Pastors, what would you do?

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Pastor_Bob, Mar 4, 2005.

  1. Pastor_Bob

    Pastor_Bob
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    We had a tremendous revival this past week. Evangelist Jack Parchman from Little Rock, Arkansas was our guest preacher. He brought salvation messages each and every service. We had a total of (10) folks saved. (4) adults and (6) teens.

    Last night I visited two families to discuss baptism and church membership. One of the visits was at the home of a 34 year-old lady who had trusted Christ along with her twin daughters age 12. She had never been to our church although her children had come for VBS the past few summers.

    During the visit, I am informed that the man living in the home for the past 11 years is not this lady's husband. The man, by his own testimony, is not saved although he does attend the local Methodist church "nearly every Sunday morning."

    This dear lady asked me two questions that I answered for her that evening. I am interested in how other pastors might have answered. Here are the questions as they were asked me:

    1. Will you marry us? [She has been married once before; he has been married twice before. There are no children as a result of this relationship, she has 4 of her own; he has 1]

    2. Should I wait to get baptized and join the church until after I get married?

    How would you answer?
     
  2. PastorGreg

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    #2 would be easy if it weren't for #1. Wow. If she is now a believer and he isn't, then it seems pretty obvious. The other stuff - just a sign of the mess our society is in. I would honestly have to tell her I'd get back to her and really seek God.
     
  3. dh1948

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    This matter will require some hard decisions. It is easy to say what I would do. It is more difficult to say for sure what I would actually do without knowing all the facts.

    Obviously, this "family" needs to be ministered to. I don't think I would write them off. There must be some way to redeem the situation.

    First, I think I would deal with the man about his salvation and relationship with God. If he truly accepted Jesus as His Savior, I would have no problem marrying them. If he did not, I would not perform the ceremony since I don't believe believers and non-believers should marry.

    Second, I think I would have to explain to the woman that she could not be a member of the church as long as she was co-habiting with the man. I would also have to explain my position on marrying saved/unsaved people.

    One other thing, assuming the woman is financially dependent upon her live-in, is the church obligated to help her if she should move out or force him to move out?

    This is a tough one, and all of us board members need to pray for God to give you an extra measure of wisdom, courage, and grace as you deal with it.
     
  4. Pastor_Bob

    Pastor_Bob
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    I totally agree. I have no intention whatsoever of "writing them off." The "man of the house" has been presented the gospel very clearly. He, as well as the mother, will be here tomorrow morning to see their children baptized.

    The lady sincerely wants to do right. The man just wants to go along with her, so I am not too assured about his seriousness in the matter.

    I have another visit planned this week. I welcome any and all suggestions.
     
  5. blackbird

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    Bro. Bob---the Lord is blessing---amen to that! As far as #1 is concerned---I, too would have to "get with God" on that one! One thing is crystal clear though in the word---and that is the idea of them "co-habitating" together will have to be thrown out the window!! The man---regardless of plans----will have to leave her house---find him a hotel, apartment, something---just get out of the house---until the Preacher pronounces them----"Husband and wife"

    #2 I believe you know the answer---but then again---#2 will depend on what the lady decides to do with #1!! If the man is still "shacked up"----and refuses to leave---no way would I baptize her and no way would I allow consideration for church membership!

    Unlike Captain Smith holding the fate and future of the HMS Titanic in his hands---the Lord Jesus Christ is deadly serious about His church---He is coming back for a spotless church---not some rusty ole "scawl" two miles underneath the ocean floor off the coast of Newfoundland!
     
  6. PastorGreg

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    Well stated, Blackbird.
     
  7. Dr. Bob

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    I marry folks almost weekly. Most have no connection with any church (a reality here in Casper where 70% do not regularly attend ANY religious service).

    I am the only ifb pastor "helping people do right" and the other pastors call and introduce me to good, faithful couples in their churches who need to get married, but because of divorce or illegitimate children in the picture, the pastor will not perform the ceremony.

    Of course, as soon as I marry them (privately in a home or park) THEN they are welcomed with open arms to serve and tithe back in the church where the pastor rejected them . . .

    I will not marry saved/unsaved. I will not marry if a "cult". I will not marry if there is not realization that their previous actions (living together, etc) were sinful. I will not marry without counseling the couple.

    In your case stated, I would not marry them. And I would not allow open sin (shacking up, as Dr Laura would say) to continue with a church member or perspective member.

    Repentance and a changed life (not perfect) are requirements before I would present this lady for membership. This isn't the Eagles Club or Rotary; this is the Church of Jesus Christ.
     
  8. Pastor_Bob

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    The couple was here today to see their children baptized. I brought a message from Hebrews 10 directed primarily at the saved but with a very clear presentation of the gospel and the need of salvation. I pray that the seed planted Thursday was watered so that God can give the increase very soon.

    I have a meeting with them Tuesday evening. I would ask that you please pray for this couple. William and Shawnna are their names.
     
  9. dianetavegia

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    Pastor Bob, I'll be praying for William and Shawnna and for your meeting this Tuesday night. Will you let us know how the meeting goes?

    Diane
     
  10. Link

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    What about the statement of Jesus 'he that marries her that is divorced commits adultery.' The passage doesn't even make an exception for fornication, as one of the passages does in the case of a man remarrying.
     
  11. Link

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    What about the statement of Jesus 'he that marries her that is divorced commits adultery.' The passage doesn't even make an exception for fornication, as one of the passages does in the case of a man remarrying.
     
  12. Pastor_Bob

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    UPDATE

    I was unable to visit with this couple on the Tuesday I mentioned because of sickness in their family. I went to see them this past Tuesday evening and William trusted Christ right there in his living room. They are wanting to get married soon and then join the church. They have been faithfyul to all of the services since our revival. Praise the Lord.
     
  13. gb93433

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    I always told couples that I required a series of counseliong sessions before I would consider marrying them. This avoided promoting the easy marriage and helped couples to have a successful marriage. During this time it gave me the opportunity to share with them the importance of the spiritual dimension and what makes marriages great. It gave me a time to ask them about their relationship with God.

    Sounds to me like the couple you are dealing with is right on track and its a matter of time before both of them will be trusting Christ. The lady may need some questions answered about what it means to follow Christ. Jesus never commanded one to be saved but to follow Him. That is the real issue anyway. I have baptized several who were clearly walking with God but could not pin point a place in time when they gave their life to Christ.
     
  14. Baptistpreacher

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    She should get baptized immeitly and no she should not marry a unsaved person
     
  15. dianetavegia

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    Pastor Bob! That is WONDERFUL news! I'd kept them in prayer and am so very happy to see this praise report!

    Another family for Jesus!
     
  16. Pastor_Bob

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    UPDATE

    William and Shawnna have been faithful for the past month. I sense in them a real desire to do right and have a godly home. I have had weekly counseling with them since our revival.

    I am going to marry them in my office tonight at 5:00 CST. They will be baptized and will join the church this Sunday.

    Thank you to those who prayed for this couple.
     
  17. Debby in Philly

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    Praise the Lord!
    I love happy endings! Or in this case, maybe a happy beginning? I pray that your congregation will wrap their arms of encouragement around them and help them find their place in the service of the Lord.
     
  18. PastorSBC1303

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    Pastor Bob thats great!
     
  19. TexasSky

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    Pastor Bob - I am so thrilled to read about William! Our God is truly an amazing God.
     

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