Over at what looks to be his brand-new blog, “Lutheran Pastor Says”, Rev. Harrison Goodman writes that, “It’s time to get out of the marriage game. Let me clarify that. It’s time for the Church to get out of the State’s marriage game.”
Rev. Goodman writes that although the church and state may define marriage in different terms, God’s will for man and woman is clear:
The latest ruling is the freshest in memory. Is marriage between a man and a woman, or two consenting people? Today the Supreme Court made it clear that the State defines marriage differently than the Church.
Does it matter if two people are married? There are 3 states (Mississippi, Florida, and Michigan) that outlaw cohabitation, though none of them enforce this law. While the State has told us that marriage is everyone’s option, it is nobody’s imperative. The Church, in light of the 6th Commandment, calls us to fear and love God so that we would live a sexually pure and decent life in what we say and do, and for husbands and wives to love and honor each other. There is a proper way for a man and a woman to spend their lives together, and that is marriage. Apart from this, any sexual relationship, heterosexual or homosexual, is equally sinful.
Using an ancient, biblical, and especially powerful polemic by referring to the government as “Caesar”, he gives his idea for how the Church ought to respond to being at odds with the government:
What now? It’s time to call it like it actually is. Let’s stop pretending like the Government and the Church are performing the same function when two people say “I do.” Let Caesar be Caesar and the Church be the Church. It’s time for the Church to stop signing off on government tax breaks by performing civil marriages. What does that have to do with us? It’s time for the State to stop telling us what we may and may not believe about God and His Word. Isn’t there something written in the constitution about that?
Let’s bless the marriages we see as right before God. Let’s put forward a clear teaching about the blessings given by Christ to His church. Let’s proclaim this sacred union as is proper.Yes, that means that people will have to get married before the state and not in a church. We already have a rite in our Agenda for blessing a civil marriage. We should be using it. Beloved Christian couples, go get married before the Government, get your tax breaks, have a party, and enjoy it. You should. Then, on Sunday, stand up (or maybe even kneel) before the Lord and receive His blessing in your lives together.