Saturday, April 9, 2016

Do You Support Traditional Marriage or Pseudo-Marriage?

I see it all the time from Facebook memes, Facebook groups, and mega-family ministries such as Focus on the Family and Family Life. They make a bold claim that they support “traditional marriage” with catchy pictures and catchy phrases. Unfortunately, most ministries that support traditional marriage do not support traditional marriage. 

They only "think" they support traditional marriage based on the idea that marriage is one man and one woman. The subtlety in this error is devastating.

Until a ministry is prepared to support traditional marriage as one man and one woman for life, they are not supporting traditional marriage, they are supporting something else.
The performance or spectacle of the wedding is a significant way to understand the definition of marriage. When a person vows in marriage, he or she is making is quite clear to the other spouse that the vow they make will last until death. This vow is not conditional. The vow is unilateral in nature and is not dependent on the actions of the other spouse. 

It should be clear to both the husband and wife that God is the officiator of the wedding and that should one spouse break the vow they made in His presence, they will have to deal with God. Traditional marriage starts when one believes that marriage is God’s origin.

I wish I could support ministries such as Focus on the Family and Family Life, but to be honest, these ministries are more diabolical than they are ministries in the Lord. Sure, they do wonderful things for families and individuals. These ministries condemn abortion and pre-martial sex. These ministries support marriages and help those in difficult marriages. However, these ministries also think a “remarriage” after a divorce of an estranged spouse are lawful marriages.  

The typical wedding sermon includes the language, “Do you Joseph, take Mary to be your lawfully wedded wife?” Do you Mary, take Joseph to be your lawfully wedded husband?”
What is the “law of marriage”?

Is a lawful marriage as it was in the beginning (Gen 2:24; Mt 19:4-6; Mk 10:6-9), or is a lawful marriage under the authority of men? 
Who has the final authority in your life? Men or God? Do you render what is God’s?

If the law of marriage is as it was from the beginning, would not the current definition of marriage be in complete contrast to law of marriage? I offered a similar post concerning the law of marriage here- What Is The Law Of Marriage As It Pertains To Me?

Family ministries, pastors and Christian lawyers will tell you that marriage is God’s “idea” for a fallen mankind, but what about the power of the cross and the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ? Surely His finished work would make marriage as it was from the beginning….do you follow me here?

When someone or some ministry tells me that marriage is God’s idea and that there are certain “situations” that provide loopholes to divorce, I know they have just redefined marriage to the point it is not marriage anymore. They have also cheapened the power of the cross and resurrection of the LORD Jesus Christ. They have also quenched the Holy Spirit.

What they really offer is “pseudo-marriage”. A pseudo-marriage is any form of “marriage” that is contrary to traditional marriage. Examples of “pseudo-marriages are any and all remarriages after the divorce of a living spouse, polygamy, and same-sex marriages. If you use the words “traditional marriage”, you are saying that marriage is one man and one woman for life. 

Focus on the Family, Family Life, James Dobson’s Family Talk are all examples of ministries that save and support “pseudo-marriages” of the remarried type. I must be clear that these ministries also save and support traditional marriages, but they certainly do not define the difference of a traditional marriage and a pseudo-marriage. Thus these ministries are very diabolical in nature whether they realize it or not.

If this marriage redefinition was an affront to God as it pertains to His design to the family, what does it say of what we understand about His holiness, sovereignty, faithfulness and understanding of the Gospel?  

If we do not associate the Gospel with marriage, or marriage with the Gospel, then we have redefined marriage. I understand the complete biblical story points to traditional covenant marriage. I also understand that there are many who twist verses to make marriage seem contractual rather than a covenant. 

However, the bottom line in defending traditional marriage is how you view marriage through the lens of the Gospel. Just as the individual makes a commitment to believe the power of the Gospel, so too will the individual make a commitment to live this life in covenant with his or her spouse. The Lord Jesus Christ is the ultimate bridegroom who will never leave us or forsake us. If marriage is beautifully defined in His love for the church, then so too must we as believers remain in covenant of marriage. No excuses, no exceptions.

The next time you see someone defending traditional marriage, ask them if they believe that marriage is one man and one woman for life. If they do not, then they are not defending traditional marriage, they are not defending the Gospel, and they are not a true witness to the LORD Jesus Christ.  

In Christ’s love,