Marriage is no Business of the State
By Pastor David Whitney
In the battle for God’s Holy Institution of Marriage, as of late there has not been a lot of encouraging news. The problem confronting us, however, has roots going back more than 100 years. The nose of the camel came into the tent with miscegenation laws which largely began after the War between the States. What this meant is that civil government claimed it had a rightful jurisdiction over what marriages would be legitimate and what would not.
By the way, the standard they established is not given in the Word of God where interracial marriage was never forbidden; just consider Moses and Zipporah and Boaz and Ruth and so on. So civil government was not only usurping jurisdiction over a realm of life that had not been given to it by God who ordained human civil government, they were also establishing a standard that was a contradiction against as well as a violation of God’s Law. Tragically. the other two God ordained governments, family government and church government did nothing to oppose this usurpation and nothing to rebuke this law breaking act of civil government.
But there were individuals who desired to break this civil government invented law, or to use our founders verbiage, pretended legislation. When they desired to enter into a marriage with someone of a race that was for-bidden the law, they would appeal to the government for a waiver of that law in the case of their upcoming marriage. And the civil magistrate often times would comply by offering them a marriage license. That is the origin of the marriage license in our land. Blacks Law dictionary defines a license as “A permission, accorded by a competent authority, conferring the right to do some act which without such authorization would be illegal,” In other words the marriage would be illegal unless a license was granted because the law claimed such a marriage was illegal to begin with. How did such a standard come then to apply to all marriages not just interracial marriages? It is a frog in the kettle story. Slowly turning up the heat bit by bit until the frog is boiled. More and more marriages were coerced into applying for marriage licenses until at this point we are led to believe that all marriages, to be legitimate, must receive a marriage license from the State.
Because the family government and church government have surrendered the ground of marriage, civil government claimed that it owned marriage entirely. Now we see the disaster that belief has led to. When government claims it owns marriage, then it claims it can redefine marriage any way it chooses. You want to marry your dog, just wait a few years: they could make that part of so-called marriage law.
What is the solution to this mess? Family government and church governments end the charade. God never gave jurisdiction over marriage to civil government. It must be taken back by family and church govern-ment. Marriage is no business of the State and therefore no marriage license is required. Family governments need to determine they will not be part of the civil government marriage charade. Don’t get a license to marry. Church government needs to do the same. As a pastor today, I will not conduct a marriage ceremony for anyone who is marrying utilizing a State issued marriage license. Family and church must take back the ground unrighteously surrendered in the past 100 years.
Along those lines there is one positive development. An Alabama Senate Committee Passed Bill last month to Eliminate Marriage Licenses in or-der to Nullify Federal Control over marriage.
“MONTGOMERY, Ala.(Feb. 27, 2017) – An Alabama bill that would abolish marriage licenses in the state, and effectively nullify in practice both major sides of the contentious national debate over government-sanctioned marriage, unanimously passed an important Senate committee last week.
Sen. Greg Albritton (R-Bay Minette) filed Senate Bill 20 (SB20) earlier this month. The legislation would abolish all requirements to obtain a marriage license in Alabama. Instead, probate judges would simply record civil contracts of marriage between two individuals based on signed affidavits.
‘All requirements to obtain a marriage license by the State of Alabama are hereby abolished and repealed. The requirement of a ceremony of mar-riage to solemnized the marriage is abolished.’”
The Alabama Senate passed a similar bill during the 2016 session, and a House committee approved it as well, but the full House did not take final action before the legislative session ended.
So there is a realistic probability that Alabama will pass this law and lead the way for other States to do likewise and turn marriage back to the family government and church government where it truly belongs.
But stepping back from the details and examining the history of this problem in America one asks, what happened in our land, how did we go so far off track? The answer I believe is what happened in the pulpits of America. Because God’s Word was not taught, the people never rose up to resist a civil government going out of its God ordained boundaries. The people in our land were not taught from the Word of God the separate jurisdictions of the three institutions God ordained; family government, church government and civil government. They were not instructed in what the Bible establishes as the limits of the boundaries for each of the three institutions. They were not trained to recognized violations of these God ordained boundaries nor were they instructed about how Christians in our land should respond when such violations took place.
Furthermore the pastors in our land were not only failing to instruct their own congregations, they themselves ignored the clear teaching of God’s Word about what they should do when such violations occurred, they themselves failed to resist the tyranny as the Word of God commands them to do. They actually became part of the system.
Before I repented of doing weddings with State issued marriage licenses, I recall the language on the license forms I was required to fill out as the officiant at the wedding. It made me an officer of the State, with fines and penalties if I didn’t do as the State commanded me in the time frame it commanded. For me it began with being troubled by the language used at the end of the State ceremony – “by the power vested in me by the State of Maryland I now pronounce you man and wife.” What power does the State of Maryland or any other State for that matter have to make such a pronouncement? None whatsoever. The Word of God tells us that it is God Himself that takes the two and makes them “one flesh” not the State. So my first step was to drop that language.
The more I studied the more I was disturbed by all aspects of the State ceremony. I finally repented of participating in all those State ceremonies and committed to doing them no more. I realized that I had not been properly taught, I had accepted what others told me was the right way to act in this realm. It was the Word of God that led me to repentance. Paul brings this same point home in Titus 2:1.
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