Summary: Our marriage vows are mutual terms and conditions, Jesus said that there was one violation of the terms that was worse than any other.
This is week six of our Terms and Condition series here at Cornerstone and since early October we looked at some of the terms and conditions that show up in the Bible.
And each week we have reviewed our definition of Terms and Conditions, Terms and Conditions are Rules by which one must agree to abide in order to use a service.
And there are all kinds of terms and conditions out there, some very complex, some very simple.
And we have looked at the fact that by clicking “agree” most of us have allowed Facebook and Instagram unlimited use of our photos.
And that when you give Kindle money for a book or iTunes money for music, you don't actually own the book or the music. And regardless of who it is on the other end of the terms and conditions when you click agree you're almost always giving up your right to sue.
And this isn't some fine-print thing, either. It's very clearly laid out on your agreement page. Usually, it will be something simple, along with the lines of "You agree that, by entering into this Agreement, you and _____ are each waiving the right to a trial by jury or to participate in a class action."
And sometimes you enter into an implied set of Terms and Conditions whether you sign anything or not, for example, if you are a cat owner you have agreed to, worship it and meet all of its demands.
So, we’ve looked at the original terms and conditions that showed up in the creation story, where the first couple were created with this incredible gift of free will, that is the ability and freedom to make right decisions or wrong decisions. And with that gift came a choice, obey God or disobey God. And they chose to disobey God.
And over the past few weeks, we've moved from that and looked at how we need to respond to each other before we can respond to God in worship. We've dug deep into the fact that God wants the world to know about his love and forgiveness and the responsibility the church has to tell people about that love and forgiveness. That is called Evangelism.
Then we looked at experiencing the delight of the Lord through honouring and practising a Sabbath rest in our lives.
Last week Pastor Stefan walked us through the terms and conditions for God’s protection and God’s presence.
This week we are going to get a little more personal, with a set of Terms and Conditions that isn’t specifically laid down in the bible but reflects values found throughout the bible.
Most if not all of you would be familiar with these terms and conditions, many of you agreed to them yourselves and if not then you have heard them and watched as people have acknowledged them in their lives.
I’m going to read them for you today in a slightly modified version, I’m sure that you’ll recognize them:
It begins when two people express their intentions for each other with these words: I take you to be my wedded spouse, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part, according to God’s holy law and thereto I pledge you my love.
And that is followed by a series of questions, which both people are expected to answer in the affirmative.
Will you have this person to be your wedded spouse, to live together after God’s ordinance in the holy estate of matrimony? Will you love them, comfort them, honour and keep them, in sickness and in health; and forsaking all others keep yourself only unto them, so long as you both shall live?
The answer of course is: I will, and what you have heard are wedding vows, which are a perfect example of Terms and Conditions.
In this case, they are reciprocal, that is both parties are offering a service and both parties are agreeing to the terms and conditions.
And like all Terms and Conditions, you are responsible for what you agreed to but have very little control over whether or not the other party upholds their end of the agreement.
Probably the most serious breach of the marriage terms is when we violate the portion that we agreed to that says: and forsaking all others keep yourself only unto them, so long as you both shall live? It’s been called having an affair, stepping out, cheating but the bible calls it adultery.
And that scriptures take a very dim view of adultery. In the Old Testament, the punishment that was laid down for adultery was death. Don't know if it was a deterrent but it certainly cut down on repeat offenders.