Saturday, March 31, 2012

Caleb & Jordan's Wedding

On March 10th, 2012, our son, Caleb, married his beloved, Jordan. We rejoice in all the Lord has done in the lives of these two precious young people, establishing a new family for His purpose and glory!

"Caleb, today you are the bridegroom, about to embark upon your high calling as the head of your own family.  You are standing right now, this very moment, on the threshold.  Your purpose in this calling is to emulate our Saviour, to represent the Lord, Jesus Christ.  This is the standard you must strive for.

Ephesians 5:25-33 reads:

“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it;  that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of the word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy, without blemish. 

So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies.  He that loveth his wife, loveth himself.  For no man ever yet hated his own flesh, but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the Church:  For we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones.

For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the Church. 

Nevertheless, let everyone of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.” "

"Caleb, your name embodies your character – bold one – mighty warrior of the Lord.  Your Mom and I have endeavoured to build you up in the faith, we have encouraged you to put on the whole armour of God, having your loins girt about with truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation; and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

I’ve prepared you as an arrow, with a head sharpened by the Word of God, a shaft straight and true by God’s Laws and Statutes, and fleshing smoothed by prayer and biblical counsel.  I now place you into the Lord’s bow and release you, trusting and praying that He will use you for His honour and glory.

Trust not in your own strength, but put your faith in the Lord.  God, in His sovereignty, has provided you with a bride, a helpmeet to assist you in your mission.  Go forth and establish the Lord’s Dominion! "

Caleb's Speech

"When Jordan and I, along with our parents, first began to discuss our wedding and, specifically, our wedding ceremony, we decided that above all, our priority would be to ensure that everything we incorporated into the ceremony reflected biblical standards.  We wanted to ensure we didn’t merely go through the motions of a traditional ceremony for tradition’s sake, but we also didn’t want to discard tradition simply to be different. 

Our first and foremost desire today is to glorify our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, the ultimate Bridegroom, who will one day come to claim His Bride, the Church.

We live in a time when biblical man and woman-hood, marriage, and the family in general, are being systematically attacked and destroyed on every side.  Sadly, it isn’t only the enemies of our Lord which are destroying these fundamentals, but many of those who profess to belong to Christ, those who are part of evangelical, conservative churches, have also been guilty of contributing to the downfall of these God-ordained vocations and institutions.

Because of this, we feel it’s imperative for Christian individuals and families to make a conscientious effort to provide living examples of sound Biblical teaching on marriage and the family, and so, with God’s enabling, we’re endeavouring to make every aspect of our marriage, including this, our marriage ceremony, conform to that which is reflected in the Word of God, the Bible.

We don’t for one moment believe that we are wise enough to have all the answers, nor do we believe that everyone must conduct their marriage ceremony exactly as you will see today, but we do hope that some of what you witness here today will give you pause for thought.

When we look at scripture, we see the following:

-          We see the commissioning of the son by his father to take a bride and start a family;

-          We see the giving of the daughter by her father;

-          And we see the covenant, often reflected in the exchange of vows, between the husband and wife-to-be.

You’ve witnessed my father’s commission to me to take my bride and to establish a new, God-honouring family. 

You’ve also witnessed Jordan’s father giving his daughter, transferring his God-appointed headship over her to me, trusting that I will be faithful to her as her spiritual head, as he has been since her birth.  Only the covenanting, as expressed through the exchange of vows, remains.  Once we have done so, we will be husband and wife, one, before God.

All covenants are of immense importance in the sight of God, as He, Himself, has covenanted with His people, and has been faithful to His promises.   Each and every covenant is binding, incurring severe penalties if broken and immense blessing to those who fulfill them.  Covenant keeping also infers blessing upon future generations, while covenant breaking infers curses upon those to come.  

The marriage covenant is one such covenant, an extremely important covenant, as evidenced from the beginning, in Genesis, when Adam states of Eve, “This is now bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh, she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man.  Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother and cleave unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh.”; through to Malachi’s statement, “Yet is she thy companion and the wife of thy covenant.”; and throughout the New Testament when we fully come to understand that Christ is the Bridegroom, the church being His Bride

We believe the Bible teaches that there are three God-ordained institutions designed to bring order and governance to mankind, these being; the Family, the Church, and the State.

Each of these entities have been given specific roles or duties by God, with defined jurisdictions.  None must usurp the duties and responsibilities of the other, but each, when fulfilling their proper mandate, compliments the other.  All are subject to the Law of God.

Bearing this in mind, and upon searching the Scriptures, we have been unable to find any instance where a man, fulfilling his role as priest or minister, or as an agent of the state, has officiated over a wedding ceremony or has been given a mandate to do so.  We see biblical examples where officials have been present at weddings, but they were not acting in a church or state appointed role, rather were acting as fathers.

It is true, however, that both the church and the state do have a biblical role to play in encouraging and upholding marriage, as it applies to the Law of God, but the establishment of marriage falls firmly within the domain of the family. 

We see that as God alone ordained marriage, He alone may define what constitutes marriage. The State, the Church, and even the family, have virtually no authority to redefine the meaning of marriage, or to determine who may marry, if contradictory to the Bible.

And so, we have determined that biblically it’s unnecessary to have a state or church sanctioned person “officiate” our marriage, rather, we seek today to fulfil the biblical criteria mentioned previously, namely; the commissioning of the son, the giving of the daughter, and the covenanting with one another, the latter of which Jordan and I will now commence. 

Our vows are made to God, to one another, and before you as our witnesses.  May the testimony of our lips and of our future actions glorify Him who has called us to Himself, who is establishing this new family for the furtherance of His Kingdom.   Amen.  And Amen."

Caleb's Vows

"I, Caleb James Yuck, in the presence of Almighty God, and in the witness of the congregation of the church of Jesus Christ; do now, on this Tenth Day of March in the Year of our Lord, Two Thousand Twelve,  leave my father and mother and covenant to cleave in Holy Matrimony to you, Jordan Rae Hammond. 

In so doing, and with God’s help, I vow to give myself for you, even unto death, just as Christ loved His bride, the church, and gave Himself for her.

I vow to lead you in family worship, that you may be sanctified and cleansed with the washing of the water by the Word.

I vow to protect and provide for you, both in spirit and in body, with all the strength, power, resources, and ability that our great Creator bestows upon me.

I vow to love you as my own body, to dwell with you in knowledge, giving honour to you as the weaker vessel.

I vow to delight in you alone as the wife of my youth, and to remember that I have no authority over my body, but you do.

I take you, Jordan Rae Hammond, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness or in health.

What God has joined together, let no man tear asunder.  The Lord do so to me, and more also, if anything but death parts you and me. 

 So help me God.  Amen. "

Jordan's Vows

"I, Jordan Rae Hammond, in the presence of Almighty God and in the witness of the congregation of the church of Jesus Christ; do now, on this Tenth Day of March, in the year of our Lord, Two Thousand Twelve, leave the headship of my father and covenant to cleave in Holy Matrimony to you, Caleb James Yuck.

In so doing, I vow, in God’s strength, to submit to you as my head in everything, even as the church is subject unto Christ.  I promise to love, reverence, obey, and honour you.  I will always strive to be pleasing to you.

I vow to work alongside you as you strive to further God’s kingdom.  If the Lord so chooses to bless us with children, I will, together with you, raise them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.

I vow to dwell with you and care for you no matter what the circumstances may be, for where you go, I will go, where you lodge, I will lodge.  Your people will be my people, and your God my God.

I take you, Caleb James Yuck, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health.

What God has joined together, let no man tear asunder.  The Lord do to me, and more also, if anything but death parts you and me. 

 So help me God.  Amen."