Friday, October 7, 2011

Marriage Ceremonies & Cohabitation

Christianity Today asks the question of various ministers whether they would marry a couple who was co-habitating. I'm happy to help a couple that is repentant and thus willing to share separate habitations until they enter their marriage covenant. In that case it would be my joy to officiate the ceremony. Naturally these can be gospel-sharing opportunities as well. If they (professing to be Christians) are not willing to repent I would not do the ceremony because I'd want them to understand the seriousness and sanctity of the covenant. Al Mohler is better worded and spot on in his response.

"Pastors are stewards of a biblical understanding of sexuality. Marrying cohabiters miscommunicates the teaching function of marriage. I would only marry couples that were repentant, had forsaken the sin of cohabitating, and sought the remedy of marriage. Marriage does not simply validate the long-term commitment of a couple whose relationship has been based upon cohabitation. There's another problem, which has to do with the fact that pastors are not the only stewards of marriage. In other words, marriage is accessible to persons outside the church. So when the church allows a marriage to take place within its life, it should be validating this in a way that goes beyond marriage as a creation institution and gets to what marriage is teaching in the ceremony of the church and the church's stewardship of marriage."


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