membership

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by steveo, Mar 16, 2006.

  1. steveo

    steveo
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    We have a situation where a older couple didn't want to get married because of losing a benefit from a previous spouse. They did live together and wanted to join our church. They left and went to another church and told them they were brother and sister. Well a year later they are back and said they got married. Well, someone stated the fact that they got someone to marry them but not turn it in to the state. Ok pastors, would you have a problem with them joining your church?
     
  2. standingfirminChrist

    standingfirminChrist
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    If they are married, no. If they are living together in sin, I could not let them join the church.
     
  3. steveo

    steveo
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    Would you consider them married if no lic from state?
     
  4. FBCPastorsWife

    FBCPastorsWife
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    If it is not licensed by the state then it is not a legally recognized marriage. I would not want someone that deceitful to join my church.
     
  5. TaterTot

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    We have seen that too in another state we pastored in. That is definitely a problem.
     
  6. Ulsterman

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    FBCPastorsWife is bang on target - they are not married. They are living in sin, deceiving themselves and trying to deceive others, they should not be entertained as members until they do right.
     
  7. standingfirminChrist

    standingfirminChrist
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    Stevo, the Word of God says we are to live by the laws of the land, so yes they need a license by one of the states or another country documentation that shows that they did in fact get married.
     
  8. Alcott

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    Extraneous as this question may be, one proposition for ending the 'homosexual marriage' debate, as well as unrecognized polygymous arrangements, or differing age requirements by state, is to simply cancel the idea of marriage as a legal institution altogether, and see from a legal standpoint nothing but an implied contract when 2 (or more) people live together as spouses. If that were to ever happen, would y'all who say a couple must be legally married to be regarded as married in the church, still say that? (in which case no one would be married), or would you still officiate and attend weddings even if they are not legally recognized as marriage?
     
  9. Brice

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    I agree w/ SFIC, as long as there is a legal means to obtain a marriage agreement then they should do so. One question that aligns with Alcott's is, if there are no legal means then would a couple still be living in sin? Just a thought.
     
  10. MRCoon

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    I'm troubled that this couple is relying on benefits from a previous marrige and as such don't legally follow through with a licensed marriage...in my book that is lying and stealing. Even if they were married by a pastor or whomever for practical purposes but not for legal purpose it is still a lie and God can't bless a marriage with this as a acceptable alternative.

    Though, allowing them into Church as members would be fine with me but they would not be allowed to serve in any capacity. I would add that any "sin in the camp" can cause trouble especially if other members know of it and no action is taken to discipline them for it.
     
  11. jshurley04

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    Knowing what you have said about them in the past and what they have tried to do in other churches then I would want to see the marriage license. I would also counsel them greatly and make sure that they know that if it ever comes out that they lied to the church, discipline would follow from the body. Then I would give myself a week to pray over the situation before consulting with my spiritual counsel in the church.

    While it is the state that makes a marriage legal, it is God that instituted marriage. As far as I am concerned, if the legal definition of marriage changes then that does not change what the Bible says and what the church body may or may not recognize. Marriage will always exist in the eyes of God and thus the church should always recognize marriage. Therefore, a couple may still live in sin no matter what the state says.
     
  12. BroShane

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    If they have been legally married and can produce a license, and they are willing to make a public confession for the sins of lying and living together while not being married, then I would have no problem with them joining.
     
  13. jshurley04

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    I would be much more wary than that. They have a history of deception.
     
  14. Brother Ian

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    I would be extremely cautious. From the information provided, they are using the system in a deceptive manner.

    The only benefit I can think of from a previous spouse would be alimony. I have a hard time believing someone would think that its okay to lie and say they were brother and sister, then secretly marry, but tell the minister not to send the license in. I can't imagine a minister doing that anyway, but . . .

    I keep hearing the robot from Lost in Space . . .

    DANGER, DANGER, DANGER
     
  15. mcdirector

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    What a mess they've made for themselves. They have put themselves in a position where they have to produce a marriage certificate to join a church. How sad.
     

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