Common Law Marriage

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Salty, Oct 18, 2013.

  1. Salty

    Salty
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    #1 Salty, Oct 18, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 18, 2013
  2. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    No, our church does not. We will accept a civil ceremony, done by a county district judge, or (if married in another state) a justice of the peace or whatever form of civil servant is authorized elsewhere to perform a marriage ceremony. We take it upon the couple's word that they are believers and understand the bonds of marriage to be unshakable, in the eyes of God.

    The reasoning behind the non-acceptance of a civil ceremony is that there was no witness before God. In fact, the "marriage" was undertaken in sin, without thought of seeking God's blessing.

    We discussed something similar to this not long ago when a member questioned the need for a state license, and I think the principle applies here as well. While the state's "blessing" isn't necessary to confirm a Christian marriage, it's record of a marriage, signed by a licensed pastor, helps to affirm the the presence of God in the marriage, at least from the beginning, and His continued presence, even if the couple doesn't recognize Him as standing there with them.
     
  3. ktn4eg

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    In Apostolic times, was it required of couples in newly evangelized areas to have legal sanction of their "union" prior to be admitted as members of newly-formed churches?

    In Paul's case, did his Roman citizenship also carry with it the authority to perform such legally sanctioned marriages?

    Was baptism delayed until such sanction was granted?

    Could a couple back then be married "in God's eyes" but not "in the government's eyes" (or vice versa)?

    Are there any specific NT examples and/or guidelines concerning what the apostles did (or didn't do) regarding who was (or wasn't) married in those days?
     
  4. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    I may be mistaken, but I don't believe Rome sanctioned marriages. At least I couldn't find anything online or elsewhere to indicate one way or the other. I believe the church was the sole sanctioning authority in the first century, other than the Jewish ceremonies that had been performed for centuries.
     
  5. Yeshua1

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    Yes, if that narriage was received and seen as being the accepted way to have marriage, if that would be done in the way culture/society defines it as being legit....
     
  6. nodak

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    Our state recognizes some things at variance with some folks.

    First off, we recognize common law marriage as valid and legal. That isn't shacking up. It IS publicly stating that "this is my wife or husband" in addition to common checking accounts or address, etc. But what makes it valid is the simple statement "we are married" or "this is my husband/wife." That is assuming all the legal requirements as to age, gender, and not already being married, sanity, etc are met. We have no common law divorce. You need a lawyer, court, etc, even if you married this way.

    OR, if you don't believe in the state marrying people (judge) or the necessity of a clergy led rite (like Catholics) you may get the license and marry yourselves before witnesses. You may NOT ask someone unlicensed to perform or officiate, but you may as the man and woman do the marrying yourselves before witnesses.

    Or you can get the license and have a judge or licensed clergy perform the ceremony.

    I have no problem with any of them, since ALL are legal and valid in this state. Myself, I don't see the need for judge or clergy but do prefer the idea of a license and witnesses.

    But any of the 3 ways make you legally married. I don't hold with magic rites by clergy. I don't think you have to be baptized IN ORDER to be saved, and don't think clergy has to baptize you if you choose to be baptized. I don't think clergy holds the power to make anyone wed or non wed.

    So I would vote to admit anyone who is married, but no one who is shacking up. But bear in mind again common law marriage in my state is most definitely NOT the same as cohabitation. You can cohabit forever and not be married, or be common law married and not yet have moved in together.
     
  7. annsni

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    The issue that I have is that a common law marriage was established in sin. You must live in a sinful relationship for a certain number of years before the state finally says "Fine! You're married." I'm sorry but there was no commitment there. There is nothing. I asked my husband what he thought and he felt the same way. He'd encourage a small ceremony before God and witnesses for the couple.

    Now, this is not saying the entire world needs to do this because we have no control over them. But if a couple wishes to join the church and live together as a married couple, they really should, in fact, be married.
     
  8. Aaron

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    I'm challenging this. Cite the statute.
     
  9. annsni

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    http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Common-Law+Marriage
     
  10. padredurand

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    Well, there you go! :applause:
     
  11. annsni

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    The thing that I find funny is that in almost all of the common law states, part of the requirement is to act married or intend to be married. So why not just get married???
     
  12. righteousdude2

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    You hit this out of the park!

    :thumbs::thumbs::thumbs:
     
  13. Aaron

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    I challenge this.

    You didn't cite a statute.

    I can cite a statute in in disconnected's state that belie's your assertion.
     
  14. nodak

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    Colorado statute does not require a marriage to "begin in sin" if it is a common law marriage.

    It does not require prior cohabitation just as a marriage with a license and preacher is a valid marriage before cohabitation.

    There is no length of cohabitation required for or making for a common law marriage in this state.

    Other states, other laws, I might agree with Annsi but not under our statutes.
     
  15. gb93433

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    During the time of the OT all marriages were civil ceremonies with the exception of some earlier ones when the man just took a wife.

    It was also a legal contract with money exchange.
     
  16. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    Not in the Jewish community, no.
     
  17. gb93433

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    Are you saying the OT is not the Jewish community?
     
  18. Aaron

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    All marriage is common law marriage.
     
  19. HAMel

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    Years ago, when long hair on men was not only a fashion but a statement of rebellion, our pastor flatly stated that if (any person) came to know the Lord..., then the Lord would convict said individual of their need to clean up their act. Like getting a hair cut fitting for a Christian man.

    It does seem to me that once a person comes to know the Lord their life will make that "U-turn", evidence of true repentance. Perhaps, in many situations regarding others, we should just mind our own business leaving it up to the Lord to do the convicting?

    No evidence of a "U-turn"? Then take action.

    My mother-in-law began sharing her lunch hour with that "New Man" who had just retired from the Navy. As she was married it wasn't long before word spread that she had a boy-friend and obviously involved in a scandalous affair.

    ...turns out, that "New Man" was her brother.

    Common Law Marriage? It seems that often we're too quick at judging. These folks should be counseled and encouraged for sure, relying on scripture and prayer. The Lord should do the convicting.
     
  20. Zenas

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    I'm curious, when a man and woman present themselves for church membership does your church require them to provide a certificate of marriage? Otherwise how do you know if it is a common law marriage?
     

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