“Divorcing” Religious and Civil Marriages

Yesterday I wrote about what a “license” does and what it means for marriage.

If…

  • A license grants you permission to do that which is otherwise illegal….
  • then…

  • (in non-common law states) it is illegal for Christians to marry unless they gain the state’s permission first.
  • The Gospel Coalition asked a couple of years ago

    Should Pastors Separate the Christian Wedding Ceremony from the Civil Rite?

    It seems to me, that at this point, the state has the right to divorce the civil from the religious (courthouse wedding, etc.) but the religious does not have the right to divorce the religious from the civil (it is illegal to have a Christian wedding without the state’s permission.

    (caveat: common law states have specific criteria to be met in order to qualify as a “common law marriage. There are a couple of states that require that in order for a common law marriage to be “official” it must be registered with the state [but with no prior permission from the state needed] In common law states, one could have a religious ceremony without having to get the state’s permission, thus divorcing the religious from the civil)

    I have made it known that I refuse to be married in a state with a “gender neutral” license (such as California.) I am NOT “party B”

    I believe the time is coming when the definition of “marriage” as required by the state, will be so far astray of the definition of “marriage” as defined by God, that Christians will, with clean conscience, reject civil marriage.

    The question is: do we provide “test cases” now? or wait until persecution begins?

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