Saturday 23 February 2019

Genesis 2 v 15/25

The Old Testament Lesson this week is from Genesis 2 and is the story of God creating man and woman. I bet this will not be followed in many Churches it is too hot a topic these days and few preachers have the courage to face up to what the Bible is stating.

But it is a vital important subject, the foundation on which a society is built. It is a social, moral and spiritual subject on which the Church does not want to take a stance. In the last few years there has been a massive attempt to destroy this divine institution, and the Church establishment has failed to meet the challenge by not speaking in defence of what God ordained.

Governments of all political persuasions have little if any respect for marriage, (except of course when receiving invitations to royal weddings which they eagerly accept) consequently it has come to lose its importance.

Let us turn to some verses from the Old Testament in the book of Genesis to learn just how important marriage is.

God having created the earth with all its elements and animals then created man. He then saw that man was lonely and loneliness can lead to depression. God saw that man needed a companion.

God said, ‘it is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper for him, so the Lord God caused man to fall into a deep sleep. Then the Lord God made a woman and brought her to the man. For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and they shall become one flesh’.

Note carefully what God did; God created a woman to be at a man’s side, and we must be prepared to accept that God knew what he wanted. He created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Harry, or Eve and Margaret. This was God’s natural partnership.

God has now made two people, man and woman, Adam and Eve. From creation God intended the creation of a woman for a man, not a man for a man, or a woman for a woman. We must accept that God knows best, and when he wanted man to have a companion, He made a woman as the perfect answer, someone who could complement man in every way, physically and mentally, in a way another man could not, and men throughout the ages have appreciated and recognised this.

God wanted to supply what was lacking in man’s life and together they could have children and create the ideal family. God planned the human heart to love, marry and have children. Heterosexual couples bearing and raising children together has been found throughout in history and around the world.

God gave woman as man’s helper, someone who can be at man’s side and will give life more meaning, pleasure and support; someone to love and cherish. Matthew Henry wrote, ‘woman was made not out of man’s head to rule over him, not out of his foot to be trampled on, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, near to his heart to be loved’

Most men if honest would concede how their wife has been of much help. After many years of marriage, I readily concede how much my wife added to my life.

When I was a Vicar, Olive attended every service I took, and not being one who liked the limelight, preferred to be amongst the congregation, where she complemented me so well. People who wanted me to know something, but didn’t want to tell me directly, would use her as a communication, and I would be advised as to who needed attention and help, in addition of course to telling me what I shouldn’t have said.

The Bible states, ‘he who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favour from the Lord.’ .

We have two people, equal yet different, no question of superiority or inferiority. They were not meant to be identical, men are generally stronger physically, more aggressive, with a greater propensity for leadership, women softer and more sensitive and caring, specially equipped to be mothers.

In the film ‘my fair lady’ Rex Harrison playing a professor of phonetics asks ‘why can’t a woman be like a man, and gets the answer, ‘because she wasn’t created to be’. We are a mixture that complements one another.

The Bible states a man should leave his parents and cleave to his wife. Cleave means glued together, so the two should grow in love through the years in an exclusive commitment. As they do so they share likes and dislikes, and whilst they will have different strengths and weaknesses, each will help the other. They will find they can know the other’s feelings and often anticipate what the other is thinking. They need to trust each other and have no secrets. The wife is now the one in the man’s life who takes precedence over all others.

In the days of Henry Ford and the Model T, someone asked him to what formula he attributed his successful marriage. He said, "The same formula as the making of a successful car: stick to one model."

One boy asked by his father what he learned at Sunday School, told the story of this wedding and his father asked him what that taught him. The boy answered, ‘if you are going to have a wedding make sure Jesus is there’. A much different answer than that of another boy who was asked did Prince and Cinderella live happily ever after said, ‘No they got married’

Marriage as the bedrock of society is now being challenged. Marriage today is under attack as never before and not seen as a lifelong commitment, divorce is easy and generally taken as acceptable. Jesus laid strictness on marriage but ruled divorce out. In Britain we have one of the lowest marriage rates in Europe but the highest number of divorces.

Marriage lends stability to society and builds a framework which is held in high esteem. It is one of the most important aspects of our culture which no government has the right to redefine or diminish its value.

Jesus highly valued marriage and performed His first miracle at a wedding Marriage is a solid foundation for the bringing up of children, who are a key factor in God’s intention for marriage.

Families are what a nation is built upon, the strength of every nation, and as men and women live in a strong and loving relationship, they create a safe haven for children.
Researches after researches have proved children grow better and are cleverer in stable families.

We have now reached the stage where the whole of God’s original plan for men and women has been widely abandoned. Just as in the days of Malachi described in the Old Testament, there is a spiritual decline with people forsaking God, and an alarming breakdown in family life.

I once remarked to a Jewish Rabbi that I had never known a Jewish boy (or girl) get into trouble for anti-social or violent behaviour. I asked him what he attributed this to and he said ‘the Jewish Mama, she keeps control of her family.’ I am sure that is true, but there are many Christian mamas too, perhaps not as many as hitherto.

When God’s plan for marriage is not followed, there are so many failed ones. We need to return to the Biblical pattern where the secrets of a happy married life are laid out.

When two people appear together at Church for the wedding service, they pledge their faithfulness to each other and there is the giving of a ring(s). The ring has no break, no ending, signifying unending love. The ring is made of gold as precious and for longevity. This what God intended.

It is vitally important that people realise marriage, and those who support it, are under the most vicious and uncompromising attacks, more serious than ever previously. Throughout the entire history of the world, marriage has been a union between one man and one woman, now that is being challenged.

Politicians have now tried to replace God with their own discredited plans and decided to redefine marriage on the spurious grounds of supposed equality. People can be perfectly equal without being the same; God did this at the time of creation when he made both man and woman equal in His sight, but for different purposes.

God created us different so children could be brought into the world, something same sex couples cannot do. Civil partnerships provided all the legal provision for people who wish to live together, and that is a matter for choice which we all accept is a personal decision.

So for 1% of the population (based on government figures) and for a cheap voting aim, which has backfired spectacularly, we have the time honoured understanding of marriage being destroyed.

Amazingly it has been under a Conservative government that marriage has been so devalued with same sex marriage, easy no fault divorces, just get fed up and walk away, legally enforcing schools to instruct children from tender years onwards of all forms of sexuality and marriage, with parental Rights to withdraw from such teaching denied. Promises were made prior to an election that no such legislation would be enacted yet within a few months was enacted.

I commented recently we have ceased to be a Christian country and government is seeking to make us a heathen one.

It is quite impossible for Christians to support same sex marriage when it is recognized that this was not God intended, as numerous Biblical passages spell out.

The Bible is unequivocal that marriage is heterosexual; tradition is that marriage is solely man and woman; and reasoned experience has proved that marriage creates a stable structure and is the bedrock of society.

Activists have been allowed to organise a campaign of attacks by all manner of interventions, gaining influence in legal, media, educational, entertainment, circles, and they have organised quite brilliantly, but the degeneracy which has followed has been devastating in the effect on young people and children.

Sadly, and shamefully, rather than responding with moral, ethical and spiritual guidance, the Church rather than rebelling is colluding. We have bishops calling for, abandoning biblical teaching on marriage lest it offends,working to make accommodation with the homosexual lobby on their issues, and creating liturgy to facilitate transgender reception with a second baptism which is contrary to the regular reciting of the Apostles Creed.

In effect, the Prayer Book and Bible have been cast out by the Church (in places and by the leadership) . People have lost employment and positions in society for simply stating they do not approve of same sex unions; teachers dismissed for not teaching all forms of partnerships. Private social accounts used to destroy a person’s living by quoting words written.

I close with the words of Archbishop Nichols, from Liverpool’s Roman Catholic Cathedral, ‘we have a duty to married people today, and to those who come after us, to do all we can to ensure that the true meaning of marriage is not lost for future generations’.

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