Defining Marriage

Posted By on July 6, 2015

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Some Christians, recognizing the change that occurs because of the redefinition of marriage, argue that we need a two-track system: marriage as defined by the state and marriage as defined by the church. The problem with this view is that it also misunderstands the nature of marriage. Neither the state nor the church has the authority to change the essential nature of marriage, since the institution was neither created by nor belongs to either the church or the state. As Dr. R.C. Sproul wrote in a previous issue of Tabletalk (June 2013):

Marriage is ordained and instituted by God—that is to say, marriage did not just spring up arbitrarily out of social conventions or human taboos. Marriage was not invented by men but by God.

Because the three institutions of church, state, and marriage have interdependent yet independent existence, they can decide whether to recognize each other’s legitimacy, but they cannot delineate each other’s boundaries.

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