Sleeping with Caesar

Yesterday President Obama came out in favor of homosexual marriage.

Christians are rightly angry at the idea of homosexual marriage.  The Scriptures clearly teach marriage as between a man and a woman and homosexual behavior is plainly identified as sin.  So to combine homosexuality and marriage is anathema. 

I get that.  I agree with that, but did we give up our right to define the word when we gave it to the government to regulate?

We asked Caesar (the government) to certify marriage, and he did.  For years, the standard, even in the church, for marriage is the official, governmental standard.  It didn’t matter to us if you stood before a minister or the justice of the peace, if you were married, you were married.  Marriage was official.  Caesar said so.  The church affirmed.

But Caesar took marriage as his own.  He began re-defining it a long time ago.

Some states recognize “common law” marriages.  After a couple has been together and cohabited a certain amount of time, Caesar recognizes them as married.  For them to split up, there has to be a divorce.  A dissolution of the marriage.

Caesar says they are married.

Now Caesar wants to say that two men can be married.  Now Caesar wants to say two women can marry.  Caesar believes he owns marriage because marriage has long been a civil institution.  It is regulated and owned by Caesar.

We, the church, let Caesar have marriage because we thought it would impose our morality on society.  It did for some time.  Even people who had no commitment to the holy covenant of marriage nor the God who instituted it were duly married by Caesar and his appointees.  Some of those appointees were representatives of the church.

“By the power vested in me by Caesar, I now pronounce you husband and wife.”  We even operate as Caesar’s representative.

We willingly gave the government our word.  We gladly worked as Caesar’s representative.  We use Caesar’s system to authenticate marriage.  We gave marriage to Caesar.  Now (just now?) he is messing it up and we are up in arms.

Jesus said we are to render to Caesar the things that belong to him and to God the things that belong to Him.  The problem is, we’ve been sleeping with Caesar.  We married him and we have given him things that rightly belong to God.  Now what are we going to do about it?

One thing is for sure, it is going to be messy.

I think it might be a good idea not to share what is sacred with Caesar.


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5 Responses to Sleeping with Caesar

  1. sjb says:

    While in fact I agree with you, I’d ask if you can find any example in the Scripture where a priest or pastor officiates at a wedding.

    I can’t.

  2. Derrick says:

    An excellent point, Dr.

  3. Matt says:

    I wonder sometimes why I, as a Christian, expect non-Christians to do things that I want them to do and that I see as right and correct through the Bible.

    This debate has helped make my purpose clear and concise: I must focus on leading people to Christ and not lead them into a morally upright life. I don’t expect anyone to live a righteous life without first accepting Christ’s grace and righteousness.

    May we use this as a opportunity to speak the truth to folks in love and remember our call to make disciples.

  4. Chuck says:

    Maybe this is a clear sign that we need to stop worrying about who is sleeping with whom, stop worrying about who is marrying whom, stop trying to enforcing God’s laws, and start living by them. God has been able to enforce His laws far better then I ever could, long before I was born and will long after I pass.

    Get up in the morning and do the right thing, even if no one is watching.
    Treat everyone with dignity and respect.
    Give until it hurts, then give a little bit more.

  5. Paul Lankow says:

    We better not give Caesar our schools!

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