and how the state describes it. Once I discovered that the two are not necessarily on the same page, I began to wonder, "Okay, God, why are you showing me this?" I mean, I knew why, but I wanted to know what He wanted me to do with the info. I didn't know if that whisper was Him speaking or my own suspicion, so I continued to delve even deeper into the topic desiring nothing but truth.

Was hanging out with friends one night and the marriage discussion came up as it frequently does. (For anyone just tuning in, I've been in a long term relationship where marriage is frequently a point of discussion between myself, my love and all of the people who never cease to want to know, "When are you two gonna get hitched?") I began to question others at the table about what they believed marriage to be. Specifically, I wanted to know if a state sanctioned marriage was "THE" marriage that everyone was so preoccupied with me having. Surprisingly, my friends didn't think a state marriage was all that important. They weren't against them, but they were adamant that paper contracts do not make marriages. All of us being Born Again Christians, I began to share recent discussions I'd had with other Christians where marriage was ALL about the certificate or it didn't exist at all. I shared a few contrasting thoughts on what the bible had to say about marriage and my discomfort at biblical marriage and state marriage being considered one and the same (and, yes, I'll clarify all of this for you in a bit).

At the end of our discussion, someone said that they don't believe that Christians are all that hung up on marriage certificates, but will accept two people as married by biblical standards alone. I disagreed and set out to illustrate to this person how wrong he was.

That same evening, I found a Christian message board that I'd never visited before. Didn't know anyone there and they didn't know me, but the people posting there were undeniably conservative in their beliefs. After browsing around, I decided to ask if a Christian man and a Christian woman had a marriage ceremony committing themselves in marriage to one another before God and family, would they be respected by other Christians as married. My question set off a firestorm and, the next day, I emailed a link of that conversation to my friend who didn't think that Christians would have a problem with that. With the exception of one or two individuals, every respondent not only answered "NO!", but they were insulted at the suggestion that a marriage could even be possible without the state sanctioning it. I gave scripture after scripture of how the bible describes marriage, only to be told that the deal isn't sealed unless the state says so (and I was even called some not so nice names and accused of all sorts of falshoods for even asking the question).

Over and over again, people told me that state marriage was the law of the land and that we were to follow it because scripture said so. I've asked and continue to ask, what law says 2 people have to get married? My state doesn't have such a law and I've been unable to find too many others that do. What the law does state is that, in order to receive the state's benefit package normally extended to married couples, 2 people must apply for a marriage license and file a marriage certificate in the state where they were married. Again, this is for state recognition and state benefits...totally optional!

So, again, I asked my new buddies on this Christian message board, "Well, what if 2 people opt out of having those benefits or choose to take another avenue to get them?" And, again, they told me that the state marriage was the only marriage recognized by God despite the lack of proof that any state law exists saying 2 people MUST get married or that 2 people MUST partake in a state marriage or that the bible says that state marriages are the only real and true marriages. In their minds, what God instituted in the beginning...between one man and one woman...was of no consequence. Now, it was one man, one woman and one state or there was no marriage and anyone opting out of inviting the state in was actually living in sin, shacking up and (*gasp*) fornicating.

So I continued my studies. Using both the bible and other resources (law books, legal websites, etc.), I continued to put together this marriage puzzle and even started to learn a few more things about modern day Christianity, our government, our traditions and so forth and honestly was led to step back and take a serious look at what was truth and what wasn't. My journey is almost a year old and I feel like I'm still at the beginning. Which is why I'm here sharing these thoughts as so much has been revealed and there's still so much more to consider.

In the days ahead, I'll share specific thoughts and information that I've gathered so far and look forward to sharing more as I receive it. Undoubtedly, I'll offend some (even though that's not my intent at all), but the truth is the truth is the truth and, since I know it's out there, I have to take it as it comes.

Lest you think this blog is all about marriage, let me make it clear that it starts there, but I'll share a variety of musings totally unrelated to that topic or to one another. I am a deeply Spiritual person and am fascinated with learning about the bible, so most of my posts will relate to this, but I'm also interested in law, government, relationships (non-marital and others) and a hosts of other topics that are bound to pop up along the way.

Before I close this first entry, let me make it very clear that I love Yahushua (whom the world refers to as Jesus). He is Messiah, Savior and the only begotten Son of Yahweh (the name of the One the world calls God). I've been going through a lot of changes lately...a transformation, if you will...but the more things change, the more they stay the same and Yahweh is my All in All as always. Whether or not I'm a Christian, I'm still working out. This is probably the offensive part I spoke about earlier, but if I'm gonna keep it real, I may as well make it known that the traditional Christian religiosity has really gotten to me of late (we'll discuss that too). So, I'm not sure about applying the label to myself, but I'm not at the point where I deny others the tendency to do so either. For now, I simply prefer to refer to myself as a Believer!

Yeah, I'm a little bit of a non-conformist, but according to John 8:36: If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

...And free is EXACTLY who and what I strive to be!!!!!!!!!!

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