Has State Run Marriage Run Its Course?

Our latest addition to the BJS Board of Directors is laymen Mike Kronemann. He runs his own corporate display company (auto shows) and is an elder at Bethany Lutheran Church, Naperville, Illinois. He has written the following provacative article for BJS.


Has State Run Marriage Run Its Course?

Why is our church still participating in the state run programs of marriage when they are so intent on destroying marriage as defined by God as between a man and a woman? What is the benefit of having a state marriage license for brothers and sisters in Christ? There are no rules with this marriage license on how to live your life whereas the church steps in and sets God’s rules for marriage.

Let’s look at the benefits if we administer marriage through the church rather than through the state. We’ll take the state side first. They charge you a fee for the marriage license. They give you a tax break, and then if something goes wrong in the marriage, others (legal system and lawyers) profit off the loss.

Now let’s look at the benefits if the church administered marriage, the sanctity of marriage would be preserved. We could establish rules for the dissolution of marriage with pre-nuptial agreements. By having this in place before the marriage is entered into, we would take away the profit motive from those not directly involved in the marriage.

We’ve talked and sent letters to the politicians and they ignored us and they believe we have no other choice but to accept what they give us. But I say, if we step away from their perverse system that they are proposing, or have already implemented, we will be far better off. The only question is: Are we as brave as Martin was when he posted his 95 Theses at that time in conflict with church and state issues?

What I propose is we should set a date of January 2, 2014, when we want the state to protect the sanctity of Holy Marriage. We need to post in a major national newspaper that if the state doesn’t define a marriage as only being between a man and a woman, we will have no recourse but to withdraw from their system and ask other churches to do the same. The point of pressure that will be placed on the politicians will be changed then when they realize that the lawyers won’t be making money off of divorce anymore. The gay activists are pushing money to the politicians. Just think how many free lawyers you will have pushing for marriage to be that only between a man and a woman.

Time is running out on marriage staying defined as something the church can still support as a state run program. Martin took action when he saw corruption and unbiblical actions occurring in the church/state in his time. Since the state has or is attempting to take over the role of the church’s definition of marriage, we will have to insist that they protect the sanctity of marriage as only being between a man and a woman if they want church support.

Yours in Christ,

Mike Kronemann

About Pastor Tim Rossow

Rev. Dr. Timothy Rossow is the Director of Development for Lutherans in Africa. He served Bethany Lutheran Church in Naperville, IL as the Sr. Pastor for 22 years (1994-2016) and was Sr. Pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran in Dearborn, MI prior to that. He is the founder of Brothers of John the Steadfast but handed off the Sr. Editor position to Rev. Joshua Scheer in 2015. He currently resides in Ocean Shores WA with his wife Phyllis. He regularly teaches in Africa. He also paints watercolors, reads philosophy and golfs. He is currently represented in two art galleries in the Pacific Northwest. His M Div is from Concordia, St. Louis and he has an MA in philosophy from St. Louis University and a D Min from Concordia, Fort Wayne.


Has State Run Marriage Run Its Course? — 57 Comments

  1. Rev. McCall :
    How about a simple return to Biblical marriage? Your parents and her parents all talk, they approve, you take her into your tent and consumate the marriage and then have a big party. No state, no church, and you actually have quite a bit of Biblical support and precedence for it.
    Genesis 24:67

    Seriously, Rev, I’m considering this for my kids.

  2. 1. The state doesn’t run marriage. Neither does the church. God does. But the state (the government which is and remains one of the two greatest gifts of God to mankind) is still called to administer it according to God’s unchanging moral law.

    2. Insofar as the state does the right thing, we can gratefully use and bless its services in church services. No need to fantasize about parallel structures. They are not “biblical.” The medieval Western church tried that. The papacy resulted from this secular enthusiasm.

    3. I dont foresee the government forbidding heterosexual couples to marry. If it allows others to marry, what is that to us, really? We know whose marriage God blesses and whose he hates. Much worse than the state letting homosexuals marry are those so-called churches who bless such unions. While the moral sense of society is clearly waning in these latter days, churches should and could know better, had they not jumped on the “relevancy” bandwagon.

    4. The cross of Christ redeemed us. The cross of Christ shapes our daily life in this world whether we live in 21st century America or in 16th century Germany. There are ultimately no constitutional safeguards against it. We are defended by God, not the Supreme Court.

  3. Now that we are talking about Hebrew marriage traditions I would like to point out a few things. Hebrew marriage had two parts, the betrothal and the actual ceremony.

    In this talk about marriage, remember that Christ bride is the Church. He is a groom who is betrothed to his bride. Now, funny thing, the Hebrew word for betrothed also means sanctified. So, Christ has sanctified his bride!! He also paid the bride price… his death. He purchased us through his suffering and death. Could you imagine that. I mean, it fits perfectly.

    Secondly, rabbis and priests in the Talmud and Jewish tradition have blessed marriages giving the commandment ‘be fruitful and multiply’ reminding the couple of God’s intention of what marriage is. Jesus was at the wedding at Cana and blessed it!!

  4. @Holger Sonntag #4

    You said, “3. I dont foresee the government forbidding heterosexual couples to marry. If it allows others to marry, what is that to us, really? We know whose marriage God blesses and whose he hates. Much worse than the state letting homosexuals marry are those so-called churches who bless such unions. While the moral sense of society is clearly waning in these latter days, churches should and could know better, had they not jumped on the “relevancy” bandwagon.”

    Yes, it is highly improbable that the gummint would forbid heterosexual couples to marry. But when a faithful pastor says that he cannot (and will not) marry a homosexual couple, lawsuits will be sure to follow, sooner or later. Then, that pastor will be in the same situation as the photographer who would not perform his services for a homosexual couples’ wedding. And it will be the same as the RC adoption agencies closing up shop in states where homosexuals are allowed to adopt. We may as well face it, it’s coming. With the homosexual community it’s an “All or nothing” matter. In time, the church will not be doing weddings.

    What this whole thing amounts to is a War on Children, which has been at the core of feminism and abortion rights. The war continues apace.

  5. From Faith and Act by Ernst Walter Zeeden:

    “…engagement, which was never a sacrament but was an indispensable prerequisite of marriage, it was remarkable that it was still regarded as a legally binding act…”

    “…the first act within the framework of a pre-Reformation church marriage consisted of a “copulatio sponsi et sponsae in domo,” a legally binding blessing of the bridal couple [at home], which did not necessarily have to be by a priest. Lutheranism took over this form and embellished it festively and liturgically.”

    “For the marriage ceremony itself, a church wedding was not yet regarded as absolutely essential in sixteenth century Lutheranism, whereas in the seventeenth century a public churchly confirmation of the wedding was regarded as necessary. The development here proceeded similarly to that of Catholicism since the Council of Trent. Consecration of the betrothed on the wedding day was already the rule in the Middle Ages, however, and Lutheranism took over this rule. Likewise it took over the term “Brautmesse (nuptial mass),” but not the Catholic rite with which it was bound. “Brautmesse” meant rather the church attendance of the newlyweds on the day after the wedding, at which, following a sermon on the estate of marriage, they knelt before the altar and the clergyman spoke a prayer and blessing while holding his hand over them…

    “…they knew of Lent and Advent as closed times and prohibited weddings during them…”

    If we did something similar to what is described above I don’t see that there would be a problem. It goes back to our traditional roots in the Church of the Augsburg Confession, and truly creates a distinction between what happens in City Hall and what happens in Church.

    I do think that the civil authorities should not call any of the contracts uniting two people marriage. That word should no longer be included in the books of the state. Civil Unions for all! If all were equal in the civil arena, there could be no problem. The Church could then define marriage as it saw fit. The church does not get sued for Baptisms or communion. How could it be sued for marriage when a marriage would not a civil union make, and a civil union would not a marriage make.

    Our government (USA) is a godless institution, developed out of Enlightenment philosophy. It is concerned with rights, not responsibility. Let the people, the government, have their rights. Let the church be responsible for preserving marriage.

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