Presentation on theme: "Ihr Logo. Your Logo INTRODUCTION The contraction of Marriage, and marriage ceremonies have become very controversial subjects in the church today. This."— Presentation transcript:
Your Logo INTRODUCTION The contraction of Marriage, and marriage ceremonies have become very controversial subjects in the church today. This is because of the conflicting and confusing teachings and opinions by some preachers and teachers of the bible in the church. This is much more compounded by the practices of our denominational friends around us in their various churches, which some of our brethren, youths in particular want us to emulate.
Your Logo To properly educate our youths and make them see reasons why they must follow only that which is approved by God, I will endeavour to lay a premise or a foundation as background to understanding this lesson. BACKGROUND We all agree that marriage is one of the oldest institutions in the world ordained by God (Gen. 2:24 - For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh).
Your Logo But the key issue here is: which of the marriages did God ordain? Is it traditional marriage, Church marriage or Court/Registry marriage? We must first understand that we Christians are bound by the law of God, and are to be guided by the word of God in everything, and as it relates to the issue of marriage in particular. UNDERSTANDING THE WAYS OF GOD We must not forget that God’s ways are not man’s ways; and as the heavens are higher than the earth so are God’s ways and God’s thoughts higher than that of man (Isa. 55:8-9).
Your Logo The wisdom of God most times seems foolishness to the carnal mind, thus, they often try to evolve new ideas to counter or wanting to improve upon what God has done. But the scripture says, no one can improve upon God’s ways. No one can make straight what God has made crooked (Eccl. 7:13). No one can be God’s counsellor or adviser (Rom. 11:33-34, 1Cor.2:16). This is because even the foolishness of God is wiser than man (1Cor. 1:25). Thus, the carnal mind cannot please God (Rom. 8:7-8).
Your Logo HOW TO KNOW THE MARRIAGE GOD ORDAINED To know that which God has ordained for us to do, we need to study the Bible to find it out. For the scripture is given by the inspiration of God to direct man’s activities and actions here on earth in all his relationship with fellow man and God (2 Tim. 3:16-17). Any practice or doctrine not commanded by God will amount to lawlessness and sin (Mt. 15:9, 2 Jn. 9-11).
Your Logo Therefore, Bible scholars have been very careful to seek out how to know the mind of God as to the things God wants us to do and that which we must not do. Thus, the following principles have been identified to knowing how God speaks to us, and how we can arrive at activating scriptural authority to practice any doctrine/teaching in the church, which are:
Your Logo Direct commands By direct commands, we mean very clear and unambiguous instructions by God in the bible commanding us to do something or not to do something. For example God told Noah to build an Ark of Gopher wood (Gen. 6:14). This command to Noah is direct and specific. Thus, this principle states that, when God specifies a particular way to do a thing, every other possible ways are excluded.
Your Logo Thus, it would have been wrong if Noah had used Mahogany, Cedar etc. This is the same reason why we believe that, there is only “one church approved by God”, which is the church of Christ, because Christ says “upon this rock I will build my church”, (Mt. 16:18). So, Christ has specified his church, therefore, no other church will be acceptable to God and to us. Approved examples By approved examples, we mean in cases where we do not have direct commands to practice or not to practice a particular doctrine
Your Logo in the church, we look for examples of how such things were done in the bible, especially in the early church by the apostles. The idea is, if the apostles could do it, then it must be approved of God because they were divinely inspired. And if we copy their examples we cannot go wrong or offend God. This is why we quote Acts 20:7 to observe the Lord’s Supper every Sunday. This principle is also used in the judiciary, called: case-laws or judicial precedence, whereby previous higher court
Your Logo decisions are cited as examples to arrive at a judgment in a similar case in law. Necessary Inferences An inference is where a thing, an idea, a teaching is not clearly stated in the bible nor is there any example to follow, but there are clear scriptural indications to enable us draw necessary conclusions or deductions as to what we can teach and practice to please God in the circumstance.
Your Logo For example, we saw where Philip the evangelist is said to have simply “preached Jesus” to the Ethiopian Eunuch, and thereafter the eunuch said, “See here is water what hinders me to be baptized”? From his question, we can conclusively infer that, Philip must have told him he must be baptized in water to be saved. A conclusion which is not stated in the conversation (Acts 8:36-38).
Your Logo Another conclusion we can reach is that, to preach Jesus correctly, it must of necessity include baptism. Even if there were no other bible passages that talk about baptism, this singular bible passage alone is enough to make it stand as a doctrine in the church. The application of the above principles to the subject matter is that, any of the three marriages: traditional, church, or court/registry that is not supported by the bible either by direct command, approved
Your Logo example or necessary inference can be accepted as a bible method of marriage for Christians. EXAMINING THE THREE (3) METHODS OF MARRIAGE IN THE LIGHT OF THE SCRIPTURES TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE - By traditional marriage we mean a marriage in which the family has the exclusive right to give out their daughter in marriage and is received by the groom and the groom’s family,
Your Logo after the necessary requirements have been fulfilled. Our duty is to examine the bible to see if the method of marriage by the people of God both in Old and New Testaments describe or are synonymous with this type of marriage. In doing this, we must not forget that Jesus refers to the beginning when dealing with the issue of marriage (Mt. 19:5, cf Gen. 2:24).
Your Logo In other words, in the matters of marriage both O.T and N.T examples are binding, except where there are ouster clauses by Christ (Mt. 19:3-8). Jesus says, “For this cause, a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife…” (Mt. 19:5). This implies that, in the marriage of any child, the role of the father and mother is the most important. That is, the acceptance, approval and blessings of your marriage by your father and mother is the most important thing before
Your Logo God, and not the blessing of any other person or institution. Those are secondary. The bible says, “Honour your father and your mother; which is the first commandment with promise. That it may be well with you, and you will live long on earth” (Exd. 20:12, Eph. 6:2-3). Marriage is one important occasion of your life where you give honour to your parents. Bible Examples of Traditional Marriages Abraham’s son, Isaac was given Rebecca in marriage after having sought and received acceptance, paid bride price, and received
Your Logo blessing from her parents (Gen. 24:49-61). “Yes, I do,” should be a response to parents’ questions and not to a pastor’s or court clerk’s question of whether one agrees to marry the other or not (Gen. 24:57-58). Jacob was given Rachael in marriage after having sought for acceptance from her parents and paid her bride price of seven years service (Gen. 29:18- 21). Joseph married Mary the mother of our Lord after fulfilling the same procedure (Mt. 1:18-19).
Your Logo The parable of the wedding feast shows a king who made marriage for his son and invited guests to attend the wedding (Mt. 22:2-3). Paul says, a virgin, a girl must be given out in marriage by “he” who has the power to do so (1Cor. 7:38). In all of the above examples in the bible, nowhere did we find how God commanded the high priest, evangelist, bishop or the church to conduct marriages for the people of God.
Your Logo And we must respect God’s silence in this aspect of our lives. In the O.T, we have instructions concerning “child’s dedication and circumcision” (Lev. 12:1-8), but there is none regarding how to conduct marriage and marriage ceremony. God left this for individual families to decide across cultures and tribes. However, where any culture contradicts the laws of God, such culture and tradition must be rejected. The traditional marriage system ordained by God predates the advent of Christianity and modern civil governments and their courts.
Your Logo CHURCH MARRIAGE IN THE LIGHT OF THE SCRIPTURES Marriage is ordained of God, and God has given the church so much instruction on how matters relating to marriage should be handled. However, these instructions have more to do with teaching and instructions on how marriage should be entered into and how to live in marriage to please God. There is no single instruction to the church on how the church should conduct or contract marriages for her members. The church is to teach the following:
Your Logo Marriage is honourable, and the bed must not be defiled before and after marriage (Heb. 13:4). To avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife and every woman her own husband (1Cor. 7:2). Marriage is between one man and one woman; not polygamy, not man and man (homosexuality), or woman and woman (lesbianism) (Mt. 19: 5, Gen. 2:24). Marriage is for life, until death do you part (Rom. 7:2- 3, 1Cor. 7:39). Divorce is not allowed except for adultery (Mt. 5:31- 32, Mt. 19:3-6).
Your Logo Divorce is not allowed except for adultery (Mt. 5:31-32, Mt. 19:3-6). Those who separate from their husbands or wives must remain unmarried or be reconciled (1Cor. 7:10-11). Let the husband render due benevolence to his wife: and likewise the wife unto her husband (1Cor. 7: 3). The husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church (Eph. 5:23). A husband should love his wife as Christ love the church (Eph. 5:25, 33, Col. 3:19).
Your Logo A wife should submit to, obey and love her husband as she would submit to and obey Christ (Eph. 5:22,24, 33, Col. 3:18, Titus 2:4). Young widows should remarry, only in the Lord (1Cor. 7:39, Rom. 7:2-4, 1Tim. 5:14). All these must be taught in the church, and by the church.
Your Logo Arguments for Church Wedding or Marriage Proponents of church marriage have argued that, if God ordained marriage, and has given so much instructions in the Bible on how marriage life should be lived before and after marriage, then, is the church where God’s words is taught not the best place for marriage to be contacted and marriage ceremonies conducted?
Your Logo This reasoning may seem sound to the ear. However, we must not forget that the church must speak only where the bible speaks and be silent where the Bible is silent. The church cannot act where the Bible has not given instructions. That will be using human opinion to arrive at a doctrine in the church. That will be adding to the word of God which is forbidden (Rev. 22:18-20). That will be sinful and consequently leads to vain worship (Mt. 15:9, 2Jn. 9-11).
Your Logo Again, besides marriage and marriage related issues, the Bible equally teaches on various issues without the church necessarily getting involved in them. These are as follows: The church teaches parents on how to bring up their children in the fear of the Lord, but the church does not go to peoples home to train their children for them (Eph. 6:2-4). The church teaches her members to obey civil laws and pay taxes to the government, but the church does not collect taxes for the government from her members (Rom. 13:1-7).
Your Logo The church teaches how a husband should behave towards his wife and the wife towards her husband, but the church does not get involved in the day to day running of peoples home (1Cor. 7:3-5). And so on. The point here is that, the argument that because the church or the bible teaches much about marriage and marriage related issues makes the church the best institution to join people together in marriage is not a scriptural argument.
Your Logo The second argument of church marriage proponents is that, Jesus Christ himself attended a wedding ceremony in Cana, and donated wine to support the celebrant when the need arose (Jn. 2:1-11). Therefore, it is scriptural for the church to contract, and conduct marriage ceremonies.
Your Logo This argument is not scriptural for the following reasons: That bible passage did not tell us that the marriage took place in the synagogue or in the church. Note: the church was not established yet. The bible passage did not tell us that Jesus Christ or any other man of God was the officiating minister that joined the couples together.
Your Logo The scripture is very clear that Christ, his mother and his apostles were invited guests at the wedding ceremony. We can conclude that the celebrants were either one of his disciples or a family friend. The inference we can make here is that, based on this example of Christ honouring a wedding invitation with his disciples implies that, today, any brother or sister marrying can invite the brethren to their marriage ceremonies, and the brethren should attend, support the couples and give them gifts as Christ gave wine.
Your Logo Contentious Issue of Using The Church Hall for Marriage Ceremonies This is another contentious issue in the church of Christ today. The proponents of church marriages say, the church hall is not a holy place as the O.T Temple was. Therefore, eating, drinking and dancing in celebration of marriages of members in the church hall are not wrong.
Your Logo This argument is wrong in the light of the scriptures for the following reasons: The church hall is the house of prayers and an environment built for Spiritual activities. Therefore, as much as possible, social activities should be taken away to social environments such as event halls. The same reason why Jesus chased out the money changers from the house of prayer (Mt. 21:12,13). Buying and selling and marrying and giving in marriage were parts of the social activities of the world in the days of Noah and Sodom (Lk. 17:26-30).
Your Logo Marriage is not a church ordinance, and the church does not have any scriptural authority to conduct marriages in the church. If the church has no scriptural right to conduct marriages, but uses the church hall to celebrate wedding ceremonies to be attended by both believers and unbelievers alike, to eat and dance in, is that not gross inconsistency and self deceit, and an act of using your teeth to share a meat you claim to forbid? What moral right would we have to tell the unbelievers that, we do not practice church wedding?
Your Logo The wedding ceremony or reception should be held in halls other than the church hall. There, the minister or bishop can be called to pray or admonish. This does not make a church service as we are commanded to pray everywhere (Lk. 18), and every time. We must not allow our wedding celebrations to be wild and riotous as the worldly people would. Our marriage ceremonies must be conducted with simplicity, decency and decorum devoid of worldliness. Night parties where the unfruitful works of darkness takes place must be avoided (Eph. 5:11).
Your Logo COURT/REGISTRY MARRIAGE The court or registry marriage is instituted by government to regulate and give legal backing to marriage. The law also recognizes the traditional marriage system. Therefore, if you go to the court to get married without the approval of your parent, it is wrong. If your parents happen go to court to challenge the marriage, they will be given a favourable judgment against you.
Your Logo This is why before the marriage is pronounced, they usually ask the question, “If there is anyone who has a reason to say this marriage should not hold, he/she should speak out now or be silent forever”. If anyone in that instance raises objection to the marriage, it will be put on hold. God instructs us to obey the government of the day (Rom. 13:1-5). But if a government law contradict that of God, we should obey God rather than man (Acts 5:29).
Your Logo Court/registry marriage requires swearing by the Bible, which is contrary to the law of God (Mt. 5:33-37, James 5: 12). Although affirmation is allowed. Court/registry gives room for divorce if any party wants to, for any reason, which is contrary to the law of God (Mt. 19:5).
Your Logo SUMMARY From all that we have discussed above, we can safely conclude that, the marriage that God ordained from the beginning is the traditional marriage. It predates the advent of Christianity, and there is not a scripture in the N.T abolishing it. It predates modern government which prescribed court/registry marriage. That is why any marriage contacted before one becomes a Christian is acceptable as long as it is in line with the word of God. Christians should therefore be satisfied with that which God has ordained.
Your Logo However, Christians can register their marriages with government just for the purpose of registration, not that it adds any spiritual value to your marriage which has already been accented to by God. It is just like registering your new born child to obtain a birth certificate, even as you register the death to obtain death certificate. As for the church, it has no scriptural authority to conduct marriage and permit marriage ceremonies at the church hall. Any Christian rejoicing should invite his brethren to rejoice with him or her (Rom. 10:12, James 5:13).
Your Logo Social activities such as marriage ceremonies that bring both unbelievers and Christians together should be taken to social environments. This is to avoid confusing the world that the Church is the one conducting the marriage in the church hall. It is not expedient to use the church hall for marriage ceremonies. May God grant us the understanding and the humility to accept His will in Jesus Name!