Should marriage be debated in the political realm or the Biblical? The answer makes all the difference.
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[Darris McNeely] Last week's program on Beyond Today was done by Gary Petty, "Marriage Soon Obsolete? " In that program, we had a discussion about the state of marriage. We interviewed three different couples who related their ideas, their feelings, and their experiences regarding their own marriages and how they've learned principles that make their marriages work and endure according to God's principles found in the Bible.
Marriage is once again in the headlines today as we see the institution of marriage being redefined, especially in the political arena. The state of North Carolina just recently passed a law that defined marriage as that between men and women and outlawed marriage between same-sex couples. That debate is going to play itself out once again in this election year. We've talked about that in previous Beyond Today Dailies .
You know, I was thinking about this, the marriage, politics and the question of whether marriage will soon be obsolete as I was even watching Gary on his program the other day. And a thought struck me that the real—one of the keys about this marriage question that you and I should really understand as you frame your ideas and you frame your thinking and discussion about this topic—it's this, marriage today has been taken out of it's rightful place—the Bible. And it has been placed within the political realm.
Think about it. People's ideas about marriage when they discuss it in the public arena today usually comes down to whether or not they are conservative, whether they are liberal, or whether they are perhaps libertarian, or whether they're even republican or democrat or socialist, or whatever their political persuasion might be. That will define where they are on the marriage issue. But that's not where marriage really should be defined or discussed.
We read in the Bible that marriage was ordained as an institution at the beginning of creation between a man and a woman, between male and female. God designed marriage. God placed it within the human culture, within human life, and throughout the scriptures—from Genesis to Revelation—God defines and describes what marriage is and how it works.
When we take it out of the realm of the Bible, then we're taking it out of it's natural context and anything goes. That's why then it becomes whatever is right in any person's eyes as to how they define what marriage is or whether or not they should remain married or whether or not divorce at any particular given time is something that is an option for them to consider. That is the problem that we run into regardless of how, where people fall on it. We take it out of the biblical realm.
You know, marriage is defined as an institution ordained by God. It is defined as something that pictures a relationship between God and mankind. If I were to pick one scripture perhaps that would illustrate this that we could go to, it is in Ephesians chapter 5 beginning in verse 31 and 32 where it says, "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife. And the two shall become one flesh." A man and a woman leaving their home, joining in the covenant of marriage, becoming one flesh—that's God's intent right here. That's quoted out of Genesis. And then Paul writes here in verse 32, he says, "This is a great mystery. But I speak concerning Christ and the Church" (Ephesians:5:31-32 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.  This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. ).
And so here Paul lifts marriage into the realm of a spiritual relationship between man and God. It's just one scripture of many throughout the Bible that defines marriage within the realm of biblical instruction as a biblical institution. Take it out of that. Put it in a political arena and it's all over. Anything's fair game in terms of defining marriage and we have the problems that we come into today.
Marriage was ordained by God. It's a biblical institution. That's where we should understand it. That's where we should keep it. It is holy. It is a very important matter of defining a relationship between God. Understand it from that perspective, marriage then will not be obsolete at least in your eyes because it's not obsolete in God's eyes.
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