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A note from Pastor Unke

God's Gift of Marriage-- (Let's be clear!)


“Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”  -Matthew 19:6

Let’s be clear on God’s definition of marriage!
Everyone’s talking about it.  I’ve mentioned it in sermons and in Bible Class.  Our nation has opened a new chapter in history in which man’s perverted view of marriage is the law of the land while God’s Word is rejected on the subject. 
In our Voters’ meeting on Sunday, July 12, we joined with congregations across our church body, to affirm our position and practice of biblical marriage.  It’s God’s institution.  It’s non-negotiable.  It’s what we believe and confess.  (The entire statement which we adopted is found later in this newsletter.)
We stand firmly against the anti-biblical definition of marriage that allows same-sex unions because it is entirely opposed to God’s definition of his institution:  One man and one woman committed to each other for life.  We reject human arguments, based on emotion and flawed logic, which attempt to defend homosexual sin.  We join the authentic Christian church in calling practicing homosexuals to true repentance and we long to offer them the peace of forgiveness for their sin that is found only in Jesus. 
But let’s be very clear on God’s definition of marriage!
If we truly subscribe to the Bible-based statement that was passed by our voters, we must also condemn sins that are far too often, and sometimes purposely, overlooked in our midst. 
Divorce has become commonplace in our society and far too many Christians simply pursue divorce as a normal option for a couple that simply “wants to move on.”  Will we still speak out against such thoughtless breaking of that vow made before God to remain faithful until death?
What about “cohabitation?”  That’s a fancy word for living together before or outside of the marriage commitment.  Does that sin also raise Christian people like us to our feet to defend God’s design?  Ask any pastor what the most difficult thing is about performing marriages and they will talk to you about the commonly accepted practice of people living like husband and wife before they’ve made a public commitment to each other.  Since family and friends already know about that living arrangement as the wedding plans move forward, it is often the pastor who has to “destroy” all the plans by confronting the sin and calling for repentance before a wedding can take place.  Why won’t Christians take a strong stand against the perversion of cohabitation as fervently as they stand opposed to gay marriage?
Taking this a step farther, why is it that we Christians invite warped views of marriage and perversion of God’s design for sex into our homes as we faithfully tune in to shows like the bachelor/bachelorette or any of a vast menu of anti-biblical TV shows?  How is it that we can declare one distortion of God’s gift to be unthinkable and unacceptable, while many other perversions are just fine?  At what point will we take a stand for the truth against these other deviations from God’s design?
Christians, we need to understand what is at stake!  The institution of marriage is the perfect design of God.  He defines marriage so that it will be a blessing to his people whom he dearly loves.  When a man commits to being with a woman through all things until death parts them, God provides a loving companion for people who can be terribly lonely and insecure without that partner.  He created them for each other!  In the context of that commitment, God encourages sexual intimacy to enrich the relationship like no other and to direct the natural desire for intimacy toward a faithful partner according to God’s design.  Since woman was made for man, there is also the wonderful purpose in sex of reproduction.  It is no coincidence that God designed the reproduction of humans to take place within a relationship where there is a lifelong commitment to standing together for the purpose of raising a family to know his truth…and his Son.   
You know what else is at stake?  Heaven.  When people defy God’s will in anything, that’s called sin.  When people decide that they want to do things their own way and not God’s, that’s rebellion against him.  When people continue willfully in those sins and act as if God has no say on certain subjects—or that his way of thinking is out of date, that is impenitence. 
This is a fine time for all of us to examine again our view of God’s precious gifts of marriage and sex.  May we all ask Him for forgiveness for our own sin—and for our pietistic outrage over one version of perversion of his will while callously committing another.  As God’s Word reminds us of the forgiveness won for us by Jesus on Calvary’s cross, let us cherish God’s grace and enjoy that peace.  And let us commit again to preserving his gift of marriage and sex by clearly confessing and living in step with the Holy Spirit, drawing from his strength! 

In Jesus, Pastor Unke

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