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Get Ready For A Surprise: What The Bible Says About Marriage
"Let us be thankful for the fools; but for them the rest of us could not succeed." Mark Twain
You've heard it on TV, talk radio, and the Internet; you've even read it in the papers. The Conservative Right and fundamentalist religion in America have made it clear that there should be a Biblical standard for marriage, that is, the joining in holy and legal matrimony of one man and one woman. And since Pres. Obama has recently taken the side of marriage equality i.e. gay marriage, the Right is even more determined to nail it all down to their liking.
Fine. Then let's see what the Bible has to say about it.
The following is from a U-U (Unitarian-Universalist) minister in Massachusetts:
IN DEFENSE OF BIBLICAL MARRIAGE
(2005) The Presidential Prayer Team is currently urging us to "Pray for the President (George W. Bush) as he seeks wisdom on how to legally codify the definition of marriage. Pray that it will be according to Biblical principles. With many forces insisting on variant definitions of marriage, pray that God's Word and His standards will be honored by our government."
Any good religious person believes prayer should be balanced by action. So here, in support of the Prayer Team's admirable goals, is a proposed Constitutional Amendment codifying marriage entirely on Biblical principles:
A. Marriage in the United States shall consist of a union between one man and one or more women (Genesis 29:17-28; II Samuel 3:2-5).
B. Marriage shall not impede a man's right to take concubines in addition to his wife or wives (II Samuel 5:13; I Kings 11:3; II Chronicles 11:21).
C. A marriage shall be considered valid only if the wife is a virgin. If the wife is not a virgin, she shall be executed (Deuteronomy 22:13-21).
D. Marriage of a believer and a non-believer shall be forbidden (Genesis 24:3; Numbers 25:1-9; Ezra 9:12; Nehemiah 10:30).
E. Since marriage is for life, neither this Constitution nor the constitution of any state, nor any state or federal law, shall be construed to permit divorce (Deuteronomy 22:19; Mark 10:9).
F. If a married man dies without children, his brother shall marry the widow. If he refuses to marry his brother's widow or deliberately does not give her children, he shall pay a fine of one shoe and be otherwise punished in a manner to be determined by law (Genesis 38:6-10; Deuteronomy 25:5-10).
G. In lieu of marriage, if there are no acceptable men in your town, it is required that you get your father drunk and have sex with him (even if he previously offered you up as a sex toy to men young and old), tag-teaming with any sisters you may have. Of course, this rule applies only if you are female (Genesis 19:31-36).
So, what do you think? Are you as convinced, after reading the above little treatise, that your views on marriage should remain the same? Are you as certain as ever that the Biblical way is the best way when it comes to marriage? If you are, that's OK.
I simply request that you include these little injunctions in all of your future conversations--oral and written-- about marriage. Be clear as to why you support the proposition. Let others know about these interesting scriptures. And don't cop out by saying something like, "Well, that's Old Testament stuff. As Christians, we are not bound by that." Keep in mind that Jesus was a practicing Jew. He would not have disobeyed the Law. In fact, the Bible is clear: Jesus came to fulfill the Law, not to do away with it.
If you pick and choose which passages of scripture are valid for you, then allow the rest of us to do the same. Fair enough?
However, if you already hold an opposing view, you now have some interesting ammunition, do you not? All I ask is that you use it with care and discretion. The point here is not to hurt, but to educate. Treat each other with respect and equality. For all our sakes.
(Note: Different Christian denominations will have differing views, not only on the marriage passages, but on interpreting and using them in daily life. If you are looking for a firm interpretation, one that suits all Christians, chances are slim. There are literally thousands of different Christian denominations, sects, and cults around the world. Of course, you are free to choose the one that suits you and your priorities best.)