NEWSLETTER

 

Spring 2005 

      Vol. 5   
Num. 4

     

On
Christian
Marriage

by
Gay, Pat and Barbara

Some four hundred years before Christ, bad news came to Nehemiah who was living in Babylon.  He was told about the downtrodden state of Jerusalem with its broken-down walls, and an awesome zeal for the Lord and His commandments came upon this servant of God. 

Nehemiah went to Jerusalem to oversee the rebuilding of the walls.  Along with Ezra, they directed the restoration of the temple and worship.  Near the end of the book, Nehemiah is not only grieving, but also irate at the intermarriage between Jews and people of surrounding tribes, a practice forbidden by the Lord.  The fact that half of the children from these unions could not speak Hebrew indicates that they were not being raised in the faith of Israel and worship of the only true God. 

 

Nehemiah made them swear by God they would neither give their daughters to heathen men, nor take heathen daughters for their sons or for themselves. He further reminded them of Solomon’s treacherous sins against God because he married pagan women.   Nehemiah saw the importance of marriage to the survival of his nation.  Surely society, even in that day, had those who were “politically incorrect.”  If Nehemiah were living today, he would certainly be brought before our activist court system for his “hate crime.”  

Why do marriage and family exist? How did they come into being?  From Scripture, we learn that Adam (humankind) was made in the image of God, our Creator (Gen.1:26-28). The first man and his wife were blessed and told to be fruitful, multiply and rule the earth together, even before the one became two.   God not only intended for sexual relations to be confined to the marriage bed, but He also defined marriage as male and female joined together (Gen.2:22-32). Any other union in God’s eyes is an abomination in his sight (Lev. 18:22. Rom. 1:22-32).  

The original blueprint given by God is being challenged in courts all over the USA, and the battle lines are fully drawn.  No one has the right, including government-elected or appointed officials, to redefine marriage for our American or any other society; for God has spoken in His Word to those whom He has created. 

Today, we face the continuing onslaught of indoctrination toward perverse, same-sex marriages.  Recently PBS even used some of our tax dollars to produce Buster, a positive depiction of same-sex marriage.  The subject matter was so blatant that not only did America’s Secretary of education write  PBS a letter of protest, but also the Family Research Council strongly objected to its content.  A constitutional amendment forbidding such unions is being supported by many of God's people.

Other attacks have broadsided the true meaning of marriage.  Our last newsletter was dedicated to Ayaan Hirsi Ali who fled Somalia in order to escape a forced marriage. By definition, a forced marriage is one entered into against the wishes of one or both parties. Early marriage, another aspect of forced marriage, prompts the question, “Is forced marriage a form of rape?” If not, it is surely akin to kidnapping and slavery, for rape is forced sex without a woman or girl’s consent. In some cases, the marriage is not consummated on the wedding night because the man waits until she is “willing” by beating or threatening her.  Usually, the girl, unlike Ayaan Hirsi Ali, accepts her misfortune and “consents,” even if her only consent is her silence.   

An article by Soheila Sharifi states that the International Campaign for the Defense of Women’s Rights in Iran knows how Islamic rules and regulations suppress and violate women’s rights.  They are a strong movement that fights for equality and freedom in society.  We commend them for making their voices heard. 

With its strident voices, the liberal agenda makes demands for freedom of speech, clearly motivated by the desire to cast off all restraint, thus exposing children and adults alike to pornography, sex, drugs, violence and adultery. As present-day Nehemiahs, we have witnessed, and are witnessing, violations of God’s laws. Those violators along with other voices of agreement are calling for decadent change. As a people of hope, we must remember the power of God.  He has said through the prophet Isaiah’s words that He will make the crooked places straight.  (Isaiah 45:2) 

What has precipitated the decline of our nations’ marriages and families?  Parents have not clearly taught by word and example that pre-marital sex and co-habitation are sinful and forbidden by God. The priests and pastors have not taught Scriptures or the difference between the holy and unholy and have failed to prepare and equip God’s people for life or marriage. The laws of the land have made divorce too easy an option. 

One statistic quoted by the Barna Research Group shows the divorce rate among Christians at 30 percent and Jews at 27 percent. History does repeat itself, and we are repeating the same errors of the past. Documented facts have proved that the downfall of a nation is preceded by three generations who promote the breakdown of marriage and family. Unless repentance comes sweeping over our nation, we are heading for disaster. 

The moral fiber of our nation has been discarded in order to allow personal freedoms and self-indulgence at the expense of innocent children and society. Former Secretary of Education, William Bennett, blames the liberal theologians who question the importance of marriage, rationalize away moral absolutes, accept alternative homosexual lifestyles and endorse “new” family structures that include same-sex couples adopting children. (See Bennett’s The De-Valuing of America, p. 222.) When license was taken to do our own thing, our nation began to disintegrate morally and spiritually.  (See Proverbs 16:25.

As a teachers and disciplers at a local youth correctional facility, Gay and Pat have personally encountered wrecked lives brought about by divorce, drugs, and violence. Young people are crying out for stability, love and peace. Many have never known one or the other parent, and some have known neither parent. 

God’s people must return to the essentials regarding happy, strong and successful marriages. In the beginning, GOD! His original plan was egalitarian, endowing each partner with equality without a chain of command structure setting one partner over the other. Dennis J. Preato contributed an article to our website entitled Egalitarian Marriages.”  In that article, he quotes from ENRICH, a marital assessment tool, that 81 percent of couples in egalitarian marriages were happily married while 82 percent of those in traditional hierarchical unions were mainly unhappy. This informative article is well worth reading.

 The God’s Word to Women website receives numerous heart-breaking letters from women in hierarchical marriages, experiencing little freedom to function in the giftings and callings from their Maker. One recent email was from a woman trying to cope with the problems created by the teaching that wives are to obey their husbands.  Scripture never told a wife to obey her husband.  However, that order is given to children.  Marriages are in great conflict.  As those on the side of truth and righteousness, we must spread the truth of biblical womanhood which is part of the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The saints of the church in Philippi were exhorted by Paul, the apostle, to be “blameless and harmless, the children of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.”  (2:15). Are you ready to stand for truth and be guileless and uncontaminated in the middle of a twisted and perverted nation? 

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THE FEDERAL MARRIAGE AMENDMENT

God established marriage and the family before bringing the church or the state into being, making marriage the bottom line of our society.  Marriage is very precious to Him because it draws an earthly picture of Christ and His bride.  His Word tells us, “marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled . . .” (Hebrews 13:4).  To show Him how contemptible His Word has become, the number of fornicators (those who practice co-habitation) has increased not only with those who call themselves Christians, but also with those of the world.  Without question, the institution of marriage has been sliding down the slippery slope of moral relativism.  The words, “marriage covenant” with its accompanying vows are quickly and quietly discarded as just so much refuse by a growing number in and out of the church. 

For centuries, marriage has been accepted as the union of a man and a woman.  Children born into that union are raised with a mother and a father, and society as well as the family carries all the ingredients for blessing.  Now come activist judges are coming forth in a blatant attempt to add coals to the fire of the disintegration of the family.  Unelected judges in Massachusetts declared that the union of a man and a woman is “unconstitutional” in that state.  In May, that ruling will become the “law of the land” in Massachusetts.  According to the Alliance for Marriage (AFM), immediate legal implications for the entire country will be created; and activist groups will begin a process of filing lawsuits to invalidate the marriage laws of the other 49 states in America. 

            Here’s what the Federal Marriage Amendment says:  “Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman.  Neither this constitution or the constitution of any state, nor state or federal law, shall be construed to require that marital status or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups.”  In commenting on the amendment, Matt Daniels of the Alliance for Marriage says, “The first sentence states that marriage in the United States will forever consist of the union of male and female.  No one will ever be able to destroy the definition of marriage in our land.  The second sentence ensures that the democratic process at the state level will continue to determine all questions of benefits—reflecting the will of the people.”   

            According to U. S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, what we cannot ignore is that the highest court in our land has paved the way for the eventual destruction of marriage in all states by its recent ruling in Lawrence v. Texas.  For almost a decade, activists have filed lawsuits to destroy marriage laws in court and to hell with public opinion and democracy.  Some self righteous, pietistic Christians don’t want their hands to get dirty with politics.  Do you see that activist groups and judges don’t mind at all when we Christians abdicate our responsibility to be ”salt” and “light” in our society and smugly ignore what is happening by folding our arms in refusal to respond to the defense of marriage?

 Do you want to know more?  Go to www.allianceformarriage.org.  Then, go to www.visi.com/juan/congress/ to determine who represents you in the 109th Congress. Then, let them know what you think about the Federal Marriage Amendment.
 

God has issued a new call for women to step out of the mundane and familiar - and to be empowered to fulfill the apostolic mandate He has for them. This is a new season for women to arise in their end time authority and power thus enabling a stronger working partnership with men to reach the harvest
 

What’s Happening
 on the Web?

We want to call your attention to some outstanding new articles that have recently been put up on the website.  You can always find the latest by clicking on “What’s New found at the top of each page. 

Overcoming Sexual Trauma by Gayle Rogers.  This article is one of a series dealing with sexual abuse.  Here, Gayle provides seven necessary  steps  if one wishes to being free of the trauma caused by the horror of sexual abuse. 

Binding the Strongman by Gayle Rogers.  This second article on overcoming sexual trauma.  Gayle discusses masturbation and reminds us that we must fight the good fight of faith by warring against the enemy and not allowing him to take control over our destiny.

Overcoming Sexual Trauma Through Understanding the Essence of the Fullness of the Godhead by Gayle Rogers.  This third article from her series on overcoming sexual abuse looks at the power available to us for healing and deliverance when we grasp the love of God and who we are in Christ.

Breaking the Cycle of Verbal Abuse - by Dr. Jay Grady This article is the first in a series by Dr Jay.  His goal each month is to write  eye-opening articles to "victims" of verbal abuse that will lead them toward healing.  In this article Dr. Jay gives some startling statistics and points out that verbal abuse is a serious problem in the church that we really don't want to talk about.

First Husbands  by Robin Galiano Russell.  A recent study shows that men married to pastors have different concerns than pastors' wives.   In "First Husbands," three men whose wives are pastors, and one man whose wife is a rabbi, are interviewed. The article reveals some surprising conclusions.

Letters 2005 - Letters from around the world with our responses are now available for 2005.
 

 

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