I read the following reply to the question of "Must Marriage Be legal To Be Blessed By God" on your website (www.ComeReason.org). While I greatly appreciate the emphasis of marriage being a sacred covenant, I must admit that I have a few questions and criticisms of key points within your reply. I've copied your reply below and have highlighted in blue my own interjections within:
1. Marriage is an institution created by God and therefore is holy.
2. Marriage can only be between a man and a woman.
3. Marriage is more than a commitment.
You see, marriage is more than just making a commitment to someone else. It is also entering into a holy covenant before God. (Yes, for us, but not a state requirement. In "their" marriage He does not have to be recognized as the state certainly doesn't. If they did, believers would be able to partake of their own marriages, even performed by or witnessed their own clergy if they like, and that would still be recognized as legal marriage. This isn't the case, however, as the State does not recognize Him in our marriages.). In Malachi, God is rebuking the people of Judah for not following His laws. There we read, " 'Because the Lord has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously, though she is your companion, and your wife by covenant.. For I hate divorce,' says the Lord." (Mal 2:14,16). (For more on divorce, please see "Is Matthew 19 a Contradiction?").
4. Marriage is to be witnessed.
5. Marriage is to be held in honor.
with more states to possibly follow]. Could the marriage offered by the State even compare to a biblical marriage in that it allows for divorce, allows for people of different faiths [and NO faith] to marry, allows for remarriage in ANY situation where it's proven one isn't already married and they are free to remarry as many times as they like as long as they can continue to prove that their last marriage was legally dissolved? That an atheist and a believer are given the same certificate, tells us that State's marriage, in and of itself, is not one of religious nature. Could it be that the State's marriage is an imitation of the real thing, but is not the marriage that Yahweh intended and instituted at the beginning?
a) the act of creating, creation
b) creation i.e. thing created
1) of individual things, beings, a creature, a creation
a) anything created
b) after a rabbinical usage (by which a man converted from idolatry to Judaism was called)
c) the sum or aggregate of things created
c) institution, ordinance
Also, at no point in scripture, can I find where He gave man dominion over marriage. I also can't find where Messiah, any of His followers or where any high priest ever solemnized a marriage. To me, it appears it was understood that only Yahweh joins together (as scripture repeatedly states). If I am wrong, I humbly and sincerely look forward to your correction).
One argument that you didn't present and that I can respect you not doing so is that a legal marriage is helpful should a couple split up. Many who argue in favor of legal marriage being the ONLY true form of marriage will often make this argument. Funny thing is that they will also vehemently argue against divorce and against prenuptial agreements. However, when a marriage certificate is seen as a tool which may be used to aid in a future divorce and in the division of property, it then enters the realm of a prenuptial agreement and of a truly unGodly intention (when sought for legal support in case of divorce or separation). Again, I respect that you don't seem to view it that way, but I just wanted to put that out there since I've seen it argued so many times before. In parting, a few links I'd like to share with you are: The Lawful Path which will shed some light on how at least one state views legal marriage and a great essay I recently discovered on the covenant of marriage, which I know you'll enjoy (I certainly did!). The latter doesn't debate the issue of legal vs. biblical marriage, but does an excellent, in-depth job of exploring the actual covenant aspect. (If any of these links do not work, please let me know) I realize that we'll likely disagree on many of the points highlighted here and that's okay. I trust that both of us seek to honor marriage and our Father even if we disagree on how this should be done. I do sincerely welcome any correction in any areas where you believe me to be in error, all I ask is that you do so with pure, very clear scripture (as opposed to opinion added to scripture). I'm willing, however, to even take your opinions into consideration too, as I already have, so feel free to share them as well. Blessings to you and to the wonderful work you do in helping to guide others along the correct path. He truly is the Way, the Truth and the Life, so may we all hold fast to Him as the only route to the Father.
Thank you for your time in reading this and thanks, in advance, for your time should you choose to reply.
So, folks, I hope it's clear here that, first, it's important to know for yourself what the bible states. If you don't read and study, the wool is easily pulled over your eyes. I don't believe the respondent here had any ill-intent (quite the opposite), but the twisting of scripture cannot be tolerated, especially regarding such an important topic. Secondly, as you will hopefully begin to see, marriage IS clearly defined by the Most High. Man cannot define it for you, nor can man govern over it, nor has man ever been given authority over marriage and its ordinances. And, finally, if you're planning on marrying soon or if you're already married, please take the time to carefully learn what, exactly, marriage is and do not be fooled by the man-made legalities and customs of traditional marriage. Legal, biblical or both is your personal choice and, YES, you do have a choice! Legal marriage is NOT your only option and, in fact, it is NOT the same as what Our Father gave us and is NOT the one that is blessed by Him.
In closing, since my letter has yet to be responded to, if any of you wish to clarify or rebut my points above, please feel free to email me at LaLaLives@yahoo.com. It's my pleasure to consider all sides in this debate and I do reserve the right to post any emails delivered to me on this or any other topic related to this blog.
Have a superb day in Him!