Question about ethics

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Jereynolds, Aug 26, 2012.

  1. Jereynolds

    Jereynolds
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    My father died in December of 2011 at 53 his widow, my stepmother how is in her early 40's has just married the pastor of the church the she and my dad were going to. He is a younger guy and presided over my dad's funeral and then helped counsel my stepmother. Would anyone consider this a breach of ethics on the pastor's part? or am I wrong for thinking this. I am not angry just dissapointed.
     
  2. Scarlett O.

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    A breach of ethics would be if this pastor had an affair with your step-mother while counseling her. His marrying her after nine months of your father's passing is not a breach of ethics. A breach of ethics would be if he took advantage of her grief.

    It's painful sometimes when our parents remarry after becoming widows and widowers.

    But unless there is something that you haven't told us or that you don't know about - I see no ethical problem as long as he was free to marry and since she, scripturally speaking, was free to marry.
     
  3. Revmitchell

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    It looks questionable.
     
  4. Yeshua1

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    Indeed, for if nothing else, the pastor should have allowed time for her to grieve thru that process, and perhaps should have reffered her out if he had a physical/emotional attraction towards her!
     
  5. menageriekeeper

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    Let me first tell you that I am also a recent widow (my husband died in July) and now I'll give you my opinion:

    I'm sensing some sour grapes on your part.

    Where were the questions when your step-mother began seeing this man? (my kids are already making plans for any eventual man that might want to start a relationship with me, even as they realize it might be a possibility at some point in the far future. I'm only 48)

    Are you having these questions because you consider her rather quick new relationship to be a breech of loyalty to your father? (it would be the first idea in my grown and almost grown children's heads)

    When you father married your step-mother, did you ask the same sorts of questions about their relationship?

    Now, from my perspective, I HAD the perfect man as imperfect as he could be at times. I find no need, at least at this time, for another such relationship. *I* am in the vast minority among women. Nature calls more strongly for some women than others. Some women have a phsycological need for the security that a marriage relationship brings. And there is nothing wrong with that. Paul says it's better to marry than to burn. He says that young widows should remarry if only to keep them busy and out of the gossip circles!

    The fact that you think this relationship occurred much to quickly, doesn't mean it actually did. God does things in His timing not ours. What you should be asking yourself is: what can I learn from my discomfort with the relationship? What can I do to show the love due to a sister and brother in Christ even though I don't like how the relationship happened? How can I seperate this new relationship from the one she had with my father?

    Those are productive questions. The OP questions seem to me to be aimed at tearing down rather than building up.
     
  6. Yeshua1

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    Sorry to read about your husband passing recently!

    Think his concerns are valid IF the Pastor though somehow used her emotional distress to " get to her" at that time....

    IF they felt a mutual attraction, and getting emotional bonded, think better course to have him step out of the way and have another pastor/counsolr assist her though...
     
  7. menageriekeeper

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    I understand your concern, but I'm not seeing that the pastor continued to counsel the woman once their relationship was established or that he used it to begin a relationship with her.

    The OP says that he did (past tense) preach the funeral and counsel the woman. My preacher could be said to have done the same thing. He stood by us through the funeral and continues to call occasionally to check on us. That counts for counseling right? Does that mean we are beginning a relationship???? I don't think so!!! :eek: We'd both be horrified at the idea. (esp since my preacher is married!!)

    In the case of the OP we don't have enough of the story to lay blame of an ethics violation on anyone.
     
  8. Yeshua1

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    I agree with you, its just that I seemed to have 'read between the lines"

    Nothing could have been done wrongly by the pastor, but only him and God really knows!
     
  9. Iconoclast

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    :thumbsup::thumbsup:Well said
     
  10. abcgrad94

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    I agree with Scarlett O. Unless there's more there that you aren't telling us, then the pastor has done no wrong.

    A friend of ours recently re-married after losing his wife 6 or 8 months ago. My first reaction was disgust, because on the surface it seemed if he had loved his first wife, he would have grieved longer before taking another bride. But, his first wife had been ill for many years and had mostly lived in hospitals and care homes. He was left with a 5-year old daughter to raise alone. His first wife was a dear woman and would have wanted him to be happy, and to have a mother for their child.

    Maybe you have not yet finished grieving, so it amazes you to think your stepmother has "moved on" so to speak with another man. It's okay. Different people grieve differently and have different needs. Grief is certainly not a "one size fits all" thing. I'm sure you miss your father very much and this will take a while to absorb and accept. Give yourself some time, and try to be happy for them even though you're hurting.
     
  11. Jereynolds

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    Actually, I had hoped she would meet someone and move on. She was my stepmother but her and my father had married long after I had already left the house and started a family of my own so there was really not to much of a close relationship between us besides the fact that she made my dad happy. The timing doesn't necessarily bother me either...I do feel like it may have been a little soon but I feel this way because she was still within the grieving process. My question of ethics does not concern her at all but rather the pastor. I perhaps was not clear in my OP but he was helping her through the grieving process through counseling, which in my opinoin puts him in a sesitive position. I just feel as if the whole situation is questionable since they moved straight from the grief counseling to marriage.

    In my OP I stated that I was not angry just dissapointed...I have not confronted my stepmom or the pastor about any of this....they are already married so what would be the point. I was just questioning on whether or not some would consider this a breach of ethics on the pastors part or not.
     
  12. Jereynolds

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    I guess my OP was not clear enough so I apologize. Let me make sure I understand correctly...the pastor was in the process of giving her grief counseling and then they got married, the consensus is that this is ok and ethical?
     
  13. menageriekeeper

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    If he was still in the process of counseling her, then the wise thing would have been for him to hand off her counseling to someone else and then ask her out. He shouldn't have started a relationship at the same time he was counseling her. Too much room for manipulation otherwise. And if he has manipulated her, that'll come back to cause trouble later on in their relationship. At this point I don't see that you can do anything except sit back and watch and be ready to offer your step mother support when/if she needs it.
     
  14. Jereynolds

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    I agree and it was not my intent to start this thread as an opening or a way to validate any action on my part. They are already married, I do not attend the church where the pastor resides (Church of Christ) so in reality there would be nothing productive about my saying anything. I was only interested in the general opinion of how others would perceive this. Thanks for being straight forward.
     
  15. Oldtimer

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    I agree with others, that based on the information provided there's nothing unethical about their marriage.

    Our pastor does grief counseling, too. As a general rule, this is only a few sessions that closely follow the death of a loved one. I'd probably be questioning the ethics if they had married within a few weeks, maybe a couple of months. However, from the amount of time that's passed, I don't see any reason to question the ethics of either one of them.

    One thing that hasn't been mentioned is were they good friends before your father's death? Sometimes good friends (in the proper sense of the word) will draw closer to each other in a situation like this one. From the instances that I've seen, rather than questioning ethics, the general reaction is to be glad they found each other.

    Definitely I wouldn't mention this to either of them or to anyone else who can bring this up as a controversal issue within his church. Certainly, the membership of his church is aware of the situation. Either they'll accept and give their support or they'll reject him. It's their decision and they've had the opportunity observe the outward signs of their pastor's relationship as it evolved. Please don't give any ammunition to the "gossip corner" without any valid proof that ethics were violated.

    And..... If you bring this up to either of them and there was nothing wrong it can cause much hurt. Again, based on the information given, you have no idea how much soul searching each of them did before making this committment to each other. Nor how hard it was for them to work through this with each other. Instead of questioning them, give them the benefit of the doubt, and pray that God will bless their marriage.

    A while back my SIL died after a long bout with cancer. Knowing her, I know she's smiled when my brother began dating again. She wouldn't have wanted him to be alone after her death. Perhaps, your father is smiling, too.
     
  16. Mexdeaf

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    Oh, they are CoC? You should have mentioned that first-


    HANG the devil! :laugh:
     
  17. Bobby Hamilton

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    Is this process the same for everyone?

    I think that's a pretty big assumption.
     
  18. Winman

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    Was the pastor unethical? I don't think so. Was the pastor unwise? Maybe.

    It is never a good idea to get involved with anyone who is recently divorced or widowed. Someone who is recently divorced or widowed are "not themselves" for a while. It takes awhile to adjust to a new life. People tend to fling themselves at anyone who shows them attention, when that person may not be right for them.

    Regardless, what is done is done, the best thing you can do is continue to have a good relationship with your step-mother. Perhaps you will really like this new husband and he will become part of your life.

    Give it time and see.
     
  19. Jereynolds

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    As stated before I have no plans on making an issue out of this with either of them. I was just curious as to how others would view the situation. I think the Pastor is a good and likeable guy and next time I am home there will be no bitterness towards him on my part, heck we will probably drown some bait in the river and slap hands over BBQ.
    With that being said...I still think that he was wrong to be courting her while giving her grief counsel despite however good his intentions might have been. I believe that Pastors are held to a higher standard and as her pastor and counselor he holds what can be viewed as a position of advantage over her. Whether or not this was his intent is not the issue. My opinion is in agreement with what another poster wrote and that if he had felt physically and/or emotionally attracted to her then he should have referred her to someone else for counsel before pursuing her. Then again, I guess no matter how I argue this one I am going to get the "Don't be bitter" posts.
    ...sigh... should have made it a theoretical question. :tonofbricks:
     

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