When the citizens of California voted in favor of Proposition 8 it was only a matter of time before this would be overturned. At that time I told many people that I think it is a waste of our time to fight over this issue as Christians. As much as many Christians do not want to hear this it seems to me that this is a fight that the traditionalist will not win. In my opinion it is not even something with which we should waste our time. Why use aggression when we can use subversion?
Why do we waste thousands upon millions of dollars trying to preserve something that we are going to see disappear if not in this generation for sure by the next one? The church has not been called to save society. We are to be an alternative society. If the state allows abortion this does not change whether or not we as Christians should accept it as moral. I think the same should be said about same-gender marriages.
In Europe there is a distinction between religious and civil weddings. Many pastors in the United States want to preserve their role as ambassadors of the state in the act of marriage. This is not useful. As I told so many several months ago we should resolve to live as the church rather than trying to make the state the church.
As a Christian I see nothing wrong with going to the courthouse or city hall to do a civil ceremony prior to going to the church for a ceremony/sacrament before God and the people of God. The civil is for the benefits given by our nation to married people. The religious is for the commitment vowed between a man and his wife, God, and fellow believers.
I am glad to see that there are many who think this way including D.A. Carson! In a recent article on The Gospel Coalition Blog four pastors were asked by Collin Hanson whether or not we should begin considering separating Christian and civil weddings. Three said that this is likely the way to go; one said we cannot separate Christian and civil weddings. I agree with the three against the one.
As I understand it the judge ruled that churches do not have to honor civil marriages. Even if the day comes when this is about to change all we have to do is continue to perform marriages like communion or our worship gatherings. We do not have to submit these ceremonies to state authority. We do not have to let culture define things for us. We do not have to waste our time fighting an endless war. We have only been called to be the people of God. We have not been called to ask all of society to behave like we are to behave.
On a final note, we as Christians have a lot problems that need to be addressed as relates to marriage that we should give our attention toward. For one, our own high rate of divorce and infidelity. It is my opinion that if this changed it would be more of a witness to an unbelieving world that if we marched out of a court house with a judge ruling in our favor.