“Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.”
Recently I have heard multiple stories of pastors and churches saying they will no longer be doing weddings presumably this is because of the recent SCOTUS ruling. Let me be as clear as I know how to be. This is not the answer!
While it may be true that the Supreme court and the government in general can determine the legal fate of people and institutions, they are only supreme in a very limited sense. The Supreme Court didn't invent marriage and in spite of their best efforts, they can't change the nature of marriage. God invented marriage and to my knowledge He hasn't changed His mind about what exactly marriage is and how it works.
As an evangelical Christian, I am committed to the idea that the God of the universe inspired men to write Scripture. As a result, I turn to Scripture to see what God says about marriage. Marriage is described in the opening chapters of the Bible when it says, "A man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh." Jesus and the apostle Paul both refer to this verse when they talk about marriage.
Furthermore, wedding imagery is thick in places like Ezekiel 16, Hosea, Ephesians 5, and of course Revelation 19. Wedding imagery is used as a picture of the relationship between Israel and God or the church and God. Is it a coincidence that Jesus' first miracle was at wedding? When Jesus is picture as the groom and the church as the bride, is Paul just using a simple analogy?
To make a decision not to do weddings is to withhold the institution of marriage from the people of God. This would be an absolute travesty. Marriage does not belong in the exclusive domain of the courts, but it belongs under the jurisdiction of the church. If the church must sever its ties with anything it is the government, not the institution of marriage. Perhaps C. S. Lewis was right when he said, "There ought to be two distinct kinds of marriage: one governed by the State with rules enforced on all citizens, the other governed by the Church with rules enforced by her on her own members" (Mere Christianity, 112).
Whatever the solution is, it is not for the church to forsake the institution of marriage!
John Byrne is a pastor who has been spouting off his opinions his entire life (just ask his mom). This little blog is his venue for continuing in this tradition.