Friday, March 11, 2011

Blog # 133 The Sacrament of Matrimony

Blog # 133 The Sacrament of Matrimony This blog could have been labeled the CHRISTIAN DIMENSION OF MARRIED LOVE. Much of what is contained in marriage manuals, even though the name Christian appears in the title is the product of good common sense, good psychological theory, good philosophy and logic, good human qualitites that could and should be ours even though we were not precisely Christian. Analysis of ideal sex-role identities, techniques of love making, house keeping, home finance, child care, living together in old age, etc. are all part of the concern Christian couples have when they enter marriage. But these elements are also the cares and concerne of all couples, no matter what their personal religious identification might be. We ask ourselves, therefore, are there elements in the practical and ideal marriage relationship and experience that are essentially Christian? Are there essential differences between what might be called a Christian marriage and a non-Christian marriage? Is it legitimate to use the term 'Christian' in reference to marriage? One response to such a series of questions would imply there is little significant difference between a Charistian marriage and a non-Christian marriage. The differences are pointed out as non-essential and superficial. Using happiness, sexual harmony, mutual satisfaction and social success as a guage it is shown that all the necessary elements of successfull marriage are found in varying degrees across the board, in all marriages throughout the world and do not prcisely depend upon an element of marriage that might be singled out in any series of marriage relationships as 'Christian". It is implied that to do so is arrogant and erroneous. Another response to the query as to whether the term Christian might have deep and singular significnce when applied to individual marriages, justifies the use of the term but with a strong and distinctive emphasis upon the moral pattern that is detemined and identified by definite 'Charistian' ways of acting with regard to artificial contraception, divorce, education of youth, worship, etc. In other words Christian morality as such is placed as the dividing line between Christian marriage and non-Christian marriage. Seeking to recognize and convinced there is an essential difference between what might be called Christian marriage and any other marriage experience, and yet knowing at the same time the apparently widespread ignorance and lack of significant experience of any such difference, perhaps we could investigate and evaluate together those elements we might refer to as 'Christian' in marriage. What does it mean to say marriage is a Sacrament? What does it mean to use the term'Christian' in relation to marriage? What does the Bible say about marriage? What is goodness for the Christian? What is sin? Is there any such thing as 'Christian holiness'? What is the Church? These questions lead us into some beautiful and important insights into the theology of Christian marriage which we introduce on Blog # 134 tomorrow. >

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