Minister at Wedding

11052014ShouldChurchesAndPreachersBeDoingWeddingsDonRuhl

Should Churches and Preachers Be Doing Weddings? 

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • November 5, In the year of our Lord, 2014

Prelude

  1. I have had this come up a couple of times 
    1. since the same-sex marriage crowd has been pushing for marriage.
    2. I told a preacher
      1. that the Church of Scotland is contemplating
      2. no longer performing weddings.
        1. He questioned whether we should be doing
        2. weddings in the first place.
          1. That surprised me.
    3. I saw a Facebook post after one of my comments on this issue,
      1. wherein someone declared that we should not even be doing weddings.
      2. Again, I am thinking, Why not?
  2. What do you think? 
    1. If you object, what is your basis?
    2. How or why
      1. do you think churches and preachers ever got involved
      2. in doing weddings?
    3. Is it a bad thing or a good thing for preachers and churches to be involved?
      1. Whatever the beginnings, it no doubt came from a time
      2. when society recognized God’s hand in everything.
        1. Is God’s hand in marriage?
        2. Someone might say that God’s hand is in many other things also.
          1. He feeds the world.
          2. Should the church open up farms and stores?
            1. No, because that is not the church’s job.
            2. He has delegated that to other entities.
      3. However, to whom has He given the job of marriage instruction?
        1. He has certainly given it to families.
        2. Since He has revealed much about it in the Bible,
          1. we can conclude that it is the church’s job also.
          2. Personally, I would encourage more church involvement!

Persuasion

  1. What If Society Objects? 
    1. If society objects to another good work that we do, shall we just quit it also?
    2. Right now we are witnessing the turning of our culture against the church.
      1. Shall we, therefore, abandon all good works
      2. that do not have specific commands, and
        1. to which society objects?
        2. For example, in Luke 13, Jesus healed a woman on the Sabbath,

          10 Now He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. 11 And behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up. 12 But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, “Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.” 13 And He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God. 14 But the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath; and he said to the crowd, “There are six days on which men ought to work; therefore come and be healed on them, and not on the Sabbath day.” 15 The Lord then answered him and said, “Hypocrite! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or donkey from the stall, and lead it away to water it? 16 So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound—think of it—for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?” 17 And when He said these things, all His adversaries were put to shame; and all the multitude rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by Him (Luke 13.10–17).

          1. Was the ruler of the synagogue correct?
          2. Were there not six other days when Jesus could heal?
            1. Since the ruler objected, and since Jesus could do it later,
            2. should Jesus have delayed the healing?
              1. Why did Jesus have to heal on the Sabbath?
              2. What did He accomplish?
      3. Yes, He had to heal right then and there, because
        1. the ruler, the Jews, and the world
        2. needed to know the purpose of the Sabbath, and
          1. the priority of things.
          2. We need to know the priority of human needs.
            1. We need to know that God’s laws are for man’s good.
            2. If Jesus had backed off, He would have denied these truths.
      4. Likewise, for churches and preachers to be involved in weddings,
        1. we accomplish some good things, and
        2. if we listen to the world,
          1. we will not have the opportunity to affirm certain truths.
          2. By our involvement, we affirm God’s part in marriage.
  2. Weddings for the World 
    1. There are things about officiating at weddings for people of the world
      1. that I do no like, but
      2. it also gives me great opportunities.
    2. How often does a preacher get to have assembled before him
      1. an audience from the world where he can
        1. say prayers,
        2. read the Scriptures, and
        3. comment on those passages?
          1. Funerals would be the other occasion.
          2. Shall we quit funerals also for the same reasons?
      2. Also, before the wedding,
        1. some preachers give biblical instruction in marriage,
        2. even to people from the world.
          1. Why should we say that is not a good work?
          2. Who knows the affects for years to come.
  3. Some Good Reasons for Doing Weddings 
    1. Who “invented” marriage?
      1. God did.
      2. It seems that the church and preachers most assuredly should be involved.
        1. How many people know the Lord’s part in marriage?
        2. Let us rejoice that worldly people still seek God’s blessings!
    2. Who gave us a manual for marriage?
      1. God did.
      2. It seems that the church and preachers most assuredly should be involved.
        1. However, we have abrogated our position on this,
          1. so why not the other?
          2. We believe man’s psychology has more to offer.
        2. Do you know how much the Bible affects marriage?
          1. Not only does it reveal who gave us marriage, but
          2. the Bible is all about human relationships.
            1. Can that help in marriage?
            2. Do you know how to see marriage in biblical teachings?
              1. For example,
                1. Can you apply the Beatitudes to marriage?
                2. Can you apply Colossians 3.12–14 to marriage?
                3. Can you apply First John to marriage?
              2. None of these passages mention marriage.
                1. Does that mean we cannot teach them
                2. to a young couple contemplating marriage?
    3. Everything about marriage centers around the Lord and His word.
      1. He compared His relationship
        1. to both Israel and the church
        2. to marriage.
      2. Who brought Adam and Eve together?
        1. God did.
      3. Who taught that whatever God has brought together let not man separate?
        1. God did.
      4. Who provides the regulations for divorce?
        1. God did.
      5. Here is a wonderful union of two people,
        1. over which couples still want the church and a preacher involved.
        2. Why should we give that up?
  4. What Motivates the Objectors to Weddings? 
    1. Perhaps they think they are being biblical.
      1. For example, we have no commands or examples
      2. of churches and preachers involved in weddings?
        1. What about the first miracle of Jesus?
        2. He attended a wedding, but He did not perform it.
          1. Where does the Bible say anything about
          2. who officiates at or hosts a wedding?
            1. Genesis 2 shows God “officiating” at the first wedding,

              21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22 Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man (Gen 2.21–22).
            2. Ezekiel 16 shows the Lord’s marriage to Jerusalem,

              7 “I made you thrive like a plant in the field; and you grew, matured, and became very beautiful. Your breasts were formed, your hair grew, but you were naked and bare. 8 When I passed by you again and looked upon you, indeed your time was the time of love; so I spread My wing over you and covered your nakedness. Yes, I swore an oath to you and entered into a covenant with you, and you became Mine,” says the Lord God (Eze 16.7–8).
      3. Who performed marriages for the Israelites in the wilderness?
        1. Obviously, this was something that they did.
        2. Yet, the specifics are not given.
          1. Why?
          2. The Lord has left that open to us.
            1. We do not have to have a preacher officiate at our wedding.
            2. Nor is it forbidden.
    2. Where does the Bible command us to teach young couples on marriage?
      1. Should they not receive instruction?
      2. Yet, who does it?
        1. We know that the Bible says the church should do it.
        2. The Bible does not have to give us
          1. every specific
          2. for every situation in life
            1. for us to know what to do.
            2. However, consider this prayer from Paul,

              9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, 10 that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, 11 being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God (Phi 1.9–11).

              1. Is marriage something that is excellent?
                1. If so, we should approve it.
                  1. How can we object to participation in it?
                  2. Let us consider it a blessing.
                2. If marriage is excellent,
                  1. it can be a fruit of righteousness.
                  2. It brings glory to God.
              2. Let us seek more good works, not fewer!