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The changing nature of marriage



The early church had no specific rite for marriage. This was left up to the
secular authorities of the Roman Empire,* since marriage is a legal concern
for the legitimacy of heirs*….

I remember during a sexual history paper I took at university, our lecturer was talking to us about pre-marital relations in the first millennium of Christianity. You did not need a priest to validate/perform a marriage for you, there was no set right, nor religious significance to marriage per se, but pre-marital sex was adultery and so  you weren’t allowed to do it. When the master or a mistress of a house stumbled upon their servants getting up to no good together, they would demand the two marry each other right then and there. And that’s all it took. An (I’m assuming extremely awkward) “okay, she’s my wife now and I’m her husband” and the master/mistress of the house would be like “good that’s all settled” AND LEAVE THEM TO FINISH UP. 

Good times. 

How’s that for ‘traditional marriage?’

CSPAN: Hearing of 'In Re Marriage Cases' - California Supreme Court (2008)

Residents of Maine: Overturn Maine-Question 1 (2009)

27 Senators left to pass the RFMA (DOMA-Repeal); Currently posessing 33

Senators (33) currently co-sponsoring S. 598, the Respect for Marriage Act [Source: Library of Congress]:

Sen. Akaka (D-HI)
Sen. Bennet (D-CO)
Sen. Bingaman (D-NM)
Sen. Blumenthal (D-CT)
Sen. Boxer (D-CA)
Sen. Brown (D-OH)
Sen. Cantwell (D-WA)
Sen. Cardin (D-MD)
Sen. Coons (D-DE)
Sen. Durbin (D-IL)
Sen. Feinstein (D-CA)
Sen. Franken (D-MN)
Sen. Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen. Harkin (D-IA)
Sen. Inouye (D-HI)
Sen. Kerry (D-MA)
Sen. Klobuchar (D-MN)
Sen. Kohl (D-WI)
Sen. Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Sen. Leahy (D-VT)
Sen. Levin (D-MI)
Sen. Merkley (D-OR)
Sen. Menendez (D-NJ)
Sen. Mikulski (D-MD)
Sen. Murray (D-WA)
Sen. Reed (D-RI)
Sen. Sanders (D-VT)
Sen. Schumer (D-NY)
Sen. Shaheen (D-NH)
Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO)
Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM)
Sen. Whitehouse (D-RI)
Sen. Wyden (D-OR)

(Source: prop8trialtracker.com)

Sexual Morality: Beyond the “Gay Debate”

This isn’t the first time I’ve gotten these questions. That (after acknowledging that the Bible does not in fact condemn homosexual relationships) what do we do with our God given sexuality then? More recently I’ve receive this question:

How does our sexuality play in a Christian context? No sex before marriage? What if we cannot get married? What is marriage anyways? How do we apply biblical standards for marriage/sexuality when it is framed in a heteronormative context?

I (Ian) am going to be brutally honest to all of you on the second part of this question-series… I don’t know if sex before marriage is a sin. I have heard two solid arguments for abstinence and one against having to wait as long as it might take! But currently I choose to endorse traditional interpretation as it offers the potential of less heartbreak and is the safer course of conduct in light of STD’s. But that does not mean I necessarily regard the alternate position as sinful. My position on the matter has yet to take a solid stance.

My opinion does not necessarily reflect my co-writers’ opinions, nor is this GC’s official statement on premarital sex.

What is Marriage? Marriage is outlined as a covenant before God. A vow of both actions and words, in a monogamous pledge to honour and love your partner. The state has nothing to do with the matter. All the state can do is give you tax-benefits as a way of promoting the family-unit. In my opinion, the state should offer civil unions to both heterosexual and homosexual couples leaving the definition of “marriage” to religious and faith-based organizations.

If you cannot legally get married, I suggest you get a “Bible Marriage”. A “Bible Marriage” is a purely religious ceremony where you can get married in a Church and be recognized before it and God (who is the only person you need in recognition of you and your would-be fiance).

Taking marriage out of a heteronormative context (from 1 Peter 3. I sincerely believe Peter had no intention of being exclusionary for the record), you apply the same rule for both and husbands and wives to both partners. In order to respect, honour, and love each other in Christ-centred matrimony.

As for both partners being Christian, I truly see no harm in dating non-Christians. I myself am dating an atheist currently! So long as the other partner doesn’t seek to guide you away from what is right or undo your faith, there is no harm, in my opinion, in dating someone of another faith (or who has a lack thereof). However, if your standard is to date another Christian then you needn’t compromise! The patience of waiting for a Christian man/woman is something to be proud of!

I hope this helps those whom it may concern! Happy Easter and God Bless!


What Would Jesus Do: why the church’s militant stance against same-sex marriage makes me sad.


Recently, the mainstream UK evangelical church has come out in force to fight against the proposed legalisation of same-sex marriage – creating petitions, reading letters in Sunday services that mobilise members to action, presenting a high profile media voice via newspaper columns and controversial advertisements, and so on. Most recently, the Evangelical Alliance made their mark, with a video and accompanying document on the topic. I have already addressed the specific arguments against same-sex marriage in a series of earlier blog posts. Today I wanted to talk about my emotional response to reading these resources: sadness.


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