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Pastors Sign Pledge to Separate Christian, Civil Marriage


A new LifeWay Research survey on marriage and an online pledge drive shows support for a movement to further separate church and state roles in marriage.

Six in 10 responding to the survey said the government should not define or regulate marriage. More than a third also said that clergy should get out of the civil marriage business.

LifeWay researchers interviewed 2,000 Americans and 1,000 Protestant senior pastors.

Only a quarter of the pastors surveyed agreed, however, that clergy should give up on performing civil weddings. Right now, most U.S. clergy are able to sign legally binding marriage licenses.

Meanwhile, hundreds of pastors have joined an online pledge saying they will no longer sign the licenses.

The conservative Christian magazine First Things is sponsoring the drive.

The pledge states, "We will ask couples to seek civil marriage separately from their church-related vows and blessings. We will preside only at those weddings that seek to establish a Christian marriage in accord with the principles articulated and lived out from the beginning of the Church's life."

CBN News spoke with Ed Stetzer, executive director of LifeWay Research, about the survey and trend towards separating Christian marriage from civil marriage.

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