Saturday, June 28, 2014


Am I wrong, or does not the Tenth Court of Appeals decision just made about Gay marriages, whether one agrees with the decision or not, actually present to us as believers another opportunity where we can continue to show our culture certain things we hold to be true about life as Kingdom kids [that's us] that is different than the life of our culture at large? A culture in which we live and to which we are attempting to present the gospel of the Kingdom and of our Christ?

 For example....

One___We GET to CONTINUE to support the Kingdom standard of marriage as we personally interpret it in scripture, where a couple is joined in marriage for a different reason [the glory of God] and with a different result, [sacrificial love] then that which is being portrayed by our culture.

This is assuming, of course, that we have, as Christians, been building our marriages with that different reason and with that different result ALL ALONG.

Two___We GET to CONTINUE to be living proof of the fact that in our view marriage is based on a COVENANT and not a social contract, [covenants and contracts are totally different in nature] which is also contrary to what is being portrayed by our culture.

This is assuming of course that we have, as Christians, been building our marriages on that covenant idea ALL ALONG.

Three___We GET to CONTINUE to expose our belief that as Christians our marriages are being built on the foundation of the object of our faith, which is the Lord Jesus Christ, rather than on any kind of funny feeling that is identified as "love" which is promoted by Hollywood and other sources.

This, too, is assuming that we have, as Christians, been building our marriages on the Person of Christ ALL ALONG.

Four___We GET to CONTINUE to love the people that make up a culture that believes differently than do we as Christians and is a culture that has no desire to accept our Kingdom standard of behavior, which we certainly understand and would not expect them to, apart from a conversion to Christ that only believing the gospel can bring about.

This is also assuming that we, as Christians, have been loving them this way with no expectations for them apart from conversion, ALL ALONG.

I would say the 10th Court of Appeals has not changed the way we believe or behave at all, if what I've just said has, in fact, been true of us ALL LONG.  Maybe this is the way things always will be in His Kingdom and for His Kingdom kids with regards to whatever might become legal or illegal in our culture.

I will say this. If it hasn't been true ALL ALONG, there isn't much honest room for saying a lot in protest without it ringing hollow. If it has been true of us ALL ALONG, we aren't much into protesting anyway, are we! We're too busy living differently and enjoying loving people where they are.

You think?

Paul B.


Aussie John said...


What do I think?

Your last paragraph sums it up so well, whether one lives in DownUnder,or UpThere!

Victorious said...

Paul, regarding your point #2...

I've heard marriage defined as a covenant many times but don't find scriptural support for that. In fact, what I find most often throughout the Bible is that one person (usually the male) "took" a woman. Samson simply asked his parents to "get" or fetch her for him. Jacob bargained with Laban for Rachel and after arriving at agreed terms, simply "went in" to her.

So I'm not finding any references to ceremonies other than a celebration feast but no mention of promises, vows, or covenants between two people entering into a relationship.

What am I overlooking in this regard?

Paul Burleson said...

Aussie J,

I love the idea of you living "down under" and my being "up there." I think that's accurate on both counts. LOL


I appreciate your comment and, frankly, when a word is NOT used in scripture, and the word "covenant" is not used with specific reference to marriage, one should always be cautious when building a truth and saying it's scriptural.

It can be done, as you know, since the word "Trinity" isn't used either, but the truth is there I'm thinking.

All that said, the reason I'm comfortable with using "covenant" in relations to marriage and saying it is a scriptural concept as I see it, is for a number of reasons. But let me mention just a couple here.

One is that the opening statements about "leaving and cleaving" indicate the heart of the idea of covenant which is two "cleaving" together in a commitment stronger than any ordinary agreement. But that's not enough within itself for me.

Two is that God viewed His covenant with Israel as a marriage as seen in places like Jeremiah 3:24 and Ezekiel 16:8 and scores of other verses. Wjhen the covenant was violated God "divorced" Israel and her actions were seen as a violation of a marriage covenant. [Vow]

Three Paul used covenant language to speak of the relationship the Corinthians and Romans had with Christ in speaking of it a a marriage relationship in both the !! Corinthians 11 and Romans 7 chapters.

This is a little bit of why I hold the use of the word "covenant" to be valid. I'm open for correction and instruction as always however.

Victorious said...

Thank you for taking the time to explain your understanding of marriage as a covenant, Paul.

The reasons you listed are not unfamiliar to me for the most part, but I'm still unconvinced as the word covenant is found in the NASB about 316 times and all reference a covenant initiated by God. None recorded as far as I can see between a man and woman.

As far as "leaving and cleaving," I find it mentioned 4 times in scripture but it is only the man who is told to leave and cleave (to his wife.) That's in keeping with Jesus who leaves His Father to cleave to the church. In the OT, a man was to leave his tribe and cleave to his wife evidently where she was - at her tribe with her family. I've always believed this was for the protection of the woman against abuse. We see this when Jacob wants to take Rebecca and Lea to his home and Laban is incensed at the idea but makes Jacob promise not to harm them since they will be out from under the protection of their natural protectors.

Your examples of Corinthians and Romans where Paul is referencing a woman being bound as long as her husband lives is, in my opinion, a reference to the Oral Law of the Jews since no such law can be found in scripture.

The Corinthian chapter 11 regarding a woman's head covering appears to be a rebuttal directed toward the Corinthian's questions regarding a husband's authority over his wife. I believe Paul is quoting parts of their written letters questioning him about a number of issues they were having in their church. At any rate, Paul summarizes his conclusions by minimized the "who came first and for what reason" by saying "1Cor. 11:12 For as the woman originates from the man, so also the man has his birth through the woman; and all things originate from God." The woman from man; the man from woman; and all things from God. He, in essence, levels the playing field.

Anyway, my apologies for the side track and I surely appreciate your focus on how we can reflect our faith to a world where almost anything goes today.

Again, thank you for your logic, reason, and gracious manner of conveying your thoughts.

Aussie John said...


The idea of covenant flows throughout the Scriptures with we sinners being the recipients of the benefits of the final, most amazing Covenant of all!

There are a couple of phrases in the legally sanctioned marriage ceremony I am used to using, which sees marriage as a permanent contract, also recognize the idea of covenant.

Surely the betrothal promises made by each of those being wed also clearly demonstrate covenant.

I like what Andrew Murray said, "One of the words of Scripture, which is almost going out of fashion, is the word 'Covenant'. There was a time when it was the keynote of the theology and the Christian life of strong and holy men. We know how deep in Scotland it entered into the national life and thought. It made mighty men, to whom God, and His promise and power were wonderfully real. It will be found still to bring strength and purpose to those who will take the trouble to bring all their life (Ed comment: and their marriages) under control of the inspiring assurance that they are living in covenant with a God who has sworn faithfully to fulfill in them every promise He has given".

Somebody wrote,"A covenant is a walk unto death" - sounds familiar,"until death us do part".

Paul Burleson said...


My reference was to 2 [11] Corinthians 11:1-2 where Pul using language of marriage of Christ and the Church and the New covenant is it's basis, as we well know.

For me "authority over" has no place with any believer over another believer.

Again, thanks for the dialogue and your gracious spirit in it all.

Aussie J,

I read Andrew Murray this morning again and started to use his statement in my above answer for why I hold to using the idea of covenant as valid.

Thanks for doing that. What is that statement about "great minds"....? :)