Now "marriage" has lost its meaning, should we find another word to express the Sacrament?

The word "marriage" as it is expressed in books of religious scripture such as the Bible has now lost its meaning in common society, which now defines it as "a temporary expression of love and commitment between two people of indeterminate gender". Religious folk who speak of 'marriage' to others convey a completely different thing to the listeners, especially if they are young. Children, by law, must be taught society's definition of the word.

How should this word now be translated in order to convey its proper sense?

Or should we simply remove this Sacrament, since there are no longer words in our language to express it?

Update:

Stanilslaus - valid point. When we understand the Sacrament, we look back to a golden age when it was sound and solid - like the 1950s. I became a Catholic in 2002 because I respect their definition of marriage more than I do the civil one, which I regard as no more than a tax fiddle. I never liked the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 which made grounds for divorce subjective, and the punishment for innocent parties severe. Yet marriage goes further back than the 1950s and might well have meant something different in biblical times.

Update 2:

Rich iii - I will dig out a link from a Gay website a few months back that confirms what you say. However all those single sex marriages in classical times acted out opposite genders - there was always one who was butch and one who was queen. This was to accord with the ancient understanding that marriage was a union of opposites. It also enabled the continuing use of terms such 'husband' and 'wife' referring to just one person in the marriage. The first same sex, same gender unions celebrated as marriages were in the Netherlands as late as 2001, on the grounds that it was silly founding any marriage on a pretence - a very modern consideration.

However, it now undermines and confuses the precise definition of marriage a couple is entering into. There is no longer a commonly understood definition.

Update 3:

Stephen G - if that is so, then the arrangement should be registered by the authorities as a 'civil partnership' and stop pretending.

19 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    As with most subjects addressed in the Bible, the definition of marriage is not clearly stated. There are contradictory messages about what marriage actually is when I look at the Bible's interpretation of the word. Are you talking about the meaning of marriage in the Old Testament or the New Testament? The meaning evolved between these two large sections of the Bible. In the Old Testament marriage was about a man essentially owning a wife, as in:

    (a wife's) dignity and worth as one created in the image of God is subordinated to the needs and desires of men. As chattel, women are often equated with a house or livestock (Dt. 20:5-7), as demonstrated in the last commandment, “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, wife, slave, ox or donkey” (Ex. 20:17).

    And:

    Men could have as many sexual partners as they could afford. The great patriarchs of the faith, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Judah, had multiple wives and/or concubines, and delighted themselves with the occasional prostitute (Gen. 38:15). King Solomon alone was recorded to have had over 700 wives of royal birth and 300 concubines (1 Kings 11:3).

    These references to marriage are all taken from the Old Testament. The New Testament has a different approach. Men and women suddenly became two sinners trying to internally stay true to their faith, but the marriage is not the seen in the same way it was in the Old Testament. The idea of sexuality and sin became more important issues, as described here:

    Sexuality is a gospel issue. What we do with our body betrays what we believe about the gospel. We show who we are with what we do with our bodies. This is best seen in 1 Corinthians 6 & 7. Sexual immorality is a sin against the body (6:18-20). It is using the body in a way that violates the gospel by destroying the picture of one flesh union between man and woman which is supposed to point to our one flesh union with Christ.

    And the idea of celibacy was introduced in the New Testament. The New Testament breaks with the Old Testament concept of marriage. Which one should you teach your children about? And why should men from 6000 years ago, or even 2000 years ago, define marriage for men and women of today. If the definition of marriage could evolve between Old and New Testament, why can't it evolve again? I live today, not 2000 years ago.

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  • Sarky
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    Marriage pre-dates the vast majority of the current mainstream religions by many hundreds (if not thousands) of years.

    Marriage is a simple contract between two people. Religion (specifically christianity) co-opted marriage and tried to make it a "religious" thing.

    All the bible bashers claiming marriage as something that they and only they can have are simply totally ignorant of its history in this and other countries.

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  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    The irony is the religious claiming this as their own. Marriage and commitments go back further than Christianity. All religions steal what went before and weave it into the myths for its own.

    Cannot see what all the fuss is about. Live and let live. Children should be left out of religion if there are to be any laws on the issue, at least at a state level such as in schools. At that age they will believe what they are told and religion is insidious.

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  • Alan
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    To all those who claim that marriage is a holy sacrament -can you please explain to me why millions of non believing Chinese and North Korean people get married? Or why people who are non religious get married in a registry office for that matter? The church has claimed marriage as it's own when clearly it is not.

    The vast majority of the gay community did NOT demand the right to marry their partners, that was offered to them by David Cameron and has been sanctioned by the majority of politicians. Gay men and women were given civil partnerships and many were happy with that. However, civil partnership offered to just one section of the community causes resentment, and that is why it is important that heterosexual couples be afforded the same right under the law. All men are equal under the law, therefore let all laws be equally available to all men. Otherwise the section of a community given privilege over another will be seen to be favoured. Equal opportunity for all, not just a privileged few.

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  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    You as a Christian should know the meaning of something can change over time. Who knows what the Bible originally said.

    But hey, continue to find excuses as to why you're not homophobic. It may give you something to do when you are clearly bored, getting offended by two members of the same sex wishing to celebrate their union and attain the same rights as heterosexuals.

    "SEE THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I MEAN WHENEVER WE SAY WE OPPOSE GAY MARRIAGE WE'RE CALLED HOMOPHOBIC!!! I'M NOT HOMOPHOBIC I HAVE A GAY FRIEND I'LL HAVE YOU KNOW"

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  • 7 years ago

    It is a Communist tactic they want to abolish marriage and are starting by making a complete mockery of it. The Soviet style European Union has a communist constitution that must be obeyed.

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  • 7 years ago

    This is hilarious, CofE was founded by a king who wanted to divorce his wife, but the current religion and their so sacred scriptures didnt allow this so the king made a new religion called CofE. This is no differnet. No one is changing the meaning of marriage.

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  • 7 years ago

    words change their meaning

    marriage

    old testament marriage

    could mean a man and two wives

    and four concubines

    a man could rape a woman

    and than make her his wife

    in religious scripture women were

    no more than property

    how about King Solomon

    how many wives and concubines did he have

    Abraham had no children

    so he had one by Hagar

    then Sarah has one

    so he casts out Hagar and his first born child

    is this how men should treat women and children

    so don't hand us any BS about sacrament

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  • 7 years ago

    You can keep your sacrament for your own internal purposes. But a secular state is not going to enforce your rules on everyone else. But be happy: the secular state will not enforce other groups rules on you either!

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  • 7 years ago

    According to the 10 commandments, a wife is just property, along with cattle (i.e., chattel,) and not at the top of the list.

    Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ***, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.

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