Sermon on marriage – union of man and woman.

People are married when they subscribed at civil register…

Marriage starts with wedding in the church….

Marriage is when two people live together and have common household…

Marriage and physical relationships are separated…

What is marriage and why is wedding in the church necessary? Traditionally when two people fell in love, they celebrated wedding with many witness and then began physical relationships to have children. Nowadays in a atheistic society however it is rather otherwise – people try out physical relationships (sex), children are mostly not born because of contraception, then they celebrate wedding and in the end they finally fall in love with each other or get divorced. Let us use Bible to understand what is marriage and when exactly it begins.

Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten[a] a man with the help of the Lord.” (Genesis 4:1)

The first historical record of physical relationships. No word about celebrations, procedures in the Church or some other rituals. Maybe only a phrase:

24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. (Genesis 2:24)

Exactly, becoming one flesh, that is marriage, a process of physical relationship. That means, even if we don’t tell anyone, don’t register, don’t make a wedding party for all the relatives and neighborhood, but simply “become one flesh”, that is enough to get married. Then why were marriages necessary in ancient society?

They took it seriously. Becoming one flesh was not just physical, it was a spiritual act, which according to the Bible cannot be undone, that is, divorce is not possible.

If a next wife was taken, she was called secondary wife, the same term can be applied to the husband.

Solomon clung to these women in love. He had seven hundred royal wives and three hundred secondary wives. (1 Kings 11:3)

They wouldn’t call royal as secondary out of respect, but I guess all of them were secondary as they were so many. Another evidence about significance of physical relationship is in Old testament.

8 Then Judah said to Onan, “Go in to your brother’s wife, and perform your duty as a brother-in-law to her, and raise up offspring for your brother.”9Onan knew that the offspring would not be his; so when he went in to his brother’s wife, he wasted his seed on the ground in order not to give offspring to his brother.” (Genesis 38:8-9)

I’d like to note, that “went to his brother’s wife” and “wasted seed on the ground” altogether have to be understood as physical relationship where a man withdraws in the end. Using condom or, I guess, other contraception is the same sin. But can you explain me, how can a seed of one man produce child for a previous man?

Even if modern science has discovered, what happens on heaven and earth when man and woman “join their flesh”, they would not disclose it, because it would ruin many sexism based industries like contraception, pornography, textile, marketing, marriage services (many people get married and devorced many times, thus promoting some businesses) and even many nonchristian families might break where one or both are secondary to each other, because people will try to take a chance of making a better progeny with virgins. However many people are ready to adopt someone’s else child and have it as their own. Passing genes is not so important nowadays as it was in the past, because respect towards God as the ruler of all life and his desire for diversity is also not so important. That is why humans do not care about the fact, that more and more DNA repeats in individuals because of adultery everywhere. In the end of uncontroled DNA sharing all humans will not be so individual and life will become boring.

Do not commit adultery. (Christian Bible (Common English Bible) – Old Testament – Exodus 20:3-17)

Now when we know, that marriage is joining flesh, we also know that adultery is when a person has more than one sexual partner during lifetime or sexual partner who previously joined flesh with someone else:

And whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. (Christian Bible (Common English Bible) – New Testament – Matthew 5:48)

Another evidence of more than physical essence of a human flesh is this line:

But I say to you that every man who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery in his heart.  (Christian Bible (Common English Bible) – New Testament – Matthew 5:28)

Is it possible to join with someone just by thinking about this person? I hope not. Otherwise it is possible to take traits of character, behavior patterns and other psychological matter of somebody just by lustfully thinking about him or her.

Here we get an answer, why wedding in the church is necessary. Wedding procedure protects people from joining flesh with somebody who already has joined flesh with someone else.  It is simply a matter of informing a society, who is who. Nowadays people don’t wear engagement or wedding rings or wear rings without principle, it has become a matter of style. People used to inform others that they have joined flesh with somebody and should not be bothered anymore. So if you are single, you know who is single or not. Nowadays even if a person has joined flesh with hundreds of other people, this person is still being understood as single, even though being far from single on heaven. Church (in ideal) connects people with correct understanding of marriage, therefore protecting individuals from “looking lustfully” at people, who actually are already married, but don’t make it clear. Church keeps register of married people, so that relatives would not marry, that is prevention of crossbreeding.

At Philippi were two brothers, one of whom had two sons, the other two daughters. They were rich and noble, and said: ‘There is no family as good as ours in the place: let us marry our sons to our daughters.’ It was agreed and the earnest paid by the father of the sons. On the wedding-day a word from God came to them: ‘Wait till my servant Andrew comes: he will tell you what you should do.’ All preparations had been made, and guests bidden, but they waited. On the third day Andrew came: they went out to meet him with wreaths and told him how they had been charged to wait for him, and how things stood. His face was shining so that they marvelled at him. He said: ‘Do not, my children, be deceived: rather repent, for you have sinned in thinking to join together those who are near of kin. (Acts of Andrew 11)

Interesting to see that widely accepted judaistic tradition that cousins can be married is being prohibited by followers of Jesus Christ. How near can the kin be? There is no Christian answer for that. I heard there is an ancient tradition in Finland to be able to pronounce your family tree at least seven generations from yourself. So if you like somebody, you should check that your ancestors don’t match within seven generations. I don’t have such a family tree. Latvian churches started to record local farmers only in 19th century. However in a modern world of spoiled environment full of mutagenic factors even seven generations can be too little to protect children from genetical diseases.

To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her.  And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him.  For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.  But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. (1 Corinthians 7:12-15)

Prayer

Our father who is on heaven, blessed be your name, let your followers recognize and meet each other and do your will concerning marriage as it is done on heaven, and forgive us adultery of our body or heart just as we forgive those others, who commit adultery, and don’t lead us into temptation, but rescue us from the evil one.

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About Pavels Melnis

Independent ecology activist, family farmer, gardener and forestkeeper. Musician: violin, guitar, singing. Hobbies: traveling by bicycle, learning to play different music instruments - accordion, piano, recorder flute, harmonica, drums; languages, theology, prehistory, logbuilding, repairing and recycling. Religious. Ecological. Love all things ethnic and traditional.
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