God Has Joined Together

In an article I wrote recently entitled "Render to God the Things That Are God’s”, I made a point pertaining to marriage that I would like to expound upon here.  Of course, the title of that article came from Matthew 22:15-17, where the Lord said, "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.”  In that passage, Jesus answered a question about whether it was lawful for the Jews to pay a poll-tax to Caesar.  In my article, I emphasized that we must not overlook the latter part of Christ’s teaching.  This principle – "Render to God the Things That Are God’s” – should govern many things that we have errantly rendered to "Caesar.”  Marriage is one of those things that we have attempted to take from God’s control and to place in the control of civil government.

Regarding marriage, I wrote the following in my previous article:

One such application pertains to the subject of marriage.  Marriage is an institution established by God in the beginning.  Notice what the Lord taught about marriage in Matthew 19:4-6:

"Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?  Consequently they are no longer two, but one flesh.  What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”

It is God who ordained and defined marriage, and He continues to join husbands and wives today.  However, our nation has "rendered to Caesar” the institution of marriage so that it is considered nothing more than a matter of states issuing marriage licenses or granting divorces.  As a result, states are now redefining marriage in order to include those who practice homosexuality, which God counts as an abomination (Lev. 18:22; Rom. 1:26-27; 1Cor. 6: 9-10).

I can see that there was a time when it may have seemed like a good idea to subject marriage to the states’ regulations.  This first happened many, many years ago when it was determined that states should decide who is permitted to be married and who is not.  This had some merit at the time, for it allowed the states to punish those who abused marriage by immoral behavior.  Laws were enacted to prevent abandonment, polygamy, juvenile marriage without parental consent, and even adultery.  Such laws and the licensing of marriage appeared to be effective in governing marriage for most of the history of this nation.

However, the modern climate of immorality in our culture has revealed that it was a mistake to surrender marriage to the states.  This mistake has become like a snowball rolling downhill, growing larger, and gaining speed as years go by.  The snowball began with the issue of divorce, which at one time was a rare practice in our nation but has now become almost as common as marriage itself.  The states have permitted this to happen by making civil marriage nothing more than a matter of convenience and granting "no-fault” divorces to anyone who seeks them.  The snowball has grown now to include homosexual marriage, which five states (Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont) and Washington, D.C. are licensing at present and three other states (Maryland, New York, Rhode Island) are legally recognizing.  This means that in those states, marriages granted by the states to homosexuals are just as valid as marriages granted to heterosexuals.

The question now is: what is next in this snowballing disaster that is state sanctioned marriage?  Will it be polygamy?  Incest?  Bestiality?  Marriage of children?  Don’t laugh these things off and think that they will never happen.  Not only are these things possible, but it is also probable that these things are coming our way.  In fact, some of them are already showing up in Europe and Canada.

What should be done about these things?  Do we need an amendment to the United States Constitution to define marriage?  Perhaps that would be helpful, but it is not the real answer.  That would only give more credibility to the civil government to define something that it has no authority to define.  Instead, we need to restore our understanding that marriage is created and defined by God.  Let us understand that it is God who joins together a husband and wife, and no man or government of men has the authority to do otherwise.  Regardless of what the laws of men declare, there is only one true definition of marriage.  Relationships that are adulterous, homosexual, polygamous, or otherwise unlawful according to God’s word in the Scriptures are not marriage.  These things need to be taught to our nation’s citizens by us who are Christians, the citizens of heaven (Phil. 3:20).  When the citizens our nation are convinced to cease from ungodly behavior and to stop seeking state sanctions for such behavior, then these problems can be solved.  Only respect for God’s will and voluntary adherence to His law will provide the solution.

Stacey E. Durham


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