" shacking up" and marriage in the eyes of God

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by JohnnyReb, Oct 3, 2013.

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  1. JohnnyReb

    JohnnyReb
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    Brothers I am a little torn in what to think about a situation that has arose in my Church. A family has been attending for a few months now....even before I started attending. They are as good of a family as I have ever seen. Have 2 children who love the Church and never miss a service. They volunteer without being asked and regularly help with cleaning and have a few times cleaned the whole chuch alone without anyone even knowing. Anyway the point is they are a wonderfull family that has been a real blessing.

    Problem is I recently learned they are not LEGALLY married. On the other hand they are a loving and functional family and not " shacking up" for the sake of sex ect. There intentions seem to be genuine and I can find no fault in their lifestyle other than not being legally married. I had a private discussion with the man and he gave me some interesting reasons for what they are doing.

    1. He believes that living together outside of marriage is a sin. He believes that he is married to the woman because he has made a oath to God personally in regard to their relationship. He agrees that in the beginning he and her were committing adultery but has since then seeked forgiveness and has gotten saved. After that they agreed that they had become one flesh after bearing a child and have stayed together as a family and as husband and wife.

    2. He believes that if the Government will recognize and issue a marriage license to homosexual couples.....what significance does it have in his marriage.

    Now his reason number 2 has really set my brain to work! It seems that if the government that rules over us has no concern over what a marriage really is then what authority does it even have?? Does a peice of paper from the courthouse really make any difference in the eyes of a God when the same court house is issuing marriage licenses to " questionable relations"? His explanation really makes me wonder. Adam and Eve didn't have a marriage license from the court house yet they were married and became one flesh. If a marriage license is all so important to be married....then what role does God even have in it. Is the license more important than the oath the two people make to one another and to God?

    Maybe I'm feeling this way because I like the family. I will continue to treat them with love regardless. I do not plan to council them on the subject because that is the church leaderships job....but am trying to work out my own personal feelings about it. I've always been a black and white person....something either is wrong or it isn't. But this situation had really got me wondering

    100 years ago I would have said flat out living in sin. But today with the government dabbling in every aspect of our lives I just wonder if it isn't smart to leave the government out of your marriage and family life

    NOTE: also consider the context of what I'm saying here. This isn't a young couple shacked just having relations. They are a working and functioning family who just doesn't want Uncle Sam involved in their " relationship". I personally have witnessed good fruits produced by them. I by no means am endorsing shacking up but in a situation where the INTENT in genuine I have mixed emotions
     
    #1 JohnnyReb, Oct 3, 2013
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  2. Amy.G

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    Interesting. You got me thinking too.

    Along the same lines, does a divorce issued by the court house mean one is divorced in God's eyes?
     
  3. Yeshua1

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    Believe that God ordained marriage for mankind, so he will honor whatever the culture views as acceptable ways to marry/divorce...

    So if the US allows a judge to divorce , he honors/permits that, but also allows them to reconcile and remarry!
     
  4. Yeshua1

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    IF they agree to treat each other as brother/sister, NO sexual activity, would be acceptabvle, but how many couples live together without doing that?
     
  5. JohnnyReb

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    Good question! Is it the judge who issues a divorce or is it the couple and God who issue a divorce.

    If a man or woman leaves their spouse for another has the marriage been abolished already or does a judge have divine power ??
     
  6. JohnnyReb

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    I'm sure they do engage in activity. BUT....they are living as a family and producing good fruits and not living together just for relations. They also consider themselves married and are completely devoted to oem another and their kids. They also have lived as a family for several years. This is why I'm a little soft on them because their intentions are genuine and true and the only thing they are lacking is a peice of paper. To him the paper is meaningless and his personal oath to God and his family are what's important. I'm having a hard time telling him he is wrong
     
    #6 JohnnyReb, Oct 3, 2013
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  7. Zaac

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    Emotionally this one might tug at us because of what's going on in the country as pertains to marriage.

    But remove the emotion and we are still called to obey the authority that is over us as long as they aren't asking you to do something in opposition to God. Thus a couple IN THE CHURCH should seek whatever formal governmental recognition is available for the sake of not breeding confusion.

    By their example. could one rightly justify to two 16 year olds why they aren't married and free to have sex with one another or why two 30 somethings who have chosen to shack up and have sex aren't married just because they say they are committed?

    If we start picking and choosing what we are not going to obey based upon emotion rather than Scripture, then no one need listen to anything we say Scripture commands.

    We don't live in accordance to what the government is doing.

    None of the above matters. Obedience is better than sacrifice. If they have not done what the authorities over them require, then they are being disobedient and giving the appearance of evil and breeding confusion that is not of God.

    Why did he tell you that he wasn't LEGALLY married?
     
  8. Zaac

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    You better get over it and lovingly tell him he is wrong.:laugh:
     
  9. preacher4truth

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    Bless their hearts and I hope you all continue to love them.

    I'd say they need come to the fact and conclude that they should obey God given ordinances though and set aside their excuses about the 'alternates' and other things.
     
  10. JohnnyReb

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    All good points and thanks for the input.
     
  11. Aaron

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    No public exchange of vows (licensed or not), no marriage.
     
  12. Revmitchell

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    Jesus talked about getting divorced. This was a legal and written divorce.
     
  13. padredurand

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    The first Christian wedding in the New World was In 1609, at Jamestown, Virginia, when Anne Burras married John Leyden.
    They were married under English marriage law "...(u)ntil the middle of the 18th century marriages could take place anywhere provided they were conducted before an ordained clergyman of the Church of England." Source

    For 400 years we've recognized a marriage as a man and woman standing before the church or magistrate exchanging vows that affirm their intent to love honor and cherish til death us do part. That is the cultural norm. In New York it is also the only way for a couple to be considered legally married.

    Now I get that your friends are good folk and all but they are not married by any reasonable definition. You can try and rationalize their decision to make a private pledge to each other but the simple fact is they are not married.

    There is no reason that a grown man and woman can't go down to the court house, get a license and have their pastor or a JP officiate a wedding unless they have something to hide.

    Marriage is not the exclusive domain of the Christian church. I believe there is a great difference between the marriage unbelievers and the marriage of Christian folk. Christians covenant, unbelievers contract. Long before there was an America there was civil authority empowered to set laws. Codifying marriage as a civil act has no influence on the spiritual covenant between a man and woman. If anything the spiritual has the greater influence.

    Unbelievers get married as a civil act and it is recognized as such. Christian folks do two things. They make their vows, in the words of the wedding service I use, before God and these witnesses. Christian marriage meets both the civil and religious demands.

    And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. And they marvelled at him.
    Mark 12:17 KJV
     
  14. Revmitchell

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    Some folks try to out spiritualize God
     
  15. preacher4truth

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    All that is really nice but has nothing to do with them being married or not, nor do all these niceties override their disobedience to Government ordinance and ultimately disobedience to God Himself.

    Actually they are shacking up. The fault of their lifestyle is in rebelling against God's ordained government. They are not many steps from anarchy and accepting that as well. I wonder if 2 Peter 2:10 applies here.


    They're not married and they have despised government ordained methods. His 'oath' is nothing more than rebellion against government and God's Word.

    Yet another excuse to justify themselves.

    Boy. I hope as convincing as they are they don't book a huge group trip to Guyanna.

    Yes, treat them with love. Like tough love for instance, since they love God, they should obey Him.

    They need to obey government. The only thing government wants here is legal marriage. Perhaps the REAL problem is one or both are LEGALLY married to someone else. Regardless, they are still disobedient to God.

    Many couples living in sin are not young, and work and function as a family. Their Uncle Sam involvement is an excuse and possibly a cover up. Actually, you ARE endorsing this one. You need to rethink your position and set your emotions aside.

    Peace.
     
    #15 preacher4truth, Oct 3, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 3, 2013
  16. Zaac

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    :applause: AMEN!
     
  17. Amy.G

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    Jesus only referred to Jewish Law given to Moses, not earthly governments.
     
  18. Revmitchell

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    Which was an earthly government. By the way congrats on your recent conversion. :thumbs: According to a recent post on this board.
     
    #18 Revmitchell, Oct 3, 2013
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  19. Gina B

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    For the same reason I did not accept a divorce from the court as valid and waited until there was a biblical validity, I do not accept a marriage license from the court as valid to say there is a biblical marriage going on.


    The only reason to get it approved by the government is for the (quickly fading) government benefits of marriage. And, as I'm noticing, the benefit of people who think the government is all powerful. Non-believers typically could care less, but other believers think the world will come crashing down if Christians don't get their marriages sanctioned by the government. Yet they scream when the same government sanctions gay marriage and think those marriages somehow aren't real.
    So what makes it real if the government does it for male and female vs same gender?
    Would that be a higher power? Like G-d?
    And if so, why not just cut the government out of the equation and not WORRY about involving them?
     
  20. JonC

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    That is an interesting point. It seems that there are two distinct ways of viewing marriage – as a marriage between a man and woman “ordained” by God or as a civil contract approved by the secular court.

    I have to say, however, that I disagree fully with Yeshua1’s assessment that God will honor whatever the culture views as acceptable ways to marry/divorce. (There are biblical grounds one can use to divorce, but our culture allows us to simply follow what would make us happy). Just because it is OK under civil law does not mean that it is something that will be honored by God.
     
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