As judges continue to redefine marriage in spite of millenia of human history, religious tradition, and overwhelming majorities of voters, many Christians have called for churches and ministers to get out of the “marriage business” altogether.
The idea is as the legal definition of marriage has changed, ministers may be compromising their convictions by signing state-issued marriage licenses for Christian couples.
John Stonestreet at the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview has authored an excellent commentary on why ministers should not get out of the “marriage business”–at least not yet.
“First of all, there’s nothing on a state marriage license that requires clergy to say that marriage is something that it is not. But by refusing to sign any marriage licenses, we’re missing an opportunity to proclaim to the state and to the public what marriage truly is.
“Second, by backing out of the civil marriage business, we risk perpetuating that illusion that marriage is something the government defines instead of something it recognizes, and we perpetuate the myth that the Christian view of marriage is only for us Christians. In fact, marriage existed before the church and before the state. It’s the job of both institutions to recognize it.
“And here’s a question that bothers me. If clergy should not participate in civil marriage, why should laity? If it’s wrong for pastors, isn’t it wrong for parishioners?”
You can read Stonestreet’s full commentary here or listen to it below.[audio:http://bit.ly/1ATLii9|titles=John Stonestreet – Separating Civil and Christian Marriage]