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Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Salty, Jun 16, 2005.
Do you have a checklist for a wedding. Are there considerations you will not budge on?
Two that I will not budge on---doesn't matter if someone holds a gun on me and tells me to perform the wedding or "I'll shoot you!!"---I'll tell them to go ahead and pull the trigger
1) No homosexuel weddings or ceremony---period---end of discussion
2) If the couple is committing adultery/fornication---"shackin'" up, if you'd rather---living together---co-habitating----I will not perform the wedding---period---end of discussion----until they repent of that sin--and I see clear(and it will have to be clear) evidence that the two have repented--turned away from that sin---are not living---shackin' up---commiting adultery with each other!! End of discussion!! Period!!
While it's obvious this poll was meant only for those who are pastors-- or at least ministers-- I made a vote, though I am not of either category, though I have preached about 50 sermons before. The results cannot be read without voting.
But if I were a minister, knowing it is inevitable that I would be asked to do these things, I would probably consider it a bane. While I would not officiate a wedding for just anybody who requested it, I think if I was so demanding that a couple which admitted they had had sex would have to repent and come back in 3 months, I know that would just be leaving the 'legal' aspects of getting married to judges or Vegas-style chapels to whom such morality issues never matter.
while it seems to have become a trendy requirement over the last decade or 2 to 'require conseling sessions' before the ceremony, I think I would require only one. I would see my responsibility being just to know who it is I am marrying; that they are entering the covenant with proper intentions [I just changed that from "in good faith"], that they understand marriage is ordained by God and is meant to last as long they both live. I don't know just what these multiple sessions usually required delve into, but I really don't see it's a minister's job to be an expert in predicting all the midunderstandings and selfishness occasionally exploding, et al, and how to handle these uprising [this is my hunch about what all the sessions are about]. More than likely there is something included about giving at least 10% of your combined gross income in order to assure eternal financial blessings, or something like that, as a big part of why they require some of these sessions.
So, a questions about this... If you perform weddings, do you require conseling sessions? how many? and if you haven't always required this, what are the different results you have observed in the couples before this requirement and after?
I do require counseling if I am to perform a wedding. However, the past generation did not seem to hold as strongly to this idea. When my wife and I went to her pastor for counseling 33 years ago this week!!!...he said, you two are both Bible college students, so you don't need counseling. If anything Bible college students may need it even more than others.
What leads you to that conclusion? Anything other than that you were a bc student?
Are you and your wife still married? If so, you have stayed together 33 years without receiving premarital couseling while you claim that you both were the type that "need it even more than others"? So then, what is the logic in your 'requiring' it if you are going to do a wedding?
if a couple is shacked up, especially if they have children, then isn't marriage the only biblical solution to make things right?
perhaps I am not understanding you. I understand their need to repent and confess their sinful lifestyle but would you refuse to perform a marriage but repentance is turning away from a sin, that means either they get married or one of them moves out until after marriage right? Isn't marriage the route to repentance for that situation?
Can you really say I wont marry you two until you get right with your living conditions.... by getting married.
Alcott, your remark about tithing being a big part of why premarital counseling is required was below the belt. Of course, you know that's not true.
You haven't been to seminary and received training in pastoral counseling, so of course, you don't know why premarital counseling is important.
One of the main reasons I require counseling is because I do not promise I will perform the wedding until AFTER counseling is completed. I have refused to marry a number of couples because it became clear to me in counseling that they were not ready for each other. As you can imagine, they went elsewhere. I have yet to regret a SINGLE case where I refused to marry someone, even though it meant losing them from our church. I only regret that there were other churches whose weak convictions married people who were not ready. In every case, those marriages hit the rocks hard.
This was especially hard because I only marry members of our church. I do not marry people who are not members of our church or related to members of our church. When I get a phone call, I simply tell the people that I only marry members of our church. I don't want to waste their time. Marriage is a sacred rite performed in the church. It is not a civil service I provide. It is not an opportunity to get a captive audience to witness to.
alcott speaks ignorantly I do agree. Permarital counseling has nothing to do with tithe or making people join a Church. premarital counseling is an advice session helping young couples who are nothing more than "fools in love" that still feel that "love is all they need and there will be no problems ever" cope and deal with the differences of opinion that they will eventually find out they have. Matters such as financial disagreements, learning to trust in Jesus when times get hard, how to recognize your spouse has needs or is in pain (something that men especially are not born with the ability to do for the most part) and how to adapt when you find out that your spouse is not the perfect human you once thought they were (you never really know a person until you have lived with them for a time). these are the things that usually help young couples decide that they have made a grave mistake in marriage... This helps them understand that hard times will come, broken hearts will exist, and shattered dreams may arise but togehter with Jesus they can make all things work.
How you ever gonna know #2 for sure Blackbird?
And how many-- or what percentage-- of the ones you did perform "hit the rocks hard?"
And when you say you "only marry members of our church," do they both have to be members? or if one isn't, s/he has to join it first?
What is the upper bound of being "young" and what are the upper and lower bounds of being "fools?"
If you guys think you have snap answers for the inevitable conflicts, maybe you need to file them under the "Troubleshooting" chapter of your How to Live as a Married Couple books.
In the meantime, would you argue that premarital couseling is something completely extrabiblical, and the Bible's most noted married couples-- Abraham and Sarah, Boaz and Ruth, David and Bathsheba, Joseph and Mary....-- hardly knew each other at the time of marriage, or like Isaac and Rebekah, not at all. Whether they were fools in love is just an opinion.
I perform marriages only of those who are either faithful church members of my church or of another Bible believing Church.