In the past I have written a number of posts critiquing the public stance of the church against same sex marriage. I have argued that marriage is in reality a state and private affair and that there is no real historical or biblical grounds for the church to marry people, to stand against state issues and that the churches mandate was to teach Christians how to live within society and not dictate laws for society. For many my stance was a horrible shock and went completely against what they believe and for others it received a head nod of approval.
In this post I will look at the positive role the church has within the framework of marriage. I’m not against the church marrying people, nor am I against the church speaking into the issue of marriage. And indeed I look forward to the possibility of presiding at weddings in the future and speaking Gods blessings and facilitating the prayers of the faithful over those who wish to be wed.
Within the framework of Christianity and its doctrine, it holds that all of humanity is made in the image of God and therefore all of humanity deserve to be treated with the dignity and respect that deserves. The church recognises that not all in society will treat each other with dignity and respect. And it doesn’t take an outsider long to look into the church and say that even within the church structure there is little of this taking place.
However –this is why the church is mandated to speak within its self and to bring order within its self. And for this reason, among many others its mandate is to speak life within its self, teaching its self how to live within the society in which it exists. The message of the church is one of reconciliation with God. Reconciliation and ongoing relationship with the living God. And not only reconciliation with God, but reconciliation and right living with each other. And the church contains young and old. Male and female. Working and not working. Lower class and upper class. Every nationality under the sun. And within this framework of inclusiveness all are considered equal in Christ. And all are called to treat each other with equality and respect.
It’s within this framework of all getting along that the church has a further mandate to speak into the area of marriage. For within the marriage covenant, the message is one of continuing to live together in a framework of mutual love and respect and raising children in such an atmosphere. It’s an continuing echo of what is already happening within the body and therefore marriage is supposed to echo the relationship of God with his bride- the church.
And within this framework of living and relationship – the church can’t mandate laws for society to live by – nor can it mandate laws for its people to live by – rather God wills that the church will show society how to live by the way it lives – through the way God’s spirit lives within us. And its within this framework of being – the church has a lot to offer to the sanctity of marriage and within society.