Are the weddings and marriages of your church biblical...

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Back in 1976 when Mary Lee and I married, it was hip for brides to marry but not take their husbands' names. Some combined their husbands' names with their own maiden name: for instance, Taylor and Réze Schreuder-Bayly. Some husbands held back and kept their own name while their wife added her maiden to his: for instance, Taylor Bayly and Réze Schreuder-Bayly. Others chose for the husband and wife each to keep his or her own name: for instance, Taylor Bayly and Réze Schreuder.

Which is right?

For centuries it's been the habit within Christendom (the Western world which honored Christ and His Word in word, if not in deed and thought and heart) for wives to signify their movement from the authority of their fathers to that of their husbands by dropping their fathers' last name and taking their husbands'. It was no dishonor to the bride's father because everyone heard the minister ask, "Who gives this woman to be married to this man?," followed by the father's response "I do." At this point he took his daughter's hand and transferred it to his future son-in-law's, went, and sat down next to his wife.

No one ever asked (nor asks yet today) "Who gives this man to be married to this woman?" The closest we come is President Lyndon Johnson's (then) novel deferral to Lady Bird Johnson by...

answering "Her mother and I do" at the marriage of their daughter.

Why doesn't the groom's father transfer the groom from his own authority to the authority of the bride?

Because the groom does not come under the authority of his wife. Rather, the bride comes under the authority of her husband. To this end for 450 years Christian wedding services in the English language derived from Thomas Cranmer's 1549 Book of Common Prayer have required the father of the bride publicly to speak and act in conformity with the Word of God and God's Order of Creation. He submits himself and his daughter to God's Word and Order by proclaiming "I do." And there these words and actions remain to this very day for all the world to see in Christian weddings. The bride is transferred from the authority of her father to the authority of her husband because "Adam was created first, then Eve." Because as the man is the head of a woman (1Corinthians 11:3), so the husband is head of his wife (Ephesians 5:23).

This is the plain teaching of God's Word and every Christian wedding glories in confessing this doctrine.

Those weddings which are in rebellion against God's Order and Word do not have the bride given away by her father, do not have a man and a woman but rather a man and a man or a woman and a woman, and do not have the word 'obey' in the bride's vow.

Are the weddings of your church Christian or pagan? Are the marriages of your church Christian or pagan?

You say you weren't there for the weddings so you don't know?

Well, check to see whether the married couples are heterosexual or homosexual? Whether the wife goes by her husband's name as a sign of her submission to his authority?

If your church's marriages are homosexual or egalitarian, ask your pastor and elders whether they have talked to the couples about God's Order of Creation, admonishing them to bring their words and actions into obedience to God by separating (if they are homosexual) or embracing wifely submission and changing their names (if they are egalitarian).

The two rebellions are equally sinful because each repudiates God's Order of Creation.

Tim Bayly

Tim serves Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. He and Mary Lee have five children and big lots of grandchildren.

Want to get in touch? Send Tim an email!