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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Marriage, It's All There in Black & White

And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place.  Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.
Genesis 2:21 & 22
 
For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.[e] This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
Ephesians 5: 31 & 32 


'Mawwiage. Mawwiage is what bwings us togethew today. Mawwiage, that bwessed awwangement, that dweam within a dweam.'-The Impressive Clergyman

At its core, marriage can be defined as a joining ( together ), a ( blessed ) union. Scripturally & traditionally speaking, we have defined it as the union between a man & a woman. The Creator God brought Eve, not Steve, to Adam! Throughout Scripture, we see one after another example of marriages based on this model & in many cases in the Hebrew Scriptures, what we would call polygamy, though even these cases involved multiple wives, not multiple husbands; this should give us a clue that it was never about the physicality of the union, but as always, pointed to a deeper spiritual truth; that our Creator God could be Husband to His People, but that His People could only have One Husband, lest they slip into idolatry!

There can be no doubt that the marriage of a man to a woman is meant to model the Blessed Union between the Christ ( Jesus ) & His Church! Just as the Creator God brought Eve to Adam, so He prepared the Church as a Bride for His Son. Now, if we get too technical about things here, we might run into problems, problems like 'if Jesus is the Creator God, then is He married to the Church & Israel at the same time, or is He a divorcee who will at some point let the Church go & take Israel back? Either that or He is a polygamist Himself! Or, 'since the Church is made up of both male & female, does that make Him.....................you can probably see where we're headed with that one! Traditionally, though, the Church is called the Bride of Christ & the Body of Christ; She, corporately speaking, is united with the Creator God Himself!

Have you ever heard of a marriage of ideas? Put simply, such a case would be where two ideas, however seemingly similar or far apart just happen to mesh perfectly, to the enhancement of both ideas! In a similar way, two parts of say, a combustion engine are joined together to make a whole, moving part. Neither part, by itself, would be able to perform the required operation, but together, the whole produces the desired effect! Such, one might say, is the way of a man with a woman; neither, by itself, is able to bring forth, physically speaking, the desired fruit of marriage, but fit together in the manner in which the Creator God made them, they might bring forth abundant fruit!

A hot topic in today's news headlines is the SCOTUS ruling legalizing the issuing of licenses to same-sex or homosexual coupes in every state in the union, regardless of that state's particular laws. We must note that this is simply the granting of license to these couples, not the legalization of these types of unions. The granting of license ( permission ) is in fact, or should be anyway, a reminder that these types of unions are illegal! For a man to marry ( legally ) another man, or a woman another woman, permission must first be granted by the Ruling Authority. Thus, by extension, if the Federal Government can or must grant permission for two people of opposite sexes to be joined in holy matrimony, then by rights, they should be able to grant the same license to homosexual couples!

A man & a woman just fit together, as we have witnessed to in the past: the male species was given a certain sexual organ which merges perfectly with the female sexual organ! This operation, if allowed to take its most natural course & with certain considerations, mot often will result in the conception of a brand new human being. Such is not always the case & with the great leaps in technology that science has made of late, these methods are not even necessarily essential. It is possible now, through artificial insemination, for a woman to bring forth life without a man's sexual organ ever penetrating her's! According to some Science, a man may even become pregnant & bear fruit of his own loins!

'Can two people of the same sex be united together, then & bring forth fruit?' This is the question that we should ask ourselves before condemning homosexual marriage! When the Creator God said, in Leviticus 18:22, 'You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It [ is ] an abomination', was He essentially voicing His condemnation of homosexuality, or was He speaking of a deeper spiritual truth, that of idolatry, the taking of another husband besides ( or in stead of ) Him? If a man were to rely on another man for that which the Creator God has made provision, could this not be called idolatry? In the same manner, a woman's reliance on another woman to provide for her rather than seeking the Creator God's own provision is idolatry as well!

The answer to the above question, to most Christians especially is obvious! The Creator God made them thus from the beginning ( male & female ). He established this union ( marriage ) in order that, as Scripture says ( Malachi 2:15 ), He might receive 'Godly offspring'. In the context of passages such as Matthew 21:33-44 & Mark 12:1-11, we understand that the fruit He looked for was not so much that of a physical nature, for Pharisaic Judaism had produced that well; the fruit that our Heavenly Father sought was the Fruits of the Spirit ( Galatians 5:22 & 23 ): He found no such fruit in Pharisaic Judaism!

Can two men or two women be united in the bonds of holy matrimony & show forth the Fruits of the Spirit? The answer to that question will be left up to the reader, but to this blogger, it is fairly obvious! Can a same sex couple model the Love of Christ for His Church? Yes! Do all homosexual couples exhibit the Fruit ( s ) of the Spirit? Pretty obviously not, but on the other hand, neither do most heterosexual couples, even many who call themselves Christian ( I was one )! In this day & age, the number of homosexual couples who do exhibit the Fruits of the Spirit that the apostle wrote about is probably not too far behind that of heterosexual couples!

With the Advent of concepts like Covenant Creation, we understand that the Creator God ( although He IS the Creator of all that we see & all that we don't see ) made them male & female, not so much for physical procreation, but for spiritual procreation!  He wanted His Physical Creation to exhibit the Fruits of the Spirit so that His Kingdom might expand, eventually encompassing His entire Creation. Because His People were so encumbered by physicality, by adultery & idolatry, our Heavenly Father Himself invested His own Creation by penetrating the veil & investing His own Seed in the Virgin of Israel!

Lest we lose sight of the Vision given us by the Creator of Heaven & Earth, the One who instituted their Marriage, let us concern ourselves with exhibiting the Fruit of the Spirit! Physically speaking, the fruit of the womb is the Lord's reward for faithfulness, but it is not the only fruit that we may bear.Marriage, according to most Christians, is black & white; it is ONLY the union of a man & a woman! Then again, on the other hand, or side of the coin, we are just emerging from the shadow of the puritannical idea that sexual intercourse was only for the purpose of procreation & never for pleasure!

Charles Haddon Shank

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