The following was a wedding homily, which I’ve adapted here for written and public format.
“Marriage is…(fill in the blank?)” I wonder how we would finish that sentence, using just one word. “Marriage is (what?).” If we had the time, it’d be interesting to survey a range of people and hear all the different ways folks would answer that question.
Maybe some would say, especially at a wedding, “Marriage is… beautiful.” Or maybe others would say, “Marriage is a gift.”
And both of those are true. But what if I told you that we could also finish that sentence this way, “Marriage is death”?
Now if marriage is something of a death, I suppose that means a wedding is in fact a funeral. And if you’re the ones getting married, that means on your wedding day you’re actually attending your own funerals!
That’s what I would like us to consider: marriage as a death.
1. Leaving & Cleaving
First, marriage involves the death of two independent lives, as husband and wife come together to form “one flesh.”
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In a recent post at The Gospel Coalition (also see this older post), Justin Taylor discusses “Biblical Reasons to Doubt the Creation Days Were 24-Hour Periods.”
I’ve written about the creation debates before. And if you’ve talked to me in person about these matters, you’ve probably heard make something like the following comment:
One of the reasons (it would seem to be the main reason) interpretation of Genesis 1 and 2 and the nature of God’s creative work have become so stinking controversial is the arrival of evolutionary theories. Since Darwin, proposing anything besides a 24-hour-day-view of the “days” in Genesis 1 immediately became way more controversial than it was prior to Darwin. This is due to the fact that anti-macroevolution Christians view Genesis 1-2 as a battle ground. If you walk there now, you’re going to step on a land mine even if you were not the originally intended target.
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You should keep in mind that as I write this post, I am not taking a specific position on issues such as evolution, God and science, nor the meaning of Genesis 1-2. In this post I simply seek to share some thoughts I have on these matters. At times and in various circles, creation debates can be very heated. I understand that. But sometimes I think the result is that things get a little blown out of proportion. I’m not suggesting we compromise on vital truth. But I guess I’m calling us to examine what constitutes as that vital truth. In class last year, Dr. Carson reminded us of the words of Francis Schaeffer: something like, “what is the least Genesis 1-2 must be saying for the rest of the Bible to be true.” Secondary truths are not by nature unimportant truths. And I don’t want to downplay their importance. But they must be distinguished from primary doctrines. And either way, no context excludes the necessity of charitableness.