You've heard it said that America is no longer a Christian nation! However misquoted this statement is, there's a lot of truth in it! Though you might object that a good 70-80% ( at least ) of Americans claim to be Christians; since the beginnings of the sexual revolution in the 40s & 50s, leading up to the 'free-love' 60s & beyond, Americans have witnessed & countenanced much that, 50-100 years ago would have quickly gone the way of the 8-track tape! Abortion, one of the worst ( maybe THE worst ) by-products of this disease, which, in essence was legalized in 1972 is but one of the abominations that a truly Christian nation would not have allowed to flourish!
Though much of the media buzz & general 'hub-bub' has died down, the recent legislation granting license for homosexual couples to 'marry' has been under much scrutiny of late. Many or most Christians have condemned this legislation as abominable, not realizing that it is only the permission to 'marry', not the actual redefining of marriage, which is impossible. Marriage, in the Beginning, was defined by the Creator as union between one man & one women for the purpose of procreation ( physical & spiritual ); it CANNOT be redefined!
Another thing that many or most Christians fail to realize is that the federal government of these United States of America ( AKA, U.S.A. Inc. ) has unlawfully taken it upon themselves to regulate marriage, which cannot be regulated except by its Creator )! By doing so, by passing legislation that couples wishing to marry must first apply for & receive a license from whichever state they wish to reside in, this Corporation opened the gateway to grant any manner of couples ( no matter how unnatural ) to 'marry' under license from the State! As early as the mid-19th century, permission had to be granted by license in the United States in order for a couple to be considered legally married. Although this varies throughout the U.S., most states require some sort of license in order to reap the benefits of this legal contract!
Much of the problem lies in the fact that the term 'marriage' has come to mean ( to the uninitiated ) merely a legal contract, an agreement entered into by two individuals & the State! As originally instituted by the Creator, marriage is covenantal in nature. It involves two individuals agreeing together to live together as One ( in purpose ), to enlarge their borders & ultimately, those of the Kingdom of their Heavenly Father. Today, 'marriage' is viewed as more of a social contract, entered into by consensual partners for the mutual advantage of all parties involved!
Marriage by Covenant alone has seen a resurgence in the past decade or so, showing that not ALL Christians have missed the importance of this distinction! The Marriage Covenant, which is the only way to be truly married, over against the mere social contract, bears the fruit of life, not merely for the benefit of the individuals involved, but for that of the Corporate Body, for the Kingdom! The social contract that has been called 'marriage' is simply a selfish consideration made by individuals to come together for mutual advantage; once that mutual advantage disappears, so does the 'marriage' dissolve!
'Quick, save the holy State marriage license from the limp-wristed infidels!' In most Christian circles, as well as outside, it is an accepted fact that one must receive license from the State in order to lawfully wed. In fact, some Christian ministers, for whatever reason, will refuse to perform a 'marriage' unless this infamy is foisted upon the often unwitting participants! Because the Church leads the culture, we now have the State ( Federal Government ) taking the next logical step & granting permission for homosexuals to 'marry'. For many centuries, much of what goes on in this nation today would have not only been condemned but harshly penalized, but for the aforementioned reasons has not only been accepted but has flourished, becoming the established 'norm'!
As the influence of the Church over the Culture around It has waned, It has rather become the other way around; churches have become more institutionalized, more business-like than the organic Body that She is! Marriage is but one of the areas in which the Church has failed to rightly influence the Culture! Don't get me wrong, She HAS influenced the Culture, but by accepting the idolatry of the State marriage license, She has shown the Culture around her that is good, right & just to worship false gods, those which have no Authority except as granted by the Creator!
Many Christians have begun to realize the inherent evil of the State marriage license, but as many yet fail to see what the logical conclusion of the matter must be! If the State ( alone ) can & must grant license to marry, then it can grant permission to anyone to be wed to....anything ( any number of absurd & abominable conclusions could be reached here)! How may we, as the Church begin again to rightly influence the Culture around us? Not by bowing to the idol of the State marriage license as We have done for the past 100+ years, but only by recognizing & upholding the 'betterness' of Covenant Marriage in our own lives & living it before the 'world' around us!
Charles Haddon Shank