Fw: Shapes of a Wedge

From: Innovatia <dennis@innovatia.com>
Date: Tue May 25 2004 - 13:52:14 EDT

In regard to marriage, family, and state, the key issue is one's doctrine of
God and government. If our political
loyalty goes exclusively to God's kingdom (which is the normative Christian
position), then our obedience also goes exclusively to his laws (i.e.,
biblical instruction). Your lord is the one whose laws you obey.

I build my understanding on these grounds (see below), which leaves no room
for a state in rebellion against God's law on marriage to be obeyed. This
includes any state laws that go beyond biblical law, for God prohibits both
taking away from and adding to his law. Furthermore, God's law makes no
provision for community involvement in marriage other than possibly to judge
family disputes, and that assumes the civil court is under God's law. Such a
state court cannot be found in the developed world today.

Dennis Feucht

Marriage (excerpted from my book, XLM, "Family and State")

"What God has joined, let no man put asunder." So goes the typical wedding
vow. This vow, and marriage as a biblical institution, leaves no room for
the State to be a party to the marriage. Christians who take the above vow
are to also voluntarily and decidedly keep the State out of their marriage
as a third party, by avoiding a wedding license. God instituted marriage
long before the State as we know it existed. What possible jurisdiction
could the State have over a pre-existing institution, one that biblically
places God as the foundational third party?

Many American "churches" will not marry a couple who has not obtained
permission to marry through the purchase of a license from the State prior
to the wedding ceremony. A wedding performed by an "ecclesiastical
organization," an incorporated entity of the State, performs civil marriages
as an agent of the State and not under the sole authority of Christ. Almost
all marriages are performed by these organizations under the authority
vested in them and their ministers by the State, for which they have agreed
to act as agents. This makes the minister an officer of the State, carrying
out official duties of the State. In effect, it is the State, not God, who
has joined the consenting individuals.

This ungodly joining of the State to matrimony has serious consequences. The
license is not a mere formalism, a piece of paper. It is evidence of a
signed agreement that entangles spouses with the State, so that the State is
given an interest in the marriage. As stated in Roberts v Roberts, 81 CA2d
871 (1947); 185 P2d 381:

  The state is a party to every marriage contract of its own residents as
well as the guardians of their morals.

Christian morality is derived from biblical authority, and not from what the
State tells us is moral.

Furthermore, from Hendricks v Hendricks,125 CA2d 239 (1954); 270 P2d 80:

  A marriage contract differs from other contractual relations in that there
exists a definite and vital public interest in reference to marriage
relation.

The "public interest" is, of course, referring to government interest and
jurisdiction in matters of marriage. While biblical law does not deny the
legitimacy of community adjudication in family matters, what is at issue is
the legitimacy of the authority structure within the family itself. These
human laws open the door for courts to intervene where parents or the father
has the rightful biblical authority.

Such laws are the legal basis for why Child Protective Services can remove
children from their parents. Horror stories are accumulating of the Youth
Police kidnapping children from Christian (and other) parents who have
applied biblical practices in their child-raising. Spanking a child is
grounds for State removal from parents, though the parents have clearly the
greatest interest in the well-being of the child. (State orphanages are a
disaster and a breeding ground for child molesters.) Radio law-school
teacher George Gordon points out consequences of the licensed family:

  So what happens to the children that come out of this corporate family?
Health, education and welfare statutes come into play now, because you have
agreed, via the marriage license - you have, like the driver's license,
agreed to join the State in a regulated enterprise, and the children you
produce are the fruits of that enterprise, and belong to the State. That's
why the State will take them away from you and put them into a foster home.
And it's so rare that someone will knowingly choose these days to not apply
for this privilege of a marriage license, that if you choose to do so, you
may have to fight it out on the courtroom floor. I see too many people
taking their children out of school and educating them at home, without
first divorcing the State or rescinding the license. And of course, they get
embroiled in the legal problems, and wonder why they have these problems.

Christian marriage involves Christ, not the State, as the third party. From
a legal standpoint, a marriage independent of the State is a "common-law
marriage," an expression which in polite "moral" society is regarded with
disdain. The Tennessee Law Review (volume 19, page 83) excerpts what their
State court had to say about common-law marriages:

  No particular form was required to be observed by the parties entering
into a common law marriage. A simple agreement by a man and woman that they
would live together as man and wife, at common law constituted a valid
marriage.

However, Tennessee is one state that legally forbids such marriages, and
thus directly opposes biblical authority given to families. For those who
train their consciences according to biblical law, common-law marriage
avoids government licensing and can be a form of godly marriage. To accede
to the State an authority in marriage vested biblically in parents is to
deny God's law in favor of worldly authority and to willingly subject
children to the State.
Received on Wed May 26 15:14:48 2004

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