Right now there is a flurry of debate regarding what makes a marriage. One man one woman, two consenting adults, something else? And I am not here to define one way or the other, although if you have read anything else on this blog you should have a pretty good idea where I stand, but we can get into that later.
Here is my question. Marriage was created by God with a defined application. But the church willfully and deliberately gave up its authority on who and what determines what a marriage is or is not. Was it because it was easier to let someone else define what marriage is rather than church leadership be primary? Or was it too hard to hold people to a standard that at times may not be easy? Where was the church leadership taking the moral high ground holding husbands responsible to take care of their kids, even when they walked away from their commitments to their wives?
Christian ethics dictate we take responsibility.
I would suggest that if the church had done the heavy lifting way back when, the govt. would never have gotten their foot in the door. Instead far too many leaders abdicated authority by shirking responsibility.
Far too concerned with their personal privilege and antagonistic about taking the responsibility, we(yes we) focus on our rights, our authority, to concerned with our little bailiwick we spend to much time on the wrong things.
If we really want to have the authority we need to start taking responsibility without worrying about offending people. A perfect example is to look no further the Christopher Hitchens rant in “God is not great” about the Catholic Church’s position regarding divorce during the drafting of the Irish constitution. The Catholic Church was pushing to eliminate the option of divorce, to which Mr. Hitchins responded that the church was going to force a woman married to an abusive, alcoholic, adulterer to a life of pain, and abuse with no chance of escape. My question is where was the church saying that isn’t the point, our position is that we want to educate everyone even thinking about getting married to take responsibility to know who and what the person your thinking about marrying is all about. If they had really wanted to get serious about the sanctity of marriage they would have pushed for marriage to only be available thru the church not the government.
Marriage is an institution, a structure set up by God for man, not by government for citizens. Instead we have moved marriage from being a covenant established by God to a contract defined by the government. It is not just marriage, but also the care of orphans, widows, the poor, that you and I have failed in our responsibility. Did we start the collapse? No but we can take back responsibility.
When the early church at Rome was feeding 1500 hungry on a daily basis it was the Government that was embarrassed and began to emulate the Church. I suggest that the Church needs to return to that dynamic. We have abdicated our authority by not taking responsibility. We need to start taking responsibility. Responsibility first for our poor, widows, orphans, marriages. We can only lead from the front. We have already been given authority from the one who established and created all of this. Now is the time to start taking responsibility.
Just one resource for ideas of where the church needs to take back responsibility, this is a place to start.
Where else has the Church, Christians abdicated authority? Where do we need to start taking responsibility to make society better?