The Words of the Stallings Family
Clergy and the Blessing
G. A. Stallings, Jr.
Marriage and the Family are in a state of crisis in America today. 50% of all marriages are in divorce. A greater percentage of marriages in the Christian community end in divorce than among those who declare no church affiliation.
This crisis happened on our watch as ministers, while we stood in pulpits across America declaring what "doth saith the Lord." How could such a situation have occurred? Is it a serious indictment against the power and efficacy of our preaching or does it indicate that we have allowed powers and principalities to gain control over the minds and hearts of our people? Are we guilty not only of the sin of commission but the sin of omission, by failing to do all that we can to slow the hemorrhaging of marital fidelity and permanency?
If marriage has deteriorated on our watch, then it is our charge and responsibility as ordained men and women of God to correct the situation.
The greatest work that any of us could ever be called to is to restore the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven. Jesus stated in the Gospel of John, Chapter 14, verse 12: "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father." (The New King James Version)
It is a difficult challenge getting church folk to believe that they can perform the same works as Jesus, no less coming to a realization that they can do even greater works than Jesus! In order for them to believe that they can perform the greater work of restoration, they have to come to a more profound understanding of who they are.
In the beginning, God created man and woman in His own image and after His likeness in the spirit (cf. John 4:24) and not the flesh. Adam and Eve possessed the blood lineage of God and were entitled through their divine birthright to reap the benefits of a threefold blessing: to be fruitful, to multiply and have dominion over the earth (Gen. 1:28).
God placed Adam and Eve in a unique position to reach full growth maturity. All that was required of them was compliance with His decrees. Instead of heeding God's commands, Adam and Eve fell prey to the wiles of Satan. They fell from grace, from their lofty position to one lower than the animals and came under Satan's snare.
Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden of Eden after the Fall, at which point they conceived and bore three sons: Cain, Abel and Seth. Because Adam and Eve pledged their allegiance to Satan rather than to God, they passed on to their children the blood of Satan and not the blood lineage of God.
The blood lineage of Satan (tainted or contaminated blood) was transmitted from one generation to the next, down to this present age. In order to reverse this curse, there must come forth those who will be a new Adam and a new Eve. Only in this way can we take back from Satan what he stole, usurped and robbed from our first Parents. We must reclaim our divine birthright and take our rightful position in God's creation if we are to engage in a greater work.
The Apostle, Paul said: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13)." We, as anointed, appointed and approved men and women of God can accomplish all things if we have the "unction in the junction for the function" by exercising the full power and authority of our anointing.
We are called as ordained men and women of God to proclaim by our daily lives and in our pulpits: No More Divorce. No Adultery! Our message must be clear and unequivocal in its moral rectitude and authority. We can ill-afford to allow Satan to rule the day or to have his sway! We must become the embodiment of the message we proclaim and authenticate it by the lives we lead. As the saying goes: "We cannot teach what we do not know. We cannot lead where we do not go."
We must lead our people by Word and example. Each pastor/minister and spouse are asked to recommit and rededicate themselves to the pillars upon which the foundation of marriage stands: Fidelity And Permanency and to teach the purity of love to their children.
The Marriage Blessing
What is the purpose or why is there a need to recommit and rededicate your marriage as a Clergy Couple? What advantage is there in bestowing the Marriage Blessing upon married couples in your congregation? Why are fidelity and permanency important in marriage? Why should you discourage divorce and adultery and stress the importance of marriage to your congregants?
When marriage occurs as God originally intended, it is the fulfillment of God's original ideal of creation.
As a reminder and renewal of your marital vows and commitment to remain together for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health until death do you part.
As a living example and manifestation to your congregation that marriage is a sacred covenant, instituted by God, and the ideal foundation for family life.
As a public statement to the nation and the world that we will stand up for fidelity and permanency in Marriage.
As a public declaration of our belief in no more divorce and no more adultery.
As a statement of unity and purpose that binds denominations of all faiths together as well as peoples of all nationalities, races and tongues.
As a means of creating awareness and focusing attention on the current day crisis of Marriage in America and leading the way in providing a solution of healing in saving the nation.
In turn, each Clergy Couple is asked to officiate at the renewal of Marriage and to bestow the Marriage Blessing upon married couples in their churches, mosques, temples or synagogues. Each faith should follow or observe its religious traditions in conducting the Marriage Blessing. However, it is asked that an essential component of the ceremony be the Holy Wine Ceremony (which may consist of wine or grape juice).
The Holy Wine Ceremony is the ritualistic act that symbolizes and seals the spiritual transition of each married couple and family from the blood lineage of Satan to the blood lineage of God. It bespeaks of a "spiritual blood transfusion" or "spiritual dialysis." Together, we can "stand up for marriage and family and save the nation."
His Grace, The Most Reverend George Augustus Stallings, Jr., D.D. is Archbishop and Founder, Imani Temple African-American Catholic Congregation, Washington, D.C. He is the Chairman, ACLC Executive Committee.
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