Whenever I see (or sometimes use, myself) the phrase “for the Christian”, or, “from the Christian perspective”, I also see–hidden just below those words–a pit-trap. There is no other perspective worth considering.
10 There is severe discipline for him who forsakes the way;
whoever hates reproof will die.
11 Sheol and Abaddon lie open before the Lord;
how much more the hearts of the children of man!
12 A scoffer does not like to be reproved;
he will not go to the wise.
If we Christians accept the premise of Christianity–that God created us, became man, died for the sins of all mankind, and is resurrected for our sakes–then we cannot separate what is good for us from what is good for everyone else.
One area I keep seeing this stupidity is in the area of legal marriage, and I want to address is quickly because I have written recently that I advocate the position that it is the authority of the father of the bride who legitimizes a marriage. I must imagine that many of my fellow pro-marriage, anti-statist cohorts are cheering, “Yeah! Who cares what the state says about marriage?” No, no: We want the state to recognize our marriages, as witnesses, should someone attempt to destroy them.
Anyone who has ever considered the life of a slave is stupid to even ask the question. “Well”, you may say, “we don’t have slaves anymore, so this is a non-issue, that we need state-recognized marriage.” Then consider the life of a soldier, or a government clerk. Consider the position of whomever is the innocent in a divorce; including the children. Is your ex-wife’s family larger or much wealthier than yours? What chance will you have to see your child, under such conditions? As evil as it is that a woman can just fill out the paperwork and move the kids across the country, at least she has to fill out the paperwork. I realize this is an infinitesimally small consolation, but what makes us think that abolition of the paperwork will keep her from moving?
There is no good alternative to a wise and benevolent authority. Since we know that governments are ordained for our discipline, and discipline is for our benefit, then we need to improve if we desire a better authority. The beatings actually will continue until morale improves. Thankfully, we have been born again for a better future, and we have a source of hope.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
It’s ironic that people will chuckle that we get the politicians we deserve, but then bemoan the calamity that befalls us as unfair.
Romans 13 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4 for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. 7 Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.
If we do not respect the authority of the state to witness–NOT authorize–our marriages, they will surely ignore them. What is good for the sinful Christian goose, is good for the whole fallen gander.