March 26, 2007
Holy Matrimony and Fornication? (re: divorce and related Q/As)
"FROM THE BEGINNING it was not so" (Mt19:8) because "AT THE BEGINNING" God had made them "male and female" (vs4)
Certainly, Jesus went to the wedding at Cana; but it doesn't say that He was 'officiating'; He "and His disciples" went as "invited" guests. (Jn2:2) Of course He spoke to the Samaritan woman about marriage, and "husbands", because that was the language she understood regarding what her life consisted of at that moment. Jesus also got into boats on occasion, either to preach or to travel to the other side, although God never made any boats for Adam and Eve, and from His walking on water we know He didn't -need- a boat. He also used fishing, farming and orchard practices as object lessons...things taken from the lives of His audiences as they had become accustomed to them. Jesus came as "flesh and blood" and "shared" in humanity. (Heb2:14) and experienced all the things the rest of us (humanity) do. (Heb4:15) If He were here today in the same way, I expect He would drive a car and fly in airplanes, and might use a computer on the internet (that AlGore invented), and even drive a honkin' (the technical term) SUV and contribute to "global warming"!!! Because, hey! If He could multiply loaves of bread, can't He also replenish oil reserves... since He created it all in the first place.
Jesus came to save sinners (Lk19:10, 1Tim1:15), not necessarily to change all the (benign) man-made customs that had come about over the millennia. And certainly, He made use of some of those customs in His teachings, as illustrations. e.g. the 10 virgins and their lamps, betrothals, feasts, etc.
In the beginning God made Adam and brought Eve to him. There was no preacher or justice of the peace, nor paper on which to write a certificate or license.
In giving the laws to Israel, God -defines- what marriage is. God combines the "go in to her" and becoming a "husband" and she becoming his "wife" in the same sentences. (De21:13, 22:13, 25:5) And we see this recorded in ancient practice. (Ru4:13, Ge29:21, 30:4) He says or commands nothing about rings, stomping on glasses, toasting drinks, or any such things. For all the different things about which people were to go to the priest, a marriage 'ceremony' was not one of them.
And regarding the matter of sleeping with many different 'partners', what does Paul say?
Just because paganism (and I wish I had saved the documentation I read on this years ago) had a couple walk up some steps (see: Ex20:26) to the pagan altar, to have the pagan priest invoke the blessing "of the gods" upon the marriage, also invoking ancient fertility rites and blessings upon them as they sacrificed to idols; and then pagan Babylon/Rome created a ritualistic sacramental unction for "the church" called "Holy Matrimony" based on these same rituals (I challenge anybody to find even a hint of that in the Bible as having been given by God!)... doesn't make these traditions "right" before God.
On a hunch just now I looked up "sacrament" in the dictionary. Babylon/Rome has seven sacraments. From the root of the word it -should- mean "something holy". "sacra" is a linguistic root for "holy", such as the word we know as "sacred". When Rome calls its various rituals "holy" this, and "holy" that, it's because it is a "SACRAment" to them. Not so much something 'set apart' as a 'rite' (as in: "Sacra du Printemps" or pagan "Rite of Spring", having to do with demons, baby sacrifices, beasts and fertility) In the OT it repeats over and over about many things that are "set apart holy"... -because- they are "set apart" and "untainted/undefiled", but that has nothing whatsoever to do with what Rome does.
Here is what "sacrament" is to Rome/Babylon:
Grace was the -means- by which God saves us through Jesus' blood. And it has NOTHING to do with sun-worship, the so-called "eucharist". When Jesus instituted the Lord's Supper He commanded it as a -memorial-. Do this in "remembrance" of Me. (Lk22:19, 1Co11:24-25) The Lord's Supper is not the -means- to salvation, because salvation is "not of works" (Eph2:9) It does not "confer" anything. It is a 'memorial' for people who are (already) saved...who are Believers.
Jesus -never- instituted "Holy Matrimony". Rome calls it a sacrament. Thus, by this definition we've seen, do they also then consider it to be one of the seven steps to salvation? One receives "sanctifying grace" by getting hitched? Such a doctrine is nowhere to be found in Scripture. In fact, Paul suggests the opposite: the benefits of staying single for service to God. (1Co7:32-34)
Is this why so many people think they need to have a "church wedding"? Do they think it garners them favor (grace) with God? If they were "messing around", does the incantations of the priest 'absolve' them of their 'indiscretions' as they "make an honest man/woman" out of each other through the rituals?
'See what's wrong with it all..??? And all these attitudes have spilled over into the non-Romish so-called "christian" churches, as well.
When a preacher/priest utters the words, "I pronounce you husband and wife"... God did not institute that or give him that authority. It is pagan through-and-through. Marriage is what "-GOD- has yoked together", not some man with some title after his name. Marriage is not a rite; it is a union between a husband and wife; as the writer of Hebrews links the words "marriage" and "bed". (Heb13:4)
In a very real sense: "Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons." (1Co10:20)
Historical tradition is hard to break, isn't it. But just like x-mass and easter, Holy Matrimony has nothing to do with God's laws, but is pagan.
Actually, if you have ever listened carefully to the preacher's pronouncement (I don't remember how Rome's priests do it, from when I used to play organ for catholic weddings), he typically says something like, "By the power vested in me through the state of [name of state], I pronounce you husband and wife" When the preacher makes such a pronouncement, and then closes by saying, "What God has joined together, let no man sunder" ...it is a mixing of Caesar and God. And the preacher affixes his signature to Caesar's marriage license.
In this country there is a thing called "common law marriage". I suspect it came from the British system originally? How many other nations also have it? I don't know. No ceremony or judge is necessary. The time period may vary from state-to-state? But if a couple has been living together as husband and wife for (typically) seven years, the law considers them to be married. Those pagan rituals and traditions are not necessary. And if for 'legal' reasons, regarding property and such things, the license can be obtained at the courthouse, just like everything else 'legal'. Caesar has his requirements, and God has proclaimed His laws. (Mt22:21) The pagan rituals are not necessary.
Although this is not the case in all countries. I read periodically how Israeli law requires marriages to be through the rabbis (and Judaism, as it exists today, is no more Godly than Rome is); I've not read whether or not they have a "common law" concept. And I don't know what other nations do. But any nation's laws should not be confused with God's law in this matter.
'Not going to get into a discussion here about the difference between fornication and adultery; well, maybe a little. Many translations lump many forms of sexual perversity into the word "fornication". But in truth, the word does not appear that often in the Bible, and God only uses it in the context of speaking with those who are in rebellion against Him, who have already adapted to the Babylonish ways.
The word given at Sinai is "adultery".
From the Law which -GOD- gave, if there was an incident that, today, is traditionally called "fornication", unless the girl's father utterly refused, he was to 'purchase' (dowry) her as his wife. (Ex22:16-17) Thus, as we've observed on other occasions: there is no such thing as fornication, except as it is relates to the Holy Matrimony ritual; it is either marriage or adultery. Just because humanity has developed the practice of sleeping around willy nilly, and has decided to call it fornication, when not blessed by the priest, does not change the "from the beginning" law that the first one is "marriage", and anything else, apart from widowhood (Rom7), is adultery.
Let's repeat: Fornication exists -only- in the context of the Holy Matrimony rite/ritual. Thus, reasoning backwards: since God did not establish that ritual, then, fornication is also not a trespass against God, but is a trespass against the rite of Babylon. Or as Rome likes to say, "the church". If people are busy "sowing their wild oats", and then "settle down" and have the ritual pronounced over them... in actuality, in God's eyes, that wedding ceremony, rather than making things 'right', actually legitimizes adultery...because the marriage is an adulterous union. In ancient times that's part of what temple prostitution was about...they would spend time with the temple prostitutes -before- their wedding. Thus, "the gods" and the priests were actually 'blessing' -adultery-.
Are we understanding? That is how badly and cleverly satan has messed things up and twisted them around. For a high percentage of people a 'pure' wedding is impossible. The whole ceremony in "white" is a farce! And when the priest intones, "What God has joined..." such a pronouncement is blasphemy. God did not "join" -that- couple...but whoever was together "first"...what should have been the "first faith" (or pledge) (1Tim5:12)
Again... what did Jesus say? How things had been "..from the beginning.." And Paul, even when addressing prostitution, invokes the same (marriage) principle of "two become one flesh".
I'm only following in the same 'Scriptural' tradition... not those of Babylon, from which we are to "come out of her My people" (Rev18:4)
But I know... millennia-old traditions die hard...!
Am I saying that some sort of 'celebration' is wrong? That it is wrong to gather family and friends to rejoice with feasting? That there shouldn't be a betrothal or engagement, or some such thing, while plans are made? To 'toast' the couple with well-wishes? And if it's a group of Believers to have a public prayer for them? Of course not! What is wrong is Babylon's 'rite' which claims to -be- the union. That a human pontification is what -creates- the union. That some antichrist, standing up on a platform, usurps the role that is God's. It was satan who said, "I will be like the Most High". When any man presumes to declare a marriage union, when only God is the one whom Jesus said "yokes" them together, such a person has become one of the "many antichrists" who are in the world today.
Paul exhorted the preacher, "Preach the Word. Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching." (2Tim4:2) and "Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine." (1Tim4:13) In all of Paul's writings to pastors in Timothy and Titus... NOT ONE WORD about "performing weddings". If it was one of the Godly pastoral duties, don't you think Paul or Peter would have said 'something' about it? However, not a peep! As we noted above, for as detailed as the law was on so many areas of life, nothing was even given through Moses.
But how many pastors do you know, who consider one of their primary 'ministries' to be the performing of weddings...!
Enough said? Good!