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Why is legal marriage okay?

Postby Turner » Sun May 07, 2023 4:39 pm

I am a Muslim. I am talking about how the government basically says you have to get a marriage license and have it approved by the government. I get there are marriage benefits but why should that be the case? It's literally the government deciding what a marriage is. And there is no Biblical reason for it either. So why "defend it" and try to decide for others what marriage is anyway when a legal marriage is in no way even biblical?

Re: Why is legal marriage okay?

Postby jimwalton » Thu May 25, 2023 5:43 pm

Even in biblical times, marriage involved formalities, ceremonies, and even legalities. Part of the problem in your question comes in that, in the times of the Old Testament, there was no "secular" government. The government was the village elders or the town elders, who were perceived as and functioning as representatives of Yahweh. So also the king. There was no secular/religious distinction—government vs. church.

In the New Testament times, Palestine was under Rome's authority, but Rome had no authority over marriage. All marriages were performed located under the auspices of the village elders. Again, no secular/religious distinction.

But it's also true that in all biblical times there were always legal aspects to marriage. Deuteronomy 24.1-4 speaks of a certificate of divorce, alluding to legal aspects. Marriage is not just whatever anyone says it is. Jesus also spoke of legitimate reasons for divorce, implying that there are illegitimate ones. Paul, in 1 Corinthians 7, alluded to legalities pertaining to the institution of marriage (marital duties, v. 4).

You say that legal marriage is in no way biblical, but I disagree. I'd ask that you make your case, and then we can discuss it.

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