The government in the place of God

Vox has a post up on an initiative to deregulate marriage in Oklahoma. He states “I am pro-marriage but I would not recommend obtaining a marriage license to any unmarried young man or woman these days. And if a woman isn’t willing to marry a man without a marriage license, that will serve as sufficient notice that she is already married to the State.” I can’t help but agree with Vox.

I’ve wondered for quite some time now why so many Christians care about what the government calls a marriage. Many Christians are up in arms about the government legalizing gay marriage, but what the government allows has zero impact on what is a marriage in God’s eyes. The government might say that you can marry a horse, a canary, or an x-box, but none of that would affect Biblical marriage, which is not dependent on a piece of paper from the government. I could care less what the government calls a marriage, what I’m interested in is what God calls a marriage.

Unfortunately, the church doesn’t like the Bible. It doesn’t care what God considers marriage. Often, church leaders give young couples advice that violates God’s commands about divorce simply because they refuse to recognize God’s standards for marriage. When a young man comes to his pastor and says “My girlfriend and I started having sex, what should I do?” the pastor ought to congratulate him on his marriage and teach him to fulfill his Biblical role as a husband. Instead, many pastors tell him that he should break up with his “girlfriend,” instructing him to violate God’s commands regarding divorce. Others tell the young man he must go to the government to get a piece of paper, because without that paper God will not recognize his marriage.

While the Bible says that marriage is performed by God, the modern church seems to think that marriage is performed by the church or the government. In so doing they place the government and the church in the place of God, a form of idolatry. But I guess it’s not surprising that having given up the following of God, the church should elevate something else to take His place.

3 thoughts on “The government in the place of God

  1. Well written.
    I was talking to my 24-year-old son a couple of weeks ago and mentioned my thoughts on marriage licenses–which are the same as yours. I explained my reasoning but not as clearly as you did here. Thanks.

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