Five Reasons Why Christians Should Not Obtain a State Marriage License[1]


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Five Reasons Why Christians Should Not Obtain a State Marriage License by: Pastor Matt Trewhella Every year thousands of Christians amble down to their local county courthouse and obtain a marriage license from the State in order to marry their future spouse. They do this unquestioningly. They do it because their pastor has told them to go get one, and besides, everybody else gets one. This article attempts to answer the question why should we not get one? 1. The definition of a license dem
  Five Reasons Why ChristiansShould Not Obtain a State MarriageLicense by: Pastor Matt Trewhella  Every year thousands of Christians amble down to their local county courthouse and obtain a marriage licensefrom the State in order to marry their future spouse. Theydo this unquestioningly. They do it because their pastor has told them to go get one, and besides, everybody elsegets one. This article attempts to answer the question -why should we not get one?1. The definition of a license demands that we not obtainone to marry. Black’s Law Dictionary defines license as, The permission by competent authority to do an act whichwithout such permission, would be illegal. We need to askourselves- why should it be illegal to marry without theState’s permission? More importantly, why should weneed the State’s permission to participate in somethingwhich God instituted (Gen. 2:18-24)? We should not needthe State’s permission to marry nor should we grovelbefore state officials to seek it. What if you apply and theState says no ? You must understand that the authority tolicense implies the power to prohibit. A license bydefinition confers a right to do something. The Statecannot grant the right to marry. It is a God-given right.2. When you marry with a marriage license, you grant theState jurisdiction over your marriage. When you marrywith a marriage license, your marriage is a creature of theState. It is a corporation of the State! Therefore, they have jurisdiction over your marriage including the fruit of your marriage. What is the fruit of your marriage? Your children  and every piece of property you own. There is plenty of case law in American jurisprudence which declares this tobe true.In 1993, parents were upset here in Wisconsin because atest was being administered to their children in thegovernment schools which was very invasive of thefamily’s privacy. When parents complained, they wereshocked by the school bureaucrats who informed themthat their children were required to take the test by lawand that they would have to take the test because they(the government school) had jurisdiction over their children. When parents asked the bureaucrats what gavethem jurisdiction, the bureaucrats answered, your marriage license and their birth certificates. Judicially, andin increasing fashion, practically, your state marriagelicense has far-reaching implications.3. When you marry with a marriage license, you placeyourself under a body of law which is immoral. Byobtaining a marriage license, you place yourself under the jurisdiction of Family Court which is governed by unbiblicaland immoral laws. Under these laws, you can divorce for any reason. Often, the courts side with the spouse who isin rebellion to God, and castigates the spouse whoremains faithful by ordering him or her not to speak aboutthe Bible or other matters of faith when present with thechildren.As a minister, I cannot in good conscience perform amarriage which would place people under this immoralbody of laws. I also cannot marry someone with amarriage license because to do so I have to act as anagent of the State! I would have to sign the marriagelicense, and I would have to mail it into the State. Giventhe State’s demand to usurp the place of God and familyregarding marriage, and given it’s unbiblical, immoral lawsto govern marriage, it would be an act of treason for me todo so.  4. The marriage license invades and removes God-givenparental authority. When you read the Bible, you see thatGod intended for children to have their father’s blessingregarding whom they married. Daughters were to be givenin marriage by their fathers (Dt. 22:16; Ex. 22:17; I Cor.7:38). We have a vestige of this in our culture today in thatthe father takes his daughter to the front of the altar andthe minister asks, Who gives this woman to be married tothis man? Historically, there was no requirement to obtain a marriagelicense in colonial America. When you read the laws of thecolonies and then the states, you see only tworequirements for marriage. First, you had to obtain your parents permission to marry, and second, you had to postpublic notice of the marriage 5-15 days before theceremony.Notice you had to obtain your parents permission. Backthen you saw godly government displayed in that the Staterecognized the parents authority by demanding that theparents permission be obtained. Today, the all-encompassing ungodly State demands that their permission be obtained to marry.By issuing marriage licenses, the State is saying, Youdon’t need your parents permission, you need our permission. If parents are opposed to their child’smarrying a certain person and refuse to give their permission, the child can do an end run around theparents authority by obtaining the State’s permission, andmarry anyway. This is an invasion and removal of God-given parental authority by the State.5. When you marry with a marriage license, you are like apolygamist. From the State’s point of view, when youmarry with a marriage license, you are not just marryingyour spouse, but you are also marrying the State.  The most blatant declaration of this fact that I have ever found is a brochure entitled With This Ring I Thee Wed. It is found in county courthouses across Ohio wherepeople go to obtain their marriage licenses. It is publishedby the Ohio State Bar Association. The opening paragraphunder the subtitle Marriage Vows states, Actually, whenyou repeat your marriage vows you enter into a legalcontract. There are three parties to that contract. 1.You; 2.Your husband or wife, as the case may be; and 3. theState of Ohio. See, the State and the lawyers know that when you marrywith a marriage license, you are not just marrying your spouse, you are marrying the State! You are like apolygamist! You are not just making a vow to your spouse,but you are making a vow to the State and your spouse.You are also giving undue jurisdiction to the State. When Does the State Have Jurisdiction Over aMarriage? God intended the State to have jurisdiction over amarriage for two reasons - 1). in the case of divorce, and2). when crimes are committed i.e., adultery, bigamy. etc.Unfortunately, the State now allows divorce for anyreason, and it does not prosecute for adultery.In either case, divorce or crime, a marriage license is notnecessary for the courts to determine whether a marriageexisted or not. What is needed are witnesses. This is whyyou have a best man and a maid of honor. They shouldsign the marriage certificate in your family Bible, and thewedding day guest book should be kept.Marriage was instituted by God, therefore it is a God-givenright. According to Scripture, it is to be governed by thefamily, and the State only has jurisdiction in the cases of divorce or crime.
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