Should the state define marriage? Is it OK for attorneys-general to say that two blokes can marry each other?
And will Christians be inevitably cast out of society for thinking that what some define as ‘marriage’ is no marriage at all?
I can easily answer the last question. Here’s a section from the Anglican marriage service in the Book of Common Prayer. Though printed in 1662, a form of these words continues in present use.
The minster addresses the couple, and says:
I require and charge you both, as ye will answer at the dreadful day of judgement, when the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed, that if either of you know any impediment, why ye may not be lawfully joined together in Matrimony, ye do now confess it. For be ye well assured, that so many as are coupled together otherwise than God’s Word doth allow are not joined together by God; neither is their Matrimony lawful.
Quite a serious warning!
These words make the Christian position clear: a marriage may be accepted by people while not accepted by God. Since there will be a judgement, God’s opinion is the one that counts.
What it means for me: even if the state defines non-marriage as marriage, marriage itself is not destroyed.
I know it would be unhelpful, and it would hurt people. Yet I do not need to speak of this as if it’s the end of the world. Christians already have centuries of living successfully in a world that includes pseudo-marriage.