2009 October Tyrannus Academy Report
A Study on Marriage
“The LORD, the God of heaven, who brought me out of my father’s household and my native land and who spoke to me and promised me on oath, saying, ‘To your offspring I will give this land’-he will send his angel before you so that you can get a wife for my son from there.”
Greetings in Christ Jesus, our Lord! On October 30th, we had our Tyrannus Bible Academy on the theme on marriage based on Genesis 24. Several people gave presentations relating to our single years, on the principles of marriage, and on God’s work in establishing a family. This academy was a very good occasion for those who are preparing for marriage and as a reminder for those who are married. It was a successful Bible Academy due to the hot topic of marriage itself as 10 new students came. We could learn about the necessity of commitment not only in marriage, but in our relationships with God and with others.
S. Jason Northey gave a book report on: “How I Kissed Dating Goodbye”. The author, Joshua Harris, received a lot of criticism on this book because dating is a social norm in today’s society. The reason behind the author’s premise is due to our post-modern consumer-driven (“shopping cart”) mentality. Even Christians fall into this kind of mentality (though it might be “cleaner” than typical relationships). In the end, such relationships become temporal, and after breaking up, people become victims of confusion, dissatisfaction, and emptiness. After experiencing many failures in dating relationships, Harris made a decision to “kiss dating goodbye” and entrusted his future marriage in God’s hands. Harris emphasizes on our relationships starting with our relationship with Christ and with others (family, friends, and the body of Christ). We become like salmon swimming upstream going against the culture of society as we strive to model our life after Christ and in learning Christ’s love. Therefore our attitude towards our “unmarried” lives should be a gift from God. Our “single” lives are free to grow in the image and character of Christ. Then we can experience true joy from this commitment. (I learned later that Joshua Harris is now happily married.)
S. John Giesbrecht gave his lecture based on “I Isaac Take Thee Rebekah” (Author: Ravi Zacharias, RZIM ministries). Presently, many people doubt making a commitment “till death do they part.” But the best way to learn about the true meaning of marriage is to turn to the one who first established marriage – God himself. Although traditions vary culturally and change, Biblical principles do not. Biblical principles in marriage are: getting outside help, to be kind, to be pure, having a willingness to commit, and prayer. Abraham recruited his most faithful servant to get a wife for Isaac. Rebekah possessed the characteristics of kindness, purity, and commitment. Abraham’s servant entrusted everything to God in prayer. After reading Genesis 24, we learn that it is God who is the real “match-maker” and the establishment of Isaac’s family was truly a testimony of the mighty God.
S. Ernest Chan gave his message on “God Will Get A Wife For My Son” based on Genesis 24:7. His message was humorous and insightful. When Abraham was 140 years old, he wanted to hold a grandson in his arms. According to his vision, he believed that God would provide a wife for his son from his homeland. Rebekah would be a woman of faith and a woman of kindness. (Camels drink 10-100 Litres of water. So serving Abraham’s servant and each camel was quite a labourous task!) Was Isaac and Rebekah happily married ever after? Yes! Isaac loved her and was comforted after his mother’s death. We learn that God worked very hard to establish this marriage. God is the author of marriage. S. Ernest shared his personal testimony on how God established his own marriage. He realized that God’s way in establishing the family is wonderfully mysterious.
Afterwards, several Bible students (Rita, Alexei, S. Sylvia, and Veronique) shared their testimonies and how Bible study changed their hearts about their view about God and marriage. They repented of having a worldly view about marriage and saw the importance of establishing a committed relationship with Jesus. Because of Christ, they are full of hope to establish a godly family.
Misn. Luke Hong concluded with Matthew 19:4-6. Misn. Luke emphasized on commitment in marriage.
God established marriage for man’s happiness and mission. Therefore, we need to include God in establishing our marriage and challenge our wrong ideas and weak commitment. Commitment is possible if we are committed to Christ first. When we make this commitment to Christ at first, we realize that we are not all saints. We live as forgiven sinners. Going to church does not make us holy. We can easily pretend to have superficial relationships, but if we really care, we come to Christ, and we bring others to Christ – even those who we think are prospective marriage candidates. We come to know Christ’s love and we learn to love (and forgive) one another. Practically speaking, how can we establish marriage in God without dating? We have to trust in God’s leading. Misn. Luke prayed long and hard to establish godly families in the Montreal ministry. He discovered that God’s leading is unique for each family. Marriage for marriage itself is not the goal. Marriage is the beginning of a new life. May God establish families who value their relationship with God as of absolute importance and for our happiness! May God establish Christ-centered families as the key foundation in making North America as a kingdom of priests and a holy nation!