Apr
29

C.S. Lewis on Christian Marriage (in brief)

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CS_LewisC.S. Lewis had some wise words regarding marriage in Mere Christianity:

“I should like to distinguish two things which are very often confused. The Christian conception of marriage is one: the other is the quite different question – how far Christians, if they are voters or Members of Parliament, ought to try to force their views of marriage on the rest of the community by embodying them in the divorce laws. A great many people seem to think that if you are a Christian yourself you should try to make divorce difficult for every one. I do not think that. At least I know I should be very angry if the Mohammedans tried to prevent the rest of us from drinking wine. My own view is that the Churches should frankly recognise [sic] that the majority of the British people are not Christians and, therefore, cannot be expected to live Christian lives. There ought to be two distinct kinds of marriage: one governed by the State with rules enforced on all citizens, the other governed by the Church with rules enforced by her on her own members. The distinction ought to be quite sharp, so that a man knows which couples are married in a Christian sense and which are not.

Although Lewis was speaking specifically about divorce, one can see the parallels to the gay marriage debate today. As I have repeatedly stated (see here and here), what we need to affirm in the church is that we are for freedom of association, for freedom of contract, and for the independence of the church. My guess is that Lewis would suggest the same path in our situation.

Will Vaus, author of Mere Theology: A Guide to the Thought of C.S. Lewis, also has an interesting post on his blog regarding Lewis’s perspective on homosexuality.

(HT Scott K. for the quote.)

Norman Horn

Norman is the founder and editor of LibertarianChristians.com. He holds a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Arts in Theological Studies from the Austin Graduate School of Theology.

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  • JW Ogden

    We should insist that organizations be free to give spousal benefits to whomever they choose and withhold them from whomever they choose.

  • Dennis F

    The marriage license issued by the State (who else would be so presumptuous?) is another of the various ungodly entanglements of Christians with the world-system. Marriage as an institution precedes any existing state today and was instituted by God who is the sole authority in matters of marriage (or the Devil, for ersatz relationships pretending to be marriage) .Therefore, the rightful third party to a marriage is God, not the State.

    I woke up to this fact after I had signed a government document to that effect long ago. Writing a letter of rescission to the county issuing the so-called license is not considered adequate, though it is a public statement to that effect. I consider my position with the government expressed by that letter. My marriage no longer has the government of any worldly power as a third party to it. The government of God is the rightful third institution.

  • http://www.makemenfree.tumblr.com/ makemenfree

    I believe the redefinition of marriage by the government is not a movement to give citizens more freedom. Rather it will ultimately become a weapon against those, especially those in the church, who define marriage as strictly between a man and a woman.

    The belief that says the government has the power to define marriage is not a belief that recognizes boundaries to its power.

  • Pingback: Thoughts on the Minnesota Legislature | (Untitled)

  • Michele Seven

    Neither of my two marriages would have been biblically sanctioned though Christian pastors performed each ceremony. And if the State honored contract laws and matters of fraud, both of my divorces would have come out much differently. By the church dipping bread into the bowl with the State, she neglects her proper role in marriage; AND the State is able to pretty its agenda up with the pomp and circumstance of a sacred celebration, thereby disguising how it actually undermines the union creating a three-person relationship that is between the two and the State instead of the couple along with the Godhead. The State requires worship, submission, and authority. We cannot serve two masters. As for me and my house, we choose Him. There is a cost. And it is painful and difficult and lonely.

  • Michele Seven

    Yes! GOOD FOR YOU!!!!!!!

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