Is a Christian required to register his marriage with the state?

These be thy gods, O Israel

When Aaron, the second leader in command of Israel, fashioned a molten calf, and said to Israel: “These be thy gods, O Israel,“ Exodus 32:4, should the response be: this leader in the church has said it is a god, therefore it is?

I trust none in the church would actually say so when asked in this manner, although there are few Bereans, who search the Scriptures that which what is spoken to them, is according to the Word of God.

In our days something of a similar nature has happened. Our governments, filled with hatred against the things of God, have created a form of relationship which they call marriage. And office bearers are now saying to their congregations: “This is marriage, O brethren.”

They would not say it exactly this way perhaps. They may lament the state of affairs of marriage. But they trouble those who want to have nothing to do with the gay idols of our modern day, and have nothing to do with this false marriage thing our governments have fashioned. But according to many office bearers, Christians simply should consider this molten calf marriage, and participate in it, and with it.

Participation takes the following forms:

  1. Elders act as government officials for this thing called “marriage” in the form of marriage celebrant.
  2. They request participation of their congregation to register their Biblical marriage in the spotted registration book of the state.

We'll leave the first one for what it is: those who are a marriage celebrant for this abhorrible thing, acting as priests in this sacrifice to the gay idols, have their own consciences. But how anyone can order a marriage license and reply to: “Do you want the man/man, female/female, or male/female forms,” is beyond me.

But why are they requiring others to participate in this ceremony? Why do they think it strange if others do not run with them to the same excess?

Two arguments are put forward to force Christians to register their marriage in the state's registration books:

  1. What the state calls marriage, is still marriage.
  2. We don't like it, but the state forces us to do so.

Let's address these arguments in turn.

Is redefined marriage still marriage?

On the first argument: as God has created marriage, he is the author of it, and he defines what it is. We are warned not to be deceived, why is that warning in the Bible unless deception is going on, and some are deceived? If someone says: “These are your gods,” are they? If someone calls a particular relationship marriage, is it?

The only thing marriage as defined by the state has in common with Biblical marriage is the name. That's the devilish deception. But otherwise it has nothing in common. Let's look at the differences:

Biblical marriage So called marriage
Defined by God State (marriage is whatever the state says it is).
Open to A single man and woman (Genesis 2:24, Leviticus 18:18) Any two persons at this stage, any number of persons in the near future.
Intention of designer So man had a help meet. Rejection of Biblical marriage, and destroying the knowledge of Biblical marriage.
Goal Having a help meet. Expressing a higher level of commitment.
Duration Till death. Till you want out of it.

A Christian is required to:

  1. Hate even the garment spotted by the flesh (Jude 1:23).
  2. Not partake of the table of devils (1 Corinthians 10:21, 10:28).

Clearly the design and intent of the current state marriage is to oppose the Word of God. The intention of redefining marriage was to uproot it from its Biblical meaning, redefine the word so that the original meaning would get lost, and to propagate evil. Christians should abstain from this charade, and keep their God given marriage, and abstain from this sacrifice to devils.

Those who argue to the contrary, have to argue that what the state calls marriage, is still marriage. I suggest they replace the word marriage with the word "partnership" and then ask themselves: would they ever be “partnership celebrants”? They would not would they? So why are they still “marriage” celebrants? Are they being deceived by the word “marriage” or do they argue it is still marriage as defined in the Bible? Which is it?

Does the state requires one to ask for a marriage license?

The next argument advanced is that the state requires you to have a marriage license before you marry. By itself, what the state requires, is no argument. The state required Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to fall down and worship the golden image. So there are clear limitations on obedience to what the state requires.

The Bible has absolved the consciences of Christians in the case their property is taken under duress: they do not have to be troubled what the state does with that after. So Joseph and Mary registered for tax purposes in Bethlehem (Luke 2:1), and even Christ himself paid taxes (Matthew 17:27), although these taxes were used for sacrifices to idols.

So we can divide the question into two subquestions:

  1. Does the state compel you to ask for a marriage license?
  2. And does the Bible require you to obey?

As the answer to the first question will be no, as will be argued below, the second question is moot. The state does not require you get a license to live together with any number of people. It requires a license if you want to be registered in their marriage register, which is fair enough: it's their register.

But there might be a third question:

3. Does the Bible require you to register your marriage with the state, in the same register as homosexuals, even if the state does not require it?

So the first and third question will be considered in this section. But before that we look at how people married before the state got involved.

How did people marry in the past?

Asking the state for a license is relatively new. Most countries in the world implemented it somewhere in the 19th century. Before that the church married people, and kept a register. As the Directory for the Publick Worship of God has it:

Before the solemnizing of marriage between any persons, the purpose of marriage shall be published by the minister three several sabbath-days, in the congregation, at the place or places of their most usual and constant abode, respectively. ...

After the purpose or contract of marriage hath been thus published, the marriage is not to be long deferred. Therefore the minister, having had convenient warning, and nothing being objected to hinder it, is publickly to solemnize it in the place appointed by authority for publick worship, before a competent number of credible witnesses, at some convenient hour of the day, at any time of the year, except on a day of publick humiliation. And we advise that it be not on the Lord's day. ...

Then, without any further ceremony, the minister shall, in the face of the congregation, pronounce them to be husband and wife, according to God's ordinance ...:

A register is to be carefully kept, wherein the names of the parties so married, with the time of their marriage, are forthwith to be fairly recorded in a book provided for that purpose, for the perusal of all whom it may concern.

So this was good enough for churches for hundreds of years:

  1. The intent of marriage was publicly announced in order that objections, i.e. the person was already married or was forbidden to marry as per Leviticus 18:6-18.
  2. It was in a public place.
  3. It was done by a preacher of the Word of God.
  4. A publicly accessible register was kept.

In Biblical times it was even simpler. Adam simply said: “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”

The state does not require persons to ask for a marriage license

As the state is no longer interested in people's living arrangements, the question should be put this way: Does the state require a license before you can be put in their register? The answer to that is a clear yes.

So the real question we should ask is: can anyone get married as per the warrant given in the holy Scriptures, without asking the state for a license? The answer to that is a clear yes as well. The state does no longer care how people live or what they call their living arrangements (yes, horrible word). All living arrangements are the same to the state, and being registered in the state's marriage registration books does not confer any additional privileges.

Those who argue otherwise should show what law and what paragraph spells out that we cannot call something marriage, that has not been licensed by the state. There is no such thing. For example, if you marry overseas, you are married, despite not having a license of the state you live in. And the state you live in, will never provide you with a marriage certificate if you have been married somewhere else, you will always have to use the certificate given by those who married you.

Some nations do not have state provided marriage licenses. Are people not married in those localities?

Those who marry and register their name at their local church are exactly the same. They were married in the eyes of God, and are therefore married.

It would be helpful to distinguish between a state “marriage” (which is not marriage) and a marriage done with the intention of following the Bible. So I suggest we adopt the word Biblical marriage. It's unfortunate we have to do so, but clarity is always helpful.

One should ask for a marriage license despite not being compelled

But if the state is not interested in what living arrangement one calls marriage, only that you do not make it appear you are registered in their register while you are not, should Christians still ask to be registered in the state's books?

That question has been answered in the first part: Christians are to abstain from even the appearance of evil. The intent of redefined marriage is clearly evil. Those who want to show a clear light, stay far away from it.

This is not to disparage the marriage of anyone who still obtains a state license. The issue is not with them. They are as equally Biblically married as those who do not ask for that license. But the intent of this article is to defend Christians who hate even the garment spotted by the flesh, but are blamed for participating in the designs of the evil one.


A Christian who does not want his name defiled by showing everyone that his marriage is exactly the same as any homosexual by asking for exactly the same license, does have a clear Biblical mandate to do so.

The state wants a distinction between their “marriage” and the Biblically defined one. That is not hard to do, by not claiming one is registered with the state. And there are clear mechanisms from the past that can be used to distinguish between those desiring to be married as per God's Word, and those simply living together.

Christians should reject the sirens calling them to make shipwreck upon a profession of supposed allegiance to a government that does not ask for it. And the church should return to its Directory of Publick Worship instead of declaring that their subscription to it is no longer unreserved.

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.