C.S. Lewis on Marriage Laws

Seems applicable in today’s discussions onImage marriage…thoughts?

Before leaving the question of divorce, I should like to distinguish two things which are very often confused. The Christian conception of marriage is one : the other is the quite different question — how far Christians, if they are voters or Members of Parliament, ought to try to force their views of marriage on the rest of the community by embodying them in the divorce laws. A great many people seem to think that if you are a Christian yourself you should try to make divorce difficult for every one. I do not think that. At least I know I should be very angry if the Mohammedans tried to prevent the rest of us from drinking wine. My own view is that the Churches should frankly recognise that the majority of the British people are not Christians and, therefore, cannot be expected to live Christian lives. There ought to be two distinct kinds of marriage : one governed by the State with rules enforced on all citizens, the other governed by the Church with rules enforced by her on her own members. The distinction ought to be quite sharp, so that a man knows which couples are married in a Christian sense and which are not.

~ C.S.Lewis

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4 thoughts on “C.S. Lewis on Marriage Laws

  1. Evan

    Amen, is my thought!

    There ought to be two distinct kinds of marriage : one governed by the State with rules enforced on all citizens, the other governed by the Church with rules enforced by her on her own members.

    This makes so much sense!

  2. Derek Henry

    Because of the legality of matrimony, on the surface, it absolutely makes sense for the State to govern in such matters as property ownership, estate laws and such. Because of the moral aspects of matrimony, the Church must also have moral statutes to set as a standard for marriage. Where the two collide is when the part of the marriage governed by the State allows for divorce in a matter that does not necessarily correspond to one of the moral statues. The best example I can think of is the catch all “irreconcilable differences”.
    The guidance by the Holy Bible should take precedence over any governing aspects of marriage. It fully states how a husband is to treat his wife and the wife her husband….if a man and woman joined in marriage are obedient to those instructions, there will be no need for legal matters to ever come into judgement.

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