Saturday, September 12, 2015

The Batesline Marriage Debate

  One of my blogging mentors, Michael Bates,​ just added his thoughts on Marriage. Particularly the government role in the marriage process. I think you'll find it thought-provoking. I'm glad Michael is taking an interest in this issue. I hope he continues his research. He mentions me by name and refers to my views.

 I agree with Bates, that government needs to retain a role in the marriage issue. somehow he got another idea about my position.

I must clear some important misconceptions about my views.

  I wrote a short dissertation on the matter last winter. Please read it, here. But to address the specifics of Michael's concerns, let me make 3 points.

  1.  I do believe the government has a very important role in the marriage issue, and that is first of all to keep records. If I was in a  car crash I would hope that law enforcement would check state records and find out who my kin are, and contact my wife before she finds out from the media. Just as the court house keeps records of my birth; plus my car and house purchases, I want them to keep records of whom I have a perpetual covenant partnership with.
  2.  I don't get permission to be born. But the government certifies it with a birth certificate. They certify my car and real estate purchases with a title to the asset, but I never sought their permission to buy those assets. It is an assumed right to own private property. Covenants are a right of mankind. 
  3.  Rev. Todd Russ is an Assembly Of God pastor in Cordell, OK. He is also a State Representative. Last winter he wrote the marriage freedom bill. The key to the reform is that marriage is to be certified by the state, but the state no longer grants a special permission (license). see, a license is a de facto approval of the specific applicants. A license is special permission to do something that would otherwise be illegal. This is the crux of Kim Davis' objections (the Kentucky marriage controversy). Kim is now expected to give permission, and that is something she will not do.

I won't call a sin, 
a sacrament
  Under Pastor Russ's bill, the couple simply notifies the state via affidavit that they entered a life covenant. Any disputes or dissolvement would still be handled by family court jurisdiction. For too long the church has turned over to the state, the social authority to define marriage. Preachers say it's a spiritual sacrament, but our society says you're not married until the state says you are.
  I'd rather that the state change the government document to a "Civil Union" certificate, because the state doesn't hold the spiritual authority to officiate this sacrament of marriage (holy matrimony). I'd rather that my church assume the full authority to define marriage and officiate that rite. This way, our state is acknowledging the legal essence of marriage but our state restores a respect for the faith communities to refer to marriage as a sacrament by not competing with the church about who defines marriage. But I would not let this point be a dealbreaker.

It's time the faith communities took that back.

  Those who see marriage as a sacrament of believers, will have officiants perform the rites associated with church weddings. Those who do not submit to a spiritual discipleship will simply file the affidavit at the county court clerk's office.
  The Russ bill disarms the radical homosexual agenda. they want to force people of faith to perform solemn rites for an abomination. Rep Russ designed a great way for devout Oklahoma government workers to avoid this perplexing dilemma.
  I'll let Richard Engle​ speak for himself, but he is another person named in the Batesline post.

David Van Risseghem

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