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Dale Morgan married tonight, and as usual, I came away soured.

Twentieth-century Christian weddings are the vainest, most meaningless forms. There is no vestige of reality.

The witnesses dress for a show. The flesh is given all the place. The songs are absurd if one paid any attention to the words, but no one does; they simply listen to how it is sung and not what it means. Candles are useless, but expensive trifles. Ushers help no one, but appear very officious, and the ceremony itself is the most meaningless hodgepodge of obsolete grammar and phraseologysounds like a schoolboy’s translation of Cicero.

And the stupid form of asking who gives this bride in marriage! Who cares? Everyone knows it’s her father or uncle or some such sweating pawn standing before the altar.

Talk of Romanism! We fundamentalist are a pack of moodloving show-offs. I’m sure the minor prophets would have found a subject for correction in this affair.

I must read this to myself on my wedding day, if I have one.

12 August, 1949

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About Jim Elliot

Jim was one of the most notable Christian martyrs of the twentieth century. He died taking the gospel to the Huaorani people of Ecuador. Jim was a graduate of Wheaton College and an evangelist in the United States before embarking to minister in Ecuador. Jim's official biography is called The Shadow of the Almighty. Jim's wife, Elisabeth, still ministers broadly. Jim's postings on InFocus are all taken directly from The Journals of Jim Elliot.


  1. lumpy 16 October, 2009 at 9:16 am

    Jason, what has prompted this post, are you thinking of getting married?

  2. Jason Harris 16 October, 2009 at 9:53 am

    Not any time soon. But I think Jim was…

  3. Alen 17 October, 2009 at 10:15 pm

    It’s interesting that a few of us were discussing this topic tonight..Good thoughts..

  4. Robert Apps 19 October, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    I think it is nice to have Dad give away his daughter formally. What is Jim’s problem?:)

  5. Jason Harris 19 October, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    Formalism, I suspect.


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