Marriage and Civil Unions.

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by Ben W, May 2, 2005.

  1. Ben W

    Ben W
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    I had not idea that this was going on in New Zealand, yet I have no doubt that it will be happening in Australia and the U.S soon enough.

    The idea is that a couple registers themselves as being in a civil union with the government. When they break up their partnership, it is alot easier than going through the courts for a divorce.

    Yet how do we as Christians respond to this, is this marriage in Gods eyes?

    - Registry staff object to civil unions

    Apr 29, 2005

    Some staff at Internal Affairs Registry offices in Auckland and Wellington have raised objections on religious grounds to performing civil union ceremonies.

    Internal affairs says it is working through those issues and it won't have any impact on the services it provides.

    The first civil union ceremonies were conducted Friday including two in the department's Christchurch office.  A hetrosexual Christchurch couple were the first in New Zealand to enter into a civil union.
     
    It took just a few minutes for Christchurch couple, Mike and Tracy to do the deed.

    "Doing this is just like going to the dairy to get a pint of milk or going to get the car registered. Its just a piece of paper the important thing is what happens with us, all the rest is wrapping," says Mike.

    While Mike and Tracy had nothing but praise for the way Internal Affairs staff who conducted their ceremony in Christchurch, a handful of staff in Auckland and Wellington are not happy with performing civil unions.

    "When you introduce a new service there are bound to be some issues that arise, and a civil union is no different. But I dont want to talk about that publically," says Birth, Deaths and Marriage Registrar-General Brian Clarke.

    The department says 29 couples so far have applied for civil union licences since the law came into force on tuesday.

    If a marriage doesn"t work out then a couple can divorce, and when the romance fades for a civil union couple and they want to dissolve their relationship, its virtually the same as a divorce says Otago University Associate Law Professor Nicola Peart.

    "You separate and you have to be separated for two years and if the relationship is then irretrievably broken down you can have it dissolved formally by a court," says Peart.

    But separation is the last thing on the minds of Mike and Tracy, making legal history by making it legal.

    http://snipurl.com/elwg
     
  2. menageriekeeper

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    Here couples just shack up. In Alabama if you shack long enough you are considered married by comman law and have to divorce as if a legal marriage occured.

    Civil unions, on the otherhand, are being considered for homosexuals as a compromise because most folks are opposed to legal marriage between people of the same sex. (me included)
     
  3. chipsgirl

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    Well, it's not a marriage according to the Bible.
     
  4. dianetavegia

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    We have a few women members on Baptist Board who are in 'Covenant Marriages' where they are NOT legally married in their state. No amount of scripture quoting about following the law of the land, etc. will convince them they are in sin.
     
  5. Marcia

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    :eek: :eek:
     
  6. Gold Dragon

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    I curious. What about a 'Covenant Marriage' is against the law of the land or is a sin? I'm not advocating this position but I'm not quite following your logic.
     
  7. DHK

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    RE: "Covenant Marriages"
    Romans 13:1-2 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
    2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.

    The above verses apply to marriage as well. It is God that sets up governments, and God that brings down governments. It is the Christian's power to change the laws through prayer, and his or her vote. Until then it is his or her responsibility to obey the laws of the land in whatever nations he or she lives in. If not, the Bible says that they shall receive to themselves damnation (condemnation). Those are fairly harsh words. Remember that the world that Paul and Peter wrote to was different, in the sense that they were writing to Christians who were suffering intense persecutiono under the hands of one of most wicked tyrants--Nero. In this context, both Paul and Peter admonishes them to obey the government, keep the laws. That includes laws pertaining to marriage. They that do otherwise resist the law of God.

    1 Peter 2:13-14 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;
    14 Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.

    Submit yourself to every ordinance of man. That includes the ones that pertain to marriage. Peter goes through every level of goverment that there is here (the kings and the governors). Submit to them. Why? They are sent by God.
    DHK
     
  8. Gold Dragon

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    So what ordinances are not being submitted to by Covenant Marriage folks?

    Even in states where Covenant Marriages aren't recognized, what ordinance is not being submitted to by entering into a Covenant Marriage?
     
  9. Marcia

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    They are not getting marriage licenses, which means they are not legally married under the law (unless it's a state that recognizes common law marriage, but that requires several years of living together and is only in a few states).

    This mean they have none of the state or federal benefits for married couples or for their potential children. But the main problem is that they are not submitting to civil law as mandated by the Bible.
     
  10. StefanM

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    Which law requires marriage?
     
  11. Marcia

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    Which law requires marriage? </font>[/QUOTE]If you get married in most states, you may have to submit to certain shots, and you are supposed to get a marriage license. As far as I know, the marriage is not legal if a marriage license is not procured.

    Some people may think, "Well, I'm married in God's eyes and that's enough" but why are they not getting a marriage license? Their marriage is not recognized legally and I think this is thumbing one's nose at the state laws. Do they think the are somehow too special to be legally married? Is this a good christian example? I don't think so.
     
  12. StefanM

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    Nevertheless, if they aren't violating any laws.... how is it not submitting?
     
  13. Marcia

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    I would have to consult a lawyer to find out if it is illegal to not get a license.

    But the point remains that not getting a license is living together in the eyes of the law, not being married. That does not seem like a Christian thing to do, especially as a witness to others, much less your children.
     
  14. StefanM

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    Well, if the community of faith knows that you have made a public vow of marriage, and if people with whom you speak know that your commitment is marriage, what other witness is necessary?

    To compare, if you are baptized in front of people, and you tell people that you are baptized, does it matter (with respect to your witness) whether or not you have a sheet saying that you were?

    Which is more important? The paper or the commitment?

    If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, but doesn't have documentation, does it become less of a duck?
     
  15. menageriekeeper

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    Hahaha Stephan.

    That's the same arguement I hear everytime I say something about people shacking instead of marrying. If you are that committed to each other, get MARRIED, and do it both in the eyes of God and in the eyes of man(government).

    Why? To keep the others from stumbling, of course.

    If people see Christians living together without government recognition, then how can we possibly say to them that they are living in sin? We must keep our witness as pure a possible.
     
  16. StefanM

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    It's not the same. Shacking up is not marriage. Marriage in the church without the license does NOT equal shacking up. We must admit...there is a fundamental difference.

    What if you have a religious objection to registering with the government?

    I think it is a bit of a stretch to assume that those in the world would obsess about whether our marriages are registered in the courthouse or not.

    Concerning the eyes of God vs. the eyes of man...your argument, menageriekeeper, breaks down. A public commitment to marriage, even without the paper, constitutes marriage before God and before humanity (there are witnesses, you state that it is a marriage, etc.).

    The ONLY difference between a public, unregistered ceremony and a registered one is the recognition by the government. The license doesn't make it any MORE of a marriage. The marriage is there. The license only grants you the legal status of being married.

    Think of it this way...was I married only after I registered with the county clerk? If so, wasn't the wedding night sinful?
     
  17. DHK

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    Which law requires marriage? [/QUOTE]
    God's law requires marriage. It is written all throughout the Scriptures. Condemnation of all kinds of immorality are forbidden: from homosexuality, bestiality, fornication, to adultery. Why? They are outside of the marriage untion. God requires marriage. At the time of Christ there was elaborate wedding ceremonies. Throughout the Scripture we do not find evidence that marriage was a responisbility of the church, we only assume it to be so. Christ went to the wedding at Cana, but there was no church. Everything was done decently and in order. And everything was done according to the law of the land, which Christ would never have broken.

    Laws vary in different states. Here it is required that a minister be licenced to perform the marriage. So it is not simply entering into a covenant. The government is already involved simply with the minister having to be licenced to perform said marriage, and sign the certificate.
    What is a covenant marriage? Common-law shack up??
    How much difference is there if you don't follow the law of the land? What difference is there if your marriage is not recognized? If your marriage is not recognized by the community (unsaved) in which you live, you are just shacked up in their eyes, and no better than the unsaved that live together. Your neighbors follow the laws don't they? Why don't you? No wonder they don't want to be saved.
    DHK
     
  18. StefanM

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    It's not recognition by the community that is at stake. No normal person looks up the legal records on their neighbors. A person who married but did not register would tell everyone that he or she is married. Their testimony before the community would be that of marriage.

    The only entity that would not recognize the marriage is the legal system.
     
  19. DHK

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    Normal people talk to each other. One of the most frequently asked questions of my wife is: "How did you meet your husband?" And then details of marriage follow. Or do you live in an icebox, so cold to your neighbors that they will never know anything about you. I hope not. People do talk. Get used to it. What kind of testimony will you have in your community--one who keeps the law, or one who breaks the law?
     
  20. dianetavegia

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    Many, if not most states, require a blood test for STD's before marriage.

    Scripture tells us to follow the law which requires a marriage license for a legal marriage. Scripture also tells us to avoid even the appearance of evil. If I knew you were unmarried and living together, my child would not be allowed to enter your home.

    My sister in law has lived for MANY years with a man in Illinois. Illinois doesn't consider them married. They're buying a home yet if he were to die, the home goes to his mother who despises my sister in law and is the reason for no legal marriage. Cathy had open heart surgery a few years ago. His insurance paid for it. About a year later, she got a notice that the money had been recouped and she was liable for those charges because she was not legally his wife and not covered legally on his insurance. She is also not allowed to collect social security on him if he becomes disabled or dies. She has NO rights or say if he becomes ill. They have no children together and he's never been married before.

    My sister in law and her 'husband' have visited us together ONCE. They were not allowed to sleep in the same room in our home. They've not ever returned nor will we stay in their home when we go there for a reunion, etc.

    Diane
     

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