DON’T miss the extended discussion in this entry of ecclesiastical marriage and the rejection of state marriage licenses. Especially see these comments by Jeremy, who argues that Christians can no longer with good conscience participate in the civil institution of marriage.
— Comments —-
Kevin M. writes:
It appears that the church benefits only when marriage is successful; the state benefits ($$$) only when marriage fails. Someone once said that anyone who loves sausage and respects the law should not seek to learn how either are made. The last people I want in charge of matrimony are lawmakers, lawyers and judges, the careers of whom thrive solely on the abundance of conflict, discord and divorce.
Just to clarify, Jeremy is not referring to ecclesiastical marriages that are under any official Church oversight, above and beyond what the Church has normally offered in recent years in terms of guidance.
Talking about ecclesiastical marriages, I feel compelled to also mention the 501(c)3 free church movement. Maybe its time to drop out of American culture? Christian banks and airlines who take customers without social security numbers? Christian healthcare cooperatives? How else can we pull out of the culture and accommodate one another in this?
The homeschooling movement has shown it can be done. America’s major institutions are rotting at the core, and it is no longer possible to reform them.
Terry Morris writes:
Dropping out of American culture is essentially what I’m advocating. And I understood Jeremy’s statements declaring the (mainstream) churches to be “subsidiaries of the state” to include church incorporation, 501(c) 3 status, and pastoral licensing. The Social Security number issue, particularly the “Enrollment at Birth Program,” administered by the S.S. Administration, is yet another good topic to explore.
Incidentally, I read an article several years back about a Protestant church (in Georgia if memory serves), members of whose congregation turned their pastor in to the IRS for preaching about political issues in the church sanctuary. He, of course, was promoting conservative social issues, and endorsing political candidates who were in line with biblical teaching. Asked why she had decided to inform on her own Pastor for probable violations of the tax codes, one of the group that informed on him said that he was endangering the Church’s tax exempt status, and that this was a violation of God’s command to be good stewards.