Newsweek: The case against Marriage

Discussion in 'News / Current Events' started by Ruiz, Jul 1, 2010.

  1. Ruiz

    Ruiz
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    http://www.newsweek.com/2010/06/11/i-don-t.html

    My Commentary:

    From a secular viewpoint, I can understand why Newsweek says marriage is useless. The true force of the importance of marriage is that it is a covenant between a man, a woman, and the God who created this institution. Without God, marriage loses her meaning and importance. Take away any benefits marriage may afford in our society, marriage would still be one of the most important institutions because it was created by God. That is why Newsweek, and society in general, radically misunderstands marriage.
     
  2. KenH

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    Which is why there should be separation of marriage and state.
     
  3. ReformedBaptist

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    Your a better man than me to be able to stomach reading that article. yuck.

    My main reaction is that the Lord would make of my marriage something that honors and glorifies Christ Jesus. May we as Christians make marriage honorable among men, and a reflection of the glory of God.
     
  4. Ruiz

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    There is some agreement that I have with you but some disagreement. The Libertarian argument is misleading. First, to say that the state and church was not interested in the issues of marriage before the 1920's is not historically nor intellectually honest. Puritans, for instance, believed marriage was not a church institution but a natural institution, and the state should govern marriage in accordance to God's law. Most of the early Reformation and post-reformation Christians held this type of belief. Thus, there were early laws governing the institution of marriage. Catholics, though, believed marriage was a church Sacrament and the state subject to the church, but most protestant (including Baptists) disagreed.

    However, where I do agree with you is that marriage should not be governed by the state in forcing marriage licensing, recognizing ministers/individuals to perform marriage, making much of their divorce law, and other such crazy laws. As well, while religion gives the marriage institution her definition and importance, marriage is not an ordinance of the church. Because marriage is a unique and a fundamentally basic building block of society, the state has a role in marriage, and marriage has a role in the state. Marriage has unique qualities that should be recognized and respected by the state, though distinct from the state as it's own entity. However, marriage is uniquely religious. You cannot mitigate the state's relationship to marriage but must quantify it. You cannot mitigate the religious aspect of marriage, but you must quantify it. If the state is excluded, only Christians should be married and the state can violate the institution with no concern for the institution itself. If the church is excluded, you lose all meaning of marriage.

    Thus, I believe what happened in the 1920's was an over-extending of the government's role in marriage, which has had disastrous results. However, the libertarian viewpoint would be just as disastrous, making the family nothing more than individual units and defaming an entire structure of society.

    I think the early Christians had the best solution. Recognize marriage is derived from religion, but must be supported by the government based upon religious ideas.
     
    #4 Ruiz, Jul 1, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 1, 2010
  5. billwald

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    >Puritans, for instance, believed marriage was not a church institution but a natural institution, and the state should govern marriage in accordance to God's law. . . Thus, there were early laws governing the institution of marriage. Catholics, though, believed marriage was a church Sacrament and the state subject to the church, but most protestant (including Baptists) disagreed.

    I wonder if protestants took that tack BECAUSE the Catholics took the opposite?

    I wonder if the divorce rate is higher among Christians because the Church puts pressure on young people to get married instead of other alternatives?
     
  6. Ruiz

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    No, I think the reason they took this is because Marriage was a Universal Ordinance from the creation of man and woman. Thus, it was never given to the church as an ordinance. No church ordinance is a universal ordinance and no universal ordinance is a church ordinance. However, there are universal ordinances that religion speaks to, like marriage, the moral law, and other issues.
     
  7. KenH

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    "The only way we can truly save the family, and ultimately our society, from further damage is to remove the state from the business of licensing or sanctioning marriage. Only when we have a separation of marriage and the state will we have strong families once again." - Daniel Lewis

    - www.getyourcountryback.com/

    I agree with Mr. Lewis about this.
     
  8. Ruiz

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    Since there is no rationale for such a statement, either philosophically or Biblically, this is really just an opinion. In a previous post, I addressed why Libertarians are philosophically, theologically, and historically wrong about this issue. However, I agree with the licensing aspect; I disagree government should abandon marriage altogether.

    The salvation of marriage does not rest at the feet of the government getting out of marriage. The salvation of marriage rests at the feet of the church clearly articulating marriage and challenging the irrational advancements of marriage of other groups. When government steps out of marriage, we will see the greatest assault against the family.
     
  9. KenH

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    I couldn't disagree more. However, I doubt we will ever find out since the scope and influence of government has only increased into more and more areas and grown stronger and stronger ever since the founding of our republic.

    In Western history the involvement of government in marriage to any significant degree did not start until the 16th century as Mr. Coontz points out:

    www.nytimes.com/2007/11/26/opinion/26coontz.html?_r=1
     
    #9 KenH, Jul 2, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2010
  10. Ruiz

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    There are half truths to some of these statements but also very unBiblical ideas. First the unBiblical ideas:

    The Times article is a secular understanding of marriage, and marriage is more than a "private contract". This is at the heart of the libertarian view, which I deem destructive. If marriage is only a private contract, then marriage is useless. Rather it is a Biblical Covenant with the force of religion behind the Covenant that uniquely alters the entire standing of the couple in society and before God. Marriage is a spiritual entity that ecompasses more than a writ likened to buy or rent a house or to have a business relationship. Marriage is a union, a covenant, and a majestic foundation that is unique in their standing in society more than two individuals with a contract.

    Yet, I do agree that the marriage licensing process is not a valid state function.

    On the other hand, to say governments were not interested in making laws concerning marriage until the 1200's is either an ignorant statement or an outright lie. We have governmental laws on marriage dating back to the Assyrians and Babylonians. Cultures pre-dating Christ in Thessalonica and Caesar Augustus, all had laws concerning marriage. The Roman empire during and after Christ's life had laws. Early Christians opposed poor Christian marriage laws under Constantine, having parts of the law repealed, but they also stood firm on other parts supporting a Christian marriage and so they supported in keeping the laws intact.

    Thus, it is not true that Christians were only concerned with governmental laws because of the Roman Catholics in the 1200's. Rather, early on after Christians stopped becoming persecuted did they wish to change horrible Roman Laws of marriage. As well, dating back to antiquity there have been laws governing marriage.

    My conclusion, marriage is more than a mere contract between two people but marriage impacts the couples standing and position in society in ways that a mere contract cannot convey. As well, Christians early on were involved in influencing marriage laws to become more Biblical. These people who say laws regulating marriage is a new idea, are either not truly researching the issue or have an agenda. Either way, I think this article demonstrates this person has a tremendously secular point of view on marriage, not a Biblical point of view. From a Biblical standpoint, marriage is much more than a mere contract as society's interaction with this family radically changes. It is societal, spiritual, and individual.

    The Libertarian view is merely an attack on the nature of marriage using a secular mindset. All Christians should reject such a secular mind and embrace what God says about marriage and lift it up higher than a mere "contract". It is an ordained and holy institution of God, not to be cheapened to renting a house or a mere business contract.
     
    #10 Ruiz, Jul 2, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 2, 2010
  11. billwald

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    >When government steps out of marriage, we will see the greatest assault against the family.

    Since there is no rationale for such a statement, either philosophically or Biblically . . . .
     
  12. Ruiz

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    I disagree.

    Simply put, God in the Old Testament Law established marriage in all three aspects of the law: the ceremonial, judicial, and moral. All three shows the impact of marriage in all three entities.

    In Genesis, at the declaration of marriage, scholars have debated God's declaration of the two becoming one. While it was a declaration from God, it is religious. Yet, while it is a declaration for more than Christians, it is judicial. Finally, while it has certain rules of moral conduct, it is moral.

    God declared marriage to now interact differently to society in general and government specifically. God declared, "The two shall become one." Again, this is considered moral, judicial, and religious.

    Religious, marriage is a spiritual act

    Moral, marriage has a set standard of conduct for moral uprightness.

    Judicial, marriage enacts her own government whereas there is a head and there is a judicial structure (Ephesians 4).

    Thus, there is a unique relationship marriage has with the church and government. The Church, while caring for individual members, interacts with people differently from families than individuals. We recognize the structure and authority of the family government structure.

    The Government, as well, should recognize the family. The family is a distinct and independent entity from government and by saying the government should stay out of the agreement, is paramount to government not recognizing the unique relationship of this entity. While they may recognize the legal aspect of the family, they do not recognize the unique role family plays as being a complete and unique governmental strucutre distinct from being merely individuals.

    If government now only sees family as a mere contract between two people, they will also not see the unique relationship that exists within a family. That means, a family would be nothing more than individuals under the authority of the government with certain legal obligations. Rather, the family is a unique entity that unites and establishes this entity.

    Government, then, has a unique role to recognize family and marriage so it can respect the entity of family. Yet, they can only derive this view from Christianity.

    Practically, I note that if a 11 year old goes to the Doctor. Today, a government entity that does not respect the family believes the child is an individual with rights as an individual and not in a familial structure. Thus, her visit, by law, is kept from the family. I believe this is because the government does not recognize the unique relationship of a family and is a practical outworking of devaluing the family and marriage. Yet, our government still has some ideas of the family, but it would be much worse when they no longer recognize family at all.
     

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