The iPod O.E.D. defines marriage as:
‘The formal union of a man and woman, typically as recognised by law, in which they become husband and wife’.
This has been the normal usage over the last 800 years.
Now some would like to apply the term ‘marriage’ to arrangements between people of the same sex.
It is legal for people of the same sex to register civil partnerships, which give them the same fiscal and legal status as married people, but they cannot be called married, because that is not what the word means.
What’s more, there are far more important reasons for the endorsement of marriage as defined above and as traditionally understood.
This is a Christian website and we stand by the Biblical teaching about marriage, expressed right through the Old and New Testaments. At the very beginning God said, Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh (Genesis 2:24), and the Lord Jesus Himself quoted this. It is true that some of the patriarchs and Israelites had multiple wives. This was permitted, although not encouraged. New Testament times show a return to the divine ideal. Jesus attended and made wine for the wedding feast at Cana of Galilee (John 2:1-11), and everywhere the New Testament assumes the one-man-one-woman relationship as the norm. Scripture goes further, and parallels the relationship between husband and wife with that between Christ and the Church (Ephesians 5:22-33).
Someone may say, ‘Yes, that’s all right for you. You are a Christian, and accept the Bible’s rules; but I am not. You go your way, and I’ll go mine’. We say ‘Do what you will, though we don’t think you should, but whatever arrangement you make, you can’t call it marriage, because that isn’t what the word means.’
Whether secular opponents like it or not the English language has been built up on the foundation of Christian beliefs, and if people want to adopt different practices they must find a different word for them. We are thinking of an English word, of course, but the same would apply to the corresponding word in other languages.
What we are really standing up for is the recognition of marriage as an institution, in its dictionary, customary - and above all - biblical sense.
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