Since this is coming up a bunch more in the fear of marriage as the self fulfilling prophecy, let’s discuss it some more.
Cane wrote about this a while ago, which I agree with.
Christians should file civil marriage certificates for many reasons. For one thing it is the law and we are bound as Christians to be obedient to civil authorities unless it is against the commandments of God. There is nothing against marriage licenses in the Bible.
Second, it is the God-appointed duty of the civil government to punish evil and approve good, and when done lawfully marriage is a good; about as good as anything on Earth gets. When a marriage is unlawful–such as in a case of bigamy or incest–then the practitioners are duly punished. The churches don’t do that. We may want churches to do that and we may even think they should, but they don’t. They cannot verify to us that Susan and Bob aren’t close relations. They don’t know whether Bob is already married. They cannot even verify that Susan is who she says she is. Nor do they want to.
Some will be tempted to bring up in the comments some failures of civil government such as so-called “homosexual marriage”, or the institution of no-fault divorce. Those are failures, to be sure. The trouble for would-be defenders of the churches is that these points of failure are not points of success for churches. They don’t claim authority over these abominations either. A pastor or priest might mouth something against these sins, but they let them in the doors all the same; even though we are instructed.
The problem with those who ‘fear the government on marriage’ is that they’re basically falling into the same exact pattern of thought they hate with feminists about authority and Patriarchy. Just because ‘some’ men abused authority or Patriarchy means that authority is bad (when men have it) or Patriarchy is bad. Therefore, we should avoid these things completely.
This also means that if you want to ‘protect’ yourself in marriage you have the ability to do that too under the law. Prenups at least 3+ months before marriage, disclosing everything, a lawyer for you and her, video taped, and enough time to show that there is no duress will almost inevitably hold up in court. Usually pre-nups only get thrown out if it’s too close to the marriage or you both didn’t have lawyers or things like that. There are also other alternatives such as putting money into trusts earmarked specifically for certain things like any future kids.
I fail to see the point of going legalistic: we’re married but not actually ‘married’ by the state.
- As mentioned before, fear of marriage as the self fulfilling prophecy.
- As mentioned before, falling into the same thought patterns as feminists
- We are to be obedient to earthly authorities
- Concern of earthly over the spiritual: material possessions over oneness. This is like the Church of Laodicea trying to have one foot in the world vs the other in the Church.
- It will generally destroy some amount of trust and goodwill, which you obviously do not want to do.
- You’re basing your fearful conclusions about women specifically on the thoughts and actions of promiscuous women. This one of the huge issues with the ‘secular red pill’ that can lead many Christians astray as it makes you jaded and bitter when it’s only a specific population of women that does this.
- There are legal benefits of marriage and especially name change that make things much easier in terms of taxes, healthcare, insurance, and things like these.
All in all, I don’t really see any benefits of private marriage, and I think that it’s unnecessary fear mongering (See: 1 John 4).
One of the new stats that I’ve seen is that men and women who are focused on evangelism and disciple making in the Church have divorces rates <2%. Those who are actually focused on Jesus’ mission for us aren’t going to be divorcing at any appreciable rates. The reason why the divorce rates in the Church are as high as they are is because the majority of those in Churches are family Christians, cultural Christians, Sunday-only Christians or social Christians. I keep saying this but there’s probably only about 5-10% of people in most Churches who have Jesus at the center of their lives. If you marry a family, cultural, Sunday-only, or social Christian then yeah they’re probably going to possibly opt to blow up marriages if they’re unhappy like the world does. Other corroborating anecdotes [one] and [two] about the 5-15%ish range.