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Thursday, 24 March 2011

Marriage!

It is my contention that, for many years, the word 'love' has been greatly devalued.  In the English language, it covers such a wide range, from 'like' to 'lust', with every possible shade in between!  At least the Greeks of New Testament times (and, possibly, today!) used four separate words that allowed some clarification to be provided.

The word 'Christian' has also, in my opinion, been devalued, certainly in the so-called 'western world', and possibly since the early 4th century A.D. when the Roman Emperor Constantine made Christianity 'legal' and 'respectable'.  As to the Emperor's own conversion - there is considerable doubt as to the reality of it!

However, I am becoming increasingly aware of the devaluation of the word 'marriage'.  Marriage, certainly in the Christian understanding of it, was ordained by God, and given a blessing by the presence of Jesus at the marriage in Cana of Galilee (see John 2:1 ff).  It was given, according to the words of the marriage service that I used, "... for the sake of the life-long companionship, help, and comfort that husband and wife ought to have of each other. ... so that family life may continue, and that children, who are a gift from God, may be brought up in the love and security of a stable and happy home. ... for the welfare of human society, that can be strong and happy only where the marriage commitment is kept and honoured."

So I am unhappy when I hear of moves to introduce homosexual 'marriages', able to be conducted within buildings that have been dedicated to the worship of Almighty God.  And I am unhappy when I learn, in this evening's news bulletin, of the rise in 'sham' marriages, in which foreign nationals pay a great deal of cash in order to have a 'legal' marriage arranged with someone whom they have only met, and hired, for that purpose.  Where is the "life-long companionship"?   When will there ever be any children of such a union?  How can any such 'marriage' be a commitment to be "kept and honoured"?

Of course, there are a number of measures that are designed to make it as difficult as possible (although still not particularly difficult!) for these 'marriages' to be arranged.  Yet the present UK government is apparently bowing to a ruling by the Law Lords in July 2008 that Home Office rules that stated that foreign nationals needed official permission to marry, breached their "human rights".

According to Article 16 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights,
  • (1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
  • (2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
  • (3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.
I read nothing there that makes it a 'human right' to abuse the institution of marriage simply in order to make it easier to remain in a country to which one is not native, and to which one may be making no positive contribution.  The Immigration Minister, Mr Damien Green, did give an assurance that if any suspicious activities were to be reported, they would be followed through, and dealt with by the immigration authorities.  This, it seems to me, is saying "Commit the crime; and just hope that you're not caught"!  Surely prevention is much better than cure!

It is to be hoped - however vainly - that new procedures will be introduced, with all haste, to put an end to this fraudulent abuse of a God-given institution.

2 comments:

Kathy said...

I am so sorry to read that you were removed from your post as a volunteer chaplain for a Scottish police force after expressing your views opposing the government’s plans to create “gay marriage.” The majority of us here in the United States, contrary to what you hear in the media, wholeheartedly agree with you. Our prayers are with you. Thank you for standing for marriage and Truth!! :)

C.Brian Ross said...

Thank you, Kathy, for taking the time to assure me of your support. It is greatly appreciated. Blessings, and shalom.