Tuesday, March 14, 2017

9 Steps For Witnessing The Truth of Marriage in the Church



Titus 1:6-9 If any (bishops) be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.Titus 2:1-5 But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.


Many people question the idea of marriage permanence and the thought that it is solely about brow-beating people that they are headed to Hell if they remain in adultery. While we must never entertain the idea that sin is something to hide or ignore, we must also be considerate to the fact that remaining in sin and not calling it sin is a very dangerous and eternally damaging. We must also consider, and have compassion for the sinner so as to bring them back into fellowship with the Lord. This latter fact should be our reason why we stand for marriage truth. If it isn't, then your witness for marriage will be nothing more than

"sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal". (1 Cor 13:1)
There needs to be grace and truth when we talk about marriage. We must never be a banging gong. We must love with the love of Christ and do so with the purpose of bringing people to the power of the Gospel. This is why I believe that marriage is a perfect reflection of Gospel when marriage is properly witnessed by those who believe this covenant is for a lifetime.

I have written several posts in the past to clergy, family ministries, and laypersons (I detest using these words, but it is no surprise that we have come to this period in history where "denominationism" is the current, but false representation of the church) in what they must do to be a witness of marriage. Yet, I felt it necessary to have a short, yet concise steps to speak boldly and become a bold witness to the definition of marriage founded on the love of the Gospel. (Gen 2:24; Mt 19:4-6; Mk 6-9; Eph 5:31,32)


Here are 9 steps which I believe are necessary in restoring marriage truth in the body of Christ. These need to be position papers in every denomination and congregation who calls Jesus Christ Lord.


  • Preach the Gospel. The Gospel is the key to knowing God’s love, and knowing God’s love is the key to know how to love people. (John 3:16-18; 1 John 4:2-18) 

  • Define marriage truth. We must define marriage as God defines marriage. Marriage is one man and one woman for life. Only death can sever this covenant bond. (Gen 2:24; Mt 19:4-6;Mk 10:6-9)

  • The body of Christ must be an unwavering witness to marriage. We can only be an unwavering witness of marriage if we love God and love people by remaining in the vow…until death do we part.

  • The body of Christ must teach the truth about marriage. One man and one woman for life. No excuses, no exceptions. This must include older married couples ministering younger married couples. This is a great ministry for "empty-nesters" in guiding young couples to be godly marriages which reflect the love of Christ. A great example of this is found in Paul's letter to Titus...of which I included some of these verses in this post.

  • The body of Christ must be accountable to every marriage in the body. This includes an unwavering stance for church discipline (Matthew 18:15-17) so that all who sin (no matter the sin) can be restored into fellowship with repentance, forgiveness, reconciliation, and restoration.

  • The body of Christ must be accountable to those who chose not to repent of sin. In the cases where a sinner chooses not to repent (This will most likely be very scarce if church discipline is properly handled) then he or she is considered reprobate and expelled from fellowship. This does not equate to the body of Christ rejecting them, rather it is a further discipline to bring such person to repentance. (1Cor 5:4,5) If the body of Christ is united in this stance, the sinner will not be included in fellowship with the body, and he or she will not share in anything associated with the body of Christ.

  • The body of Christ must be accountable to all innocent parties of those who are directly affected by the sin of the church disciplined sinner. A perfect example is any family member who was under the care of a man was rejected from fellowship due to church discipline. This would include the spouse and children. This does not give the innocent party freedom to ever believe the disciplined sinner will never repent. This gives the body of Christ accountability to saints in need.  

  • All current “remarriages” because of a civil divorce from a covenant of one-flesh marriage are states of adultery and must be dissolved and must be called what they truly are…adulterous unions and not covenant marriage. All future “remarriages” because of a civil divorce must be abolished since these unions are unions of adultery.  Any person or persons in one-flesh covenant marriages who initiates, or is a victim of unilateral divorce must reconcile this marriage or remain unmarred until death. In plain terms, a divorce cannot end a one-flesh covenant marriage, and all “remarriages” are adulterous unions.

  • The body must teach the truth that states of adultery remarriage are under the wrath of God and will not permit such party to inherit the Kingdom of God. If any member of the body of Christ does not seek to understand this important fact, then he or she is under church discipline. It is the duty of every believer to bring the unrepentant to repentance. (Heb 13:4)

I pray that the body of Christ would open eyes and ears to the truth of marriage as God commanded (1 Cor 7:10,11) and that we take steps to be a witness to marriage and one man and one woman for life...in doing so, we show a fallen world the love of Christ, and His love for us. 


Titus 2:11-15 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.


In Christ's love,

Neil

 

Saturday, February 11, 2017

What We Need Most On This "National Marriage Week"



The week of February 7th to the 14th is commonly designated as National Marriage Week. What is marriage? If we ask anyone off the street you might get a hundred and one answers. But what is marriage? I, and many others believe that marriage is defined by the God of the universe and that if your definition does not agree with His, your definition is false. What is the definition of Marriage?

There are many who understand marriage because God made men and women in His image. So, when someone says that marriage is a lifetime commitment of one man and one woman, there is very little argument except for maybe some “inclusions”. Yet, these inclusions, as false as they may be, always seem to believe that marriage is a lifetime commitment…” till death do we part”.

Even the Reformers and Catholics will tell you that marriage is God’s design and that God intended this union to be a lifetime union. Just ask marriage defender Eric Metaxas. If you do not know Eric, he is an bestselling author and true champion of religious liberty. http://ericmetaxas.com/ 


In a recent article, Eric challenged Christians to change the culture by standing for biblical marriage, Eric believes that marriage definition is one man and one woman…but I question if he believes that marriage is for life... 


It's almost become a cliché to say that marriage is under attack in America.~ Eric Metaxas



Eric, marriage was under attack since the beginning. Read Genesis 3, the enemy of our souls did not attack man until he was with his wife. That continued throughout the Bible and we see it in the so-called churches today. The fact is that marriage is not even holy in the congregations and denominations anymore. It is only those believers who love the Lord who speak the truth of marriage. 


The greatest deception in the churches today are the lies of the Westminster Confession of Faith and those clergy who insist on defending divorce and remarriage with exceptions and privileges. They do not defend marriage.


Yet, Eric and men like Russell Moore of the ERLC will tell us that the defense of marriage starts with the church:


This will also require an unflinching commitment to teaching what the Bible says about marriage as a lifelong commitment between a man and a woman under God's loving care. ~ Eric Metaxas


I like what standerinfamilycourt had to say about this in a recent post.


“During this week (February 7 - 14 is National Marriage Week.), there will be much going on that is vital and valuable to our nation, but there will be no getting away from the fact that in the corrupted culture of contemporary evangelicaldom, it will be "finders keepers", and millions in faux "marriages" which are not holy matrimony, will be encouraged to stay there at the peril of their very souls.”

“Talking about marriage "permanence" is politically acceptable to this crowd, but it will not resolve the nation's problems because it will not touch the root issue. Rather, the message needs to be around the far more relevant and offensive topic of holy matrimony indissolubility, according to Matt.19:6,8 and #LukeSixteenEighteen. This needs to be in the heaven-or-hell terms that Jesus and Paul unflinchingly cast it.”

Standerinfamilycourt has written many articles on the failings of the church to properly define marriage as the Lord defines marriage. Not to mention, many articles on the “unconstitutional” no-fault divorce laws. These latter issues are all but ignored in churches today. It is no wonder that cohabitation is overlooked, homosexuality is ignored, and transgenderism is widely accepted in many denominations today. Is it only a matter of time when men like Metaxas and Moore capitulate on these issues too?
Or will men like Metaxas and Moore step up the plate, admit how wrong they are , and boldly speak the truth…the truth like standerinfamilycourt and other are speaking. In fact, I thought it totally necessary to share the list that standerinfamilycourt prepared that would most likely NOT be on this years agenda:



- When will pastors stop performing weddings that Jesus repeatedly called adulterous (and tell the congregation why) ?

- When will pastors stop signing civil marriage licenses that reflect the only unenforceable contract in American history, and which since 1970, in no way corresponds to Christ's Matt. 19:4-6 definition of marriage?

- When will pastors stop smearing and stigmatizing the growing stream of true disciples of Jesus Christ who are coming out of adulterous civil unions to in order to recover their inheritance in the kingdom of God? [1 Cor. 6:9-10; Gal 5:19-21-KJV)

- When will repealing unilateral divorce in all 50 states become as high a moral priority as outlawing the slave trade, or repealing Row. v. Wade, or ending sodomous "marriages" ?
Please join me and others in praying for this nation to repent and reform to the truth of marriage as one man and one woman for life. The consequences of abusing marriage definition over the years are many, but these consequences pail in comparison to the millions who will spend eternity in Hell should they not repent of adultery.


I too pray for men like Eric Metaxas who was given the privilege to be a voice for marriage. I pray that he would repent of ever believing that God would allow for marriages to dissolve in the face of sin, when He has given His only Son to be the propitiation of that sin. The Gospel does not have power if it is used in such a way as to keep "remarriages" together when it is a representation of keeping one-flesh covenant marriages together.


Eph 5:31-32 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 Christ' love,

Neil 

The word of God speaks the truth of marriage!