The Christian church and its values and teachings are having less and less influence on the society as a whole. One tenet of the Christian church being eroded is that marriage is between a man and a woman who believe that Jesus Christ is Lord and Saviour, and who do not continue in willful sin.
Some churches today believe that marriage was implemented by God for all heterosexual couples whether or not they believe in God. They believe that their pastors can officiate and bless the marriages of unbelievers, but this is an error based on 1 Corinthians 7:14. This verse describes a scenario where one member of a civil marriage becomes saved. It states prior to this they were not sanctified and their children were unclean. It is only if one spouse becomes a believer in God that the relationship is sanctified and the children become holy. Against this backdrop, why then is the Church placing its stamp of approval on the union of unbelievers which the Apostle Paul spoke so despairingly about?
Some churches have stood staunchly on the position of marriage according to the way of the cross with regards to same-sex couples, while same-sex couples on the other hand believe they are being disenfranchised, and have posited the view that they, too, should not be denied the privileges of "marriage". What both sides might have failed to understand is that they are fighting for the opposite side of the same coin. In today's world, "marriage" can have both religious and legal aspects, which need to be separated in order to solve the issue. The Church wants to determine who can legally be "married", and the same-sex couples, in some cases want to be "married" within the church, but this cannot work.
Further, if the church wants to deny marriage to a same-sex couple because they don't follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, why is it then marrying heterosexual persons who are yet in sin, and do not believe that Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, knowing that the children of such a union will be unclean and the members of such a marriage not sanctified? The church is therefore discriminating against same-sex couples and are impinging their human-rights; it is not right. Does God pick and choose between sins, then why does His Church do it? Because a sin is not an abomination should the church accept it?
In June 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution allows for same-sex couples to marry and that no state can restrict "marriage" to only heterosexual couples. To borrow a phrase from President Barack Obama, "It is the right thing to do".
What is therefore needed at this time is for the Church in Barbados to be proactive, and not be reactive, and to divorce the aspect of marriage which conforms to the ways of the land, and perform its marriage ceremony only for those who follow its teachings and customs. The legal aspect of marriage will then be allotted to persons or organizations equipped to do so.
This separation of powers augurs well for a church which should not be made to change as the world does, and for same-sex couples who should not be denied the privileges "marriage" brings, by way of the law of the land.
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