Author Topic: Do you believe we HAVE to register marriages with the state?  (Read 2042 times)

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Offline Cally

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Do you believe we HAVE to register marriages with the state?
« on: Tue Jun 14, 2022 - 20:08:40 »
This might belong in the theology forum, I don't know.

The more I thought about this, the thought of needing to do this feels ridiculous.

My outlook on the state's involvement of marriage is, it's there to enforce something that naturally exists, not determine its existence. Like if I give someone an item completely off the record, and someone else steals that item, it's still legally a theft regardless of whether the government knows about the gift/exchange or not; where no government exists at all in some anarchy environment, it's still sin to seize something from someone else. Likewise, whether someone agrees to commit to someone with sexual intimacy for life is on record or not, God's law likewise applies and the only possible role for government would be to enforce that law to protect it on principle. With the government's legislations on marriages I find it useless (from a Christian standpoint) to think that it matters either way whether people register their marriages with the state or not.

I'd add a poll but I don't see the option for that anymore.

Offline Jaime

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Re: Do you believe we HAVE to register marriages with the state?
« Reply #1 on: Tue Jun 14, 2022 - 20:18:53 »
Down below my post or the last one on the thread, there is an option button to “add poll”
« Last Edit: Tue Jun 14, 2022 - 20:22:20 by Jaime »

Offline Alan

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Re: Do you believe we HAVE to register marriages with the state?
« Reply #2 on: Tue Jun 14, 2022 - 21:42:52 »
For the purposes of all things legal, I would have to answer yes.

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Re: Do you believe we HAVE to register marriages with the state?
« Reply #3 on: Wed Jun 15, 2022 - 04:47:27 »
Same here Alan. Mostly for the issues of Heirship and property ownership transfer. If someone dies intestate (without a will) there has to be a means of descent and distribution.

For instance in Texas:

https://co.jefferson.tx.us/ProbateCourt/Documents/20150527_Texas_Descent_and_Distribution.pdf

Morally or Spiritually speaking, I would  say no. As a petroleum landman, I deal with these type ownership issues daily. Without the laws of descent and distribution, we would have total chaos everytime a mineral owner dies. Me working in the oil and gas industry, when I hear of news of a wealthy rancher dying out here in West Texas, i think, here we go again. There was one lady out here years ago that had been married 4 times, each time to a wealthy rancher who had well placed mineral interests. In two of her marriages her husband died intestate. Fun times! You need a whole roll of butcher paper tacked to a long wall to track her heirs and their disputes.
« Last Edit: Wed Jun 15, 2022 - 05:55:37 by Jaime »

Offline DaveW

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Re: Do you believe we HAVE to register marriages with the state?
« Reply #4 on: Wed Jun 15, 2022 - 05:52:38 »
We are instructed to obey the secular leaders by both Paul and Peter.  With the obvious exception of when obeying the government would prevent us from obeying a direct command of God. (such as what happened in Acts when the apostles were told to NOT preach the gospel)

So if the state requires registering the marriage in order to be valid, what scripture does that violate?  NONE. My vote is YES.

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Re: Do you believe we HAVE to register marriages with the state?
« Reply #4 on: Wed Jun 15, 2022 - 05:52:38 »

Offline 4WD

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Re: Do you believe we HAVE to register marriages with the state?
« Reply #5 on: Wed Jun 15, 2022 - 06:01:57 »
Valid before the state, but not before God.

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Re: Do you believe we HAVE to register marriages with the state?
« Reply #6 on: Wed Jun 15, 2022 - 06:06:57 »
Valid before the state, but not before God.
Sad but true.  That is why we work to eliminate the legality of ungodly "marriages."

Offline Rella

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Re: Do you believe we HAVE to register marriages with the state?
« Reply #7 on: Wed Jun 15, 2022 - 06:52:07 »
This might belong in the theology forum, I don't know.

The more I thought about this, the thought of needing to do this feels ridiculous.

My outlook on the state's involvement of marriage is, it's there to enforce something that naturally exists, not determine its existence. Like if I give someone an item completely off the record, and someone else steals that item, it's still legally a theft regardless of whether the government knows about the gift/exchange or not; where no government exists at all in some anarchy environment, it's still sin to seize something from someone else. Likewise, whether someone agrees to commit to someone with sexual intimacy for life is on record or not, God's law likewise applies and the only possible role for government would be to enforce that law to protect it on principle. With the government's legislations on marriages I find it useless (from a Christian standpoint) to think that it matters either way whether people register their marriages with the state or not.

I'd add a poll but I don't see the option for that anymore.

I am not sure what you are asking this for, but from experience....

About 5 years ago my cousin, and his wife, were married on Thanksgiving day in our living room.

The ceremony was performed by our church minister.

After which, he spent some time at the kitchen table filling out a form or two that he said must be sent into the state.

So... does it matter?  Evidentially it does.  Why? There could be a hundred answers to that from big brother watching us to
the Mormon's (Ancestry.com) find it easier to track genealogy for folks checking on marriage records or which could well have  legal ramifications from bigamy to cancellations through divorce (Yes.. I know no Christian would ever fall under this  ::idea::)
to inheritance laws.....

I do know if you are married in some state and then move to another you do not need to reregister that fact.

Offline Cally

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Re: Do you believe we HAVE to register marriages with the state?
« Reply #8 on: Wed Jun 15, 2022 - 08:30:24 »
Quote
I am not sure what you are asking this for,

It has implications for what defines the beginning of a marriage.

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Re: Do you believe we HAVE to register marriages with the state?
« Reply #8 on: Wed Jun 15, 2022 - 08:30:24 »

Offline mommydi

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Re: Do you believe we HAVE to register marriages with the state?
« Reply #9 on: Wed Jun 15, 2022 - 12:41:35 »
Well, I have one for ya.

Throughout my parents marriage, they've always laughed about my dad claiming he was 18 when they applied for their marriage license - even though he was only 17. They always just laugh and say, "We were just kids!" My dad said he was too embarrassed to have his parents sign for him so he just lied about his age.

Fast forward a few decades -
When my youngest daughter was in law school, and started studying family law, she called me one day and said, "Grandma and grandad's marriage license was null and void from the start. As a minor, he couldn't give consent for his marriage - only his parents could. By being a minor, and lying on the application - that nullified the license. They have a common law marriage."

So being a good sister that I am, lol, I told my sisters and we all vowed to not tell them because my mother would completely fall apart - for a lot of reasons. Plus there's the whole thing of her condemning common law marriage all her life and how to reconcile all that.

Fast forward a few months later - one of my sisters decided to go ahead and tell them.   ::eek:: 

As predicted, my mother fell completely apart.

For a while, I thought they might go ahead and do it again - get married. She was so upset over it. My daughter (the attorney) told them they were actually legally married because our state recognizes common law marriage as a legal marriage. I'm sorry, but that still didn't help her reconcile it. She hasn't mentioned it in a while - maybe because she has her mind on her cancer now, IDK, but talk about a shock - she sure got one when she found out her marriage was common law.


Offline Cally

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Re: Do you believe we HAVE to register marriages with the state?
« Reply #10 on: Wed Jun 15, 2022 - 12:46:53 »
mommydi,

Yeah that's ridiculous.

To be fair, I had a major struggle to nail down what Scripture's intent was with marriage. But it's primarily spiritual.

We can be guilty of murder if we hate someone but not go to jail. We can be guilty of adultery by looking lustfully at someone's wife but not get in trouble with the law for that either. But then we can't be legitimately married in God's eyes unless the state says so? The government's role should be, if anything, something that enforces God's law. Israel registered marriages in order to enforce adultery laws, among some other things. But why would marriage be something that wasn't fulfilled spiritually and only in effect as the state says so?

Offline Rella

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Re: Do you believe we HAVE to register marriages with the state?
« Reply #11 on: Wed Jun 15, 2022 - 13:13:11 »
mommydi,

Yeah that's ridiculous.

To be fair, I had a major struggle to nail down what Scripture's intent was with marriage. But it's primarily spiritual.

We can be guilty of murder if we hate someone but not go to jail. We can be guilty of adultery by looking lustfully at someone's wife but not get in trouble with the law for that either. But then we can't be legitimately married in God's eyes unless the state says so? The government's role should be, if anything, something that enforces God's law. Israel registered marriages in order to enforce adultery laws, among some other things. But why would marriage be something that wasn't fulfilled spiritually and only in effect as the state says so?

" But then we can't be legitimately married in God's eyes unless the state says so? "

Where in the world di you reaad that?

To begin with... there was no "state" unless you call Eden one... when Adam and Eve became Adam and Mrs. Adam.

It is states in Genesis 2:24

Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

Since Good joined them... who would they report it to? The serpent?

But just like every thing in life... the "tax" man commeth. Sn the math makers and  the wedding planners and at one time there was a dowery expected in all little Jewish homes.....

(Likely where the tax man entered.

Now... As to my grandparents.

Every genealogy plan had them listed as married but there has never been a license we could find..... and not even by state searches.  Nor church searches.

But back in that day there were traveling ministers and it could well be.

I only know that they filed joint income tax.

But to God the state was never needed and is not.

Offline Cally

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Re: Do you believe we HAVE to register marriages with the state?
« Reply #12 on: Wed Jun 15, 2022 - 13:29:05 »
Rella,

I think you read the opposite of my contention -- I don't know how that happened.

This is how I actually came to believe that the marriage covenant begins with the promise to "get married" because the "get married" part is just a process that inevitably takes a little time to get things registered with the state and/or whatever ceremonies people think is appropriate, just like it takes little time for the law to punish someone for theft, murder, etc. but the act of the heart was instantaneous before God.

Offline Wycliffes_Shillelagh

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Re: Do you believe we HAVE to register marriages with the state?
« Reply #13 on: Wed Jun 15, 2022 - 13:29:17 »
It has implications for what defines the beginning of a marriage.
con·sum·ma·tion
/ˌkänsəˈmāSHən/
noun
the action of making a marriage or relationship complete by having sexual intercourse.

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Re: Do you believe we HAVE to register marriages with the state?
« Reply #14 on: Wed Jun 15, 2022 - 13:30:11 »
Rella,

I think you read the opposite of my contention -- I don't know how that happened.

This is how I actually came to believe that the marriage covenant begins with the promise to "get married" because the "get married" part is just a process that inevitably takes a little time to get things registered with the state and/or whatever ceremonies people think is appropriate, just like it takes little time for the law to punish someone for theft, murder, etc. but the act of the heart was instantaneous before God.
What you're describing is a betrothal, the precursor to marriage.

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Re: Do you believe we HAVE to register marriages with the state?
« Reply #15 on: Wed Jun 15, 2022 - 13:40:15 »
Quote
What you're describing is a betrothal, the precursor to marriage.

It could be, but of course people were married in God's sight before "betrothal." And betrothal is still a law that enforces an act of the heart like anything else legislated by worldly authority. The act of the heart is the agreement of the parties involved that they intend the marriage to occur (that is, it usually happened because the father gave it the okay). Letting our "yes" be "yes" and our "no" be "no," as it's written.

We can see that with Isaac and Rebekah. She "became his wife" about the time they went into Sarah's tent.

As for consummation, betrothal is exactly the reason why marriage can begin before that (unless you're in an Exodus 22:16 situation). Long before consummation, the woman belonged to her husband and not another man -- nobody could get her in bed and become her husband then. Otherwise Israel's law would stone people who were actually legitimately married in God's sight.
« Last Edit: Wed Jun 15, 2022 - 13:51:30 by Cally »

Offline mommydi

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Re: Do you believe we HAVE to register marriages with the state?
« Reply #16 on: Wed Jun 15, 2022 - 13:47:39 »


Now... As to my grandparents.

Every genealogy plan had them listed as married but there has never been a license we could find..... and not even by state searches.  Nor church searches.

But back in that day there were traveling ministers and it could well be.


As a genealogy fanatic, that's so interesting, Rella.

Like you say about the traveling ministers - yes, and also people traveled a lot and in groups. They could have been with a group of people and stopped somewhere along the way and got married, but never took the license back to the courthouse to get it recorded. Happened with one of my ancestors.

Offline Cally

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Re: Do you believe we HAVE to register marriages with the state?
« Reply #17 on: Wed Jun 15, 2022 - 13:53:13 »
Quote
For the purposes of all things legal, I would have to answer yes.

And yet, yes, it doesn't hurt for the most part (I'm thinking of edge cases that I don't want to get into here).

Offline DaveW

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Re: Do you believe we HAVE to register marriages with the state?
« Reply #18 on: Wed Jun 15, 2022 - 14:05:56 »
What I am hearing here is a bunch of stories about this that and the other - parents and grandparents.  The other thing I am hearing is that there was no state in Eden.  So no license. 

All that is beside the point.  Laws on common law marriage have changed over the last century.  And God said thru Paul and Peter to obey the civil authorities.  So it can vary over time; and that is OK.  There is no need to get all worked up about it. Yes there are underlying Godly concerns; mostly prohibitions: 

*  You do not marry a close relative.
*  You do not marry an animal. 
*  You do not marry someone of the same sex as you.

But having the state license and regulate marriage does not force you break any of those rules. 

I don't understand why it is a big deal.  What I suspect is that people want to get around God's clear command on obeying civil authority. And that is defined scripturally as rebellion.


Eccl 8:2
I say, “Keep the command of the king because of the oath before God.

Romans 13:1-7
Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same;

1 Peter 2:13
Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, 14 or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. 15 For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. 16 Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God. 17 Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.

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Re: Do you believe we HAVE to register marriages with the state?
« Reply #19 on: Wed Jun 15, 2022 - 14:20:43 »
Quote
But having the state license and regulate marriage does not force you break any of those rules.

I don't understand why it is a big deal. 

I'm thinking you're not reading my comments or really thinking about what I'm saying, including the fact that I said that the majority of the time there's no problem with it. There are some edge cases where I'd open a can of worms to get into that I don't think I want to do here.

The principle at stake is more about when a marriage begins in God's sight. My contention is that it's like any act of the heart (or hearts of people involved) where the thing begins at that point, just like murder actually begins with hating someone, or conversely something good starts with the intention before the deed is done. That's why I'm amazed that some people think government approval marks the beginning of marriage.

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Re: Do you believe we HAVE to register marriages with the state?
« Reply #20 on: Wed Jun 15, 2022 - 14:49:12 »
What I am hearing here is a bunch of stories about this that and the other - parents and grandparents. 


Well -
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zANvYB93u2g
-but Rella and I will discuss whatever we want, whenever we want.


Offline Wycliffes_Shillelagh

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Re: Do you believe we HAVE to register marriages with the state?
« Reply #21 on: Wed Jun 15, 2022 - 16:05:16 »
...betrothal is still a law that enforces an act of the heart...
Look at history - neither betrothal nor marriage are usually acts of the heart. 

Marriages have been predominantly business transactions, usually arranged between the husband and the father-of-the-bride, with the dowry the primary consideration, and the making of an alliance the secondary consideration.  The heart has been an afterthought - usually a bride-to-be was not even allowed in the company of a suitor except with strict supervision.

Jarrod

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Re: Do you believe we HAVE to register marriages with the state?
« Reply #22 on: Wed Jun 15, 2022 - 16:43:14 »
Quote
Look at history - neither betrothal nor marriage are usually acts of the heart.

Marriages have been predominantly business transactions, usually arranged between the husband and the father-of-the-bride, with the dowry the primary consideration, and the making of an alliance the secondary consideration.  The heart has been an afterthought - usually a bride-to-be was not even allowed in the company of a suitor except with strict supervision.

Jarrod

I think you're overzealous to show up as the more learned scholar and so are not even considering my point for what's actually said.

There is clearly something that happens that makes a marriage legitimate in God's sight, not just definitions of the law.

Everything begins with an act of the heart. For murder, it's hatred. For giving generously, it's love. For stealing, it can be greed (or other reasons, but again, something beginning in motivation). Those "acts of the heart" are where the good or bad thing begins in God's sight regardless of whatever plays out materially. So the point is that whatever process is involved for making the thing happen materially -- marriage in this case -- then gestures aside, something began in the heart to begin all of it with regards to a commitment; I don't make an agreement in my heart only at the instant that I sign a legal document, but that's an outward gesture for worldly authorities to enforce an agreement that was actually made before that outward act (even if it was only a moment beforehand). "let your 'yes' be 'yes'" is better than ceremoniously swearing an oath, but even still it is righteous to have follow-through.

God's spiritual law is fulfilled from the heart, with follow-through in behavior. So that's where I derive that the covenant that God observes is one where both did in their hearts between them first like anything else.

Offline Rella

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Re: Do you believe we HAVE to register marriages with the state?
« Reply #23 on: Wed Jun 15, 2022 - 17:11:23 »


There is clearly something that happens that makes a marriage legitimate in God's sight, not just definitions of the law.



Yes.

That is one where a man of the cloth... one who teaches us about God/Jesus is the officiate.

I DO NOT regard any J of P to be a man of God to perform what I call a sacrament.

Cally.....

Do you know of any place that a baptism.... also a sacrament in my mind.... is recorded in any state office?

In the church records yes.... but that is because God is involved.

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Re: Do you believe we HAVE to register marriages with the state?
« Reply #24 on: Wed Jun 15, 2022 - 19:14:38 »
I think you're overzealous to show up as the more learned scholar and so are not even considering my point for what's actually said.
Ouch.  Well, I do have that particular vanity in me.  Maybe you're right?  Let's try again... I went back and re-read all your posts in this thread a couple times.

But no, no... my second impression is the same as my first impression.  If you're making a point, I do not see what it is.  As far as I can tell, you are the one asking questions.  If the questions are meant to point us to something in particular, I'm not sure what it is.

There is clearly something that happens that makes a marriage legitimate in God's sight, not just definitions of the law.
It's just sex.  A marriage becomes a marriage at the point that it is consummated.  Before that it's a betrothal.

Everything begins with an act of the heart. For murder, it's hatred. For giving generously, it's love. For stealing, it can be greed (or other reasons, but again, something beginning in motivation). Those "acts of the heart" are where the good or bad thing begins in God's sight regardless of whatever plays out materially. So the point is that whatever process is involved for making the thing happen materially -- marriage in this case -- then gestures aside, something began in the heart to begin all of it with regards to a commitment; I don't make an agreement in my heart only at the instant that I sign a legal document, but that's an outward gesture for worldly authorities to enforce an agreement that was actually made before that outward act (even if it was only a moment beforehand). "let your 'yes' be 'yes'" is better than ceremoniously swearing an oath, but even still it is righteous to have follow-through.
So you're saying that it's consent? or love?

I think my original point has merit.  The original Biblical marriages were arranged well before-hand.  Love wasn't a consideration.  For the woman, consent wasn't even part of the equation!  Consider this:

If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found; Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days. (Deu 22:28-29)

Yikes.

God's spiritual law is fulfilled from the heart, with follow-through in behavior. So that's where I derive that the covenant that God observes is one where both did in their hearts between them first like anything else.
I think your idea of marriage is too lofty.  The Bible handles marriage in practical terms.  It's more about procreation and support and the perpetuation of the nation than anything as ethereal as feelings or attraction, or some internal commitment.

Jarrod

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Re: Do you believe we HAVE to register marriages with the state?
« Reply #25 on: Thu Jun 16, 2022 - 05:31:57 »
The Bible handles marriage in practical terms.  It's more about procreation and support and the perpetuation of the nation than anything as ethereal as feelings or attraction, or some internal commitment.
I think the institution of Levirite marriage proves that. (Deut 25) The command to marry your dead brother's widow (if childless) has nothing to do with love or even attraction. It is all about inheritance rights.  And it also says nothing about your current marital state.  Even if you are already married, you have to marry her.

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Re: Do you believe we HAVE to register marriages with the state?
« Reply #26 on: Mon Aug 15, 2022 - 22:15:50 »
Dave W said
Quote
Yes there are underlying Godly concerns; mostly prohibitions:

*  You do not marry a close relative.
*  You do not marry an animal.
*  You do not marry someone of the same sex as you.

We can't marry animals?  I just did a search on Youtube and, sure enough, some folks have done it.     

 

     
anything