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The Biblical perspective on the Institution of Marriage
by Robert Randle
6/16/2009 / Marriage
The institution of marriage is one of the oldest in human history, and cultural interpretations of this practice vary among every tribe, clan, family, ethnic and national group throughout the world; based upon each one's social institutions, traditions and religious beliefs. An ongoing controversy about "gay" marriage is that it violates social taboos within a society which strictly enforces binary codes of gender identity, conduct, and expectations into male and female cultural scripts, behavior, and role-playing.
The establishment of our laws, history, and cultural practices in America has been at the root, a fundamental belief in the Judeo-Christian Bible as the inspired Word of God. This in essence is the framework of our Democracy and it is believed that in order for us as a people to enjoy the blessings of abundance, prosperity, and a good quality of life, then our conduct and values must be in accordance with eternal laws that are unchangeable from the Creator.
Matthew 19: 3-6 reads: The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him and saying to Him, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?" And He answered and said to them, "Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning made them male and female,' "and said, "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? "So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together let no man separate [rend asunder or annul].
NOTE: Also look at Matthew 5: 6b.
Most of the time when this last verse is read, the word "what" goes unnoticed. Jesus could have used, "those whom" God has joined together but He used "what" instead; which would be rather peculiar when referring to individuals, so He must have had some deeper meaning more profound than the illustration using Adam and Eve. It must be kept in mind that Jesus was talking about the harshness of Jewish men who divorced their wives for the smallest and insignificant of offenses.
In Malachi 2: 14b-15, there is an underlying principle of "oneness" which reads, "Yet she is your companion and your wife by covenant. But did He not make them one (Cp. Genesis 2: 24), having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth." Also, reading Songs of Solomon 1-8, it would be inconceivable to picture those passionate, intimate and erotic lines of poetry in any other circumstances that of a man writing about his female lover or wife.
Certainly no one should be judging or condemning the lifestyle choices of another human being because we shall all have to appear before the judgment seat of Christ (II Corinthians 5: 10), but there are certain requirements that are mandated to continue receiving the blessings of God as mentioned in Deuteronomy 6: 18a: "And you shall do what is right and good in the sight of the Lord, that it may be well with you. . ." The opposite of this injunction is found firstly, in Judges 21: 25, which reads: In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in their own sight; and in Proverbs 21: 2, which reads, "Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, But the Lord weighs the hearts."
The relevancy of ancient Jewish sacred Scripture is so appropriate to these modern times because everyone wants to be so politically correct that while respecting rights of privacy and sensitivity to one's personal affairs and to guard against a proliferation of "hate crimes" and other violent and discriminatory behavior, it does at times seem as though, "there is no king in Israel and everyone does what is right in his own sight."
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