Open Thought: HOW IS MARRIAGE REALLY DEFINED? SAME-SEX OR OPPOSITE SEX?
“For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven”
When I listen to the fiery discussions on marriage, see the clerk in Texas refuse to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple or hear my sister say, ” I applaud the woman . . . what she did is based on Scripture,” my thoughts immediately turn to the verse above–words spoken by Jesus to the Sadducees–a group who thought they knew the scriptures, and that Jesus did not know what he was talking about because his understanding of the Word of God differed from theirs. Four words are key to grasping his meaning–resurrection, marry, angels and heaven. Let’s examine those words in the context of Jesus’ teaching.
Research reveals that Webster gives two basic meanings of the word “resurrection,” one being “the rising of Jesus from the dead after his death and burial” and two, a “restoration and revival.” How do these definitions compare with Jesus’ concept of resurrection? In John 11: 25, He said to Martha, when she referred to the resurrection as being an after death and judgment day rising, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.” What is he saying? He is referring to his demonstrations of life–demonstrations that healed the sick, cleansed the leper, cast evil thoughts out of the minds of people, raised the human body from death (to prove that true life is not in the body) and used “unconditional love” as the foundation of divine existence. Even though Jesus raised four people from the dead, including himself, his message was more of restoration and revival, based on goodness, mercy, forgiveness, justice, peace and righteousness, with divine love as the foundation of all of them. Hopefully, we are on the same page as to the meaning of resurrection.
Marriage means “to unite, to enter into a close or intimate relationship” or “to join a man to a woman as his wife or a woman to a man as her husband.” Angels are divine messages or thoughts from God, that enter into one’s consciousness to take away the sins of the world, and heaven is harmony, peace, a divine state of mind–not a place in the sky where one goes after death. You may not agree with these definitions, and that will determine your assessment of this article.
How do all of these “stack-up” with the life that Jesus lived and taught us to live? Humanly, he did not unite with a mate, his connection or unity was always with God. He even said “I and my Father are one”– one in quality, not quantity. That “oneness” was a divine state of thought”–a thinking that manifested the Christ, which I define as a manifestation of God that comes into man’s human thought, and erases the sins embedded there. So we begin to see that Jesus’ interpretation of marriage, was not one human being uniting with another human being–man to woman, man to man or woman to woman, but the spiritual nature of man connecting with God, Spirit. Thus spiritually, it is of no consequence what two mortal people do relative to marriage, the key is whether they love unconditionally, do unto others as they would have them do to them, express purity of thought according to the Ten Commandments and Beatitudes, and have no other God but the One God.
Angel messages are powerful in determining whether one serves God or mortal man. These messages stem from ideas that cause us to express who we truly are–” man made in the image and likeness of God,” and that likeness has nothing to do with flesh and blood, gender, sex orientation or human kind. We are only children of God to the extent that we express the attributes of God: wisdom, mercy, comprehension, faith, purity, peace, awareness, insight, warmth, perfection, justice, equality, order, joy, strength, honesty, integrity, unchangeableness, compassion, unselfishness, charity, respect and forgiveness — just to name a few. Mankind has decided to interpret God’s laws as though God serves man, and not man serving God. The laws of God are unchangeable and eternal; the laws of man are changeable and temporal.
We talked about heaven as not being a locality, but a divine state of mind–a state of mind where one’s consciousness knows only peace, harmony, joy and spiritual understanding. Thus, we can experience heaven, while here on earth. Most of us do experience heaven in some way and at some time, but unlike Jesus, who was always divinely connected, we have only moments of higher levels of thought, then our thinking sinks back to the human level, where judgment is based on the five senses. Truth then, becomes not what is based on the Beatitudes, Ten Commandments or the inspired word of the Bible, but on our own sense of truth, and the sad part is, we describe that so-called truth as biblical interpretation, and use our limited intelligence to judge other people.
A typical expression is, “The Scriptures said . . . ” not realizing that it is one’s interpretation of the Scriptures that makes one believe, and everybody has the capacity to interpret or understand them based on his experiences. Not only are scriptures interpreted literally, but also spiritually, and unless inspiration accompanies that interpretation, we only get a human version of what is being said. A better way to assess whether one understands the Scriptures correctly, is to see if his “works” emulate the works of Jesus. Does he rely on doctors to heal? Jesus didn’t. Does he spend a large part of the day reading, praying and seeking understanding of the Scriptures? Jesus often went “up into the mountains” to pray and re-establish his connection with God. Does he constantly purify his thoughts, so he can see God and the man God created in each individual? Jesus saw the perfect man, in spite of what the physical picture presented, and finally, does he place no other god before the one God? Jesus’ life was holy, uplifting, comforting and free of human criticism. Mankind is so busy pointing fingers at someone else’s faults, and leaving his own faults unattended.
The clerk in Texas was minding someone else’s business and not being about “my Father’s business” as Jesus did. It is not her job to “work out (another’s) salvation,” only her own. In fact, she can’t work out the salvation of anyone else, each person has to rid himself of evil beliefs by personally uniting with the one Mind–divine intelligence. This is not to say I believe same-sex marriage is an evil, it’s to say, even if it were, she cannot “save” anybody. More importantly, she needs to “cast the beam” out of her own eyes, instead of trying to “cast the mote” out of the couple’s eyes. As we have discussed, true marriage has nothing to do with one human uniting with another, but with man’s union with God. Sin is sin, and one sin is no greater than another. Therefore, unless your consciousness is free of all sin, it is best to concentrate on making thine own self true.
Now, let’s look at the citation by Jesus in the context of the meanings of resurrection, marriage, angels and heaven as discussed here. Repeating the citation stated at the beginning of this article, “For in the resurrection, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as angels of God in heaven,” Jesus is saying that when man’s nature is transformed by Spirit, and he is totally, mentally connected to God, he is above human thinking and acting, but dwells in the realm of Soul, where all sensualism disappears, and peace and harmony reign. Most of us will never reach that transformation before we make the transition from one consciousness to another, therefore, it is essential that we spend our time “putting off the old man” and “putting on the new man” for oneself, and leave other people alone. Should one seek your counsel, give it, but if advice is not sought, keep it and put it into practice for yourself. The divine messages from God are always harmonious–in harmony with divine Law–molding and elevating thought. As I study the Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, unfoldment reveals that what appeared to be true yesterday, may not be true today. It is not the Word of God that changes (for it is eternal) it is my perception of the Word of God that changes, and when we know better . . . we do better.
Same-sex marriage does nothing to prevent one from being “fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth” as we read in Genesis 1: 28, for it is not babies that Moses is admonishing us to fill the earth with, but, spiritual ideas. He is saying “do the spiritual work that will enable the divine ideas God has placed in your consciousness, so that they can unfold, and fill the earth with beauty and peace.” Spiritual ideas are not flesh and blood, they represent the presence and power of the living Christ. Seek them, find them and embrace them . . . and the glory of God will enshroud you in righteousness, because your are wedded to . . . the One God.