What is your Wedding policy?

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Greg Linscott, Mar 9, 2004.

  1. Greg Linscott

    Greg Linscott
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    What is your policy for performing weddings?

    Church members only?
    Divorced and remarriage?
    Counseling requirements?

    No debates, please! Just give us what you do (or would/will do).
     
  2. Johnv

    Johnv
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    I'm not a pastor, but here's my church's wedding dept info:

    Church members only? No. All persons desiring a Baptist Christian wedding are welcome. However, church members are not charged a rental fee for use of the sanctuary, while non-members are.

    Divorced and remarriage? The church does not turn away persons who were previously married, who are seeking a Baptist Christian wedding. However, it requires members to undergo marital counseling with a pastor of the church. Persons whose divorce was caused by adultery of one of the parties are not allowed to marry in the church, and will have to seek another venue.

    Counseling requirements? Generally, none as a prerequisite, except in cases of remarriage. However, the officiating pastor will meet with the couple for an interview. A pastor who has concerns will generally recommend counselling, if he feels it is necessary. A pastor can refuse to perform a wedding if he so chooses, on a case by case basis. The church does offer premarital counselling with a pastor, and also has a resource for christian counselling with a licensed professional at a discounted rate.
     
  3. Bro Tony

    Bro Tony
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    I do perform weddings for those outside our church family, but both parties must profess Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

    I do perform weddings for those who have gone through divorce after several sessions of counseling and I am sure they understand where they have been and what brought them to that place.

    I require 6 hours of counseling. Although I did set that aside one time for a 90 year old man and a 89 year old woman. [​IMG] [​IMG]

    My thinking hteywould make it.
     
  4. KimS

    KimS
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    JohnV wrote:
    I thought that the only scriptural divorce allowed was when one partner committed adultery, otherwise it isn't permissible. Why does your church turn these people away but marry people who were divorced for other reason?

    Not debating, just curious. :confused:

    Kim
     
  5. amen_corner

    amen_corner
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    I heard about an old pastor who had only performed 25 weddings in 50 years of ministry. In case you're wondering, this isn't a joke! He only performed 25 weddings. Why? Because of the commitments he asked the couple to make before he would agree to do the wedding.

    First, they had to commit to keep Jesus in the center of their marriage, and faithfully serve Him as husband and wife.

    Second, they must never mention to word "divorce" no matter what. Even in the worst arguments and disagreements, this word was not allowed to even enter into their thinking.

    Third, if the marriage was in trouble, the couple would call him before doing anything. No matter where he lived, he expected a call first.

    Then he shared with the couple his commitment to them. If they ever did divorce, then he would spend the rest of his life praying that God would kill them, so that they could no longer be an unworthy testimony of Christ.

    Don't know if it's true or not, but they say that most couples walked right out...and the 25 that allowed him to marry are still together!
     
  6. TaterTot

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    KimS,
    My understanding was that if one of the two getting remarried had been the aulterous one in the relationship, that they couldnt get married in the church. I'm sure JohnV will clarify.

    My husband's policy is:
    anyone who desires to have a Christian marriage and completes 3 sessions of counseling - he will marry. Now "Christian marriage" means that both are Christians and that the couple wants to have a God-centered relationship.
     
  7. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    Policy - if a couple wants to "do right" by the laws of God and society and get married, I will help them.

    Rules I've adopted for Christian wedding -
    1 - I will not marry couple if one is born again and the other not
    2 - I will not marry sodomite/lesbian couples
    3 - I will not marry unless they have at least one counseling session with me to go over the vows, what they mean, etc
    4 - I will marry a couple privately (home, park) if bride is pregnant
    5 - I will not marry a couple "shacking up" or already have kids out of wedlock unless they express repentance and remorse for their action

    Note: I do perform "civil" ceremonies at the request of the courts (as justice of the peace). In those I cannot pray or use religious terms and have very strict mandated requirements. But these are rare. I do 25-50 weddings a year and usually only 1-2 would be "civil".
     
  8. Johnv

    Johnv
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    Generally, it's adultery or abandonment.
     
  9. Grace

    Grace
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    My pastor requires six months of counseling.
     
  10. Johnv

    Johnv
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    Yes. My understanding at our church is that, if one of the parties was in an adulterous relationship that was the cause of the divorce, the pastor won't marry them. But these types of decisions are made by the pastor on a case by case basis. For example, years ago, a woman had committed adultery on her husband, but she repented and they did not divorce. Years later, her hudband left her for another woman. In this case, the woman was allowed to remarry, since it had been ten years since her marrriage ended, she had repented of her adultery, and it was not her adultery that resulted in divorce.
     
  11. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    Here is summary:

    I will only marry couples where

    1) both parties are saved and living obediently (at least outwardly).
    2) both parties are regularly attending members of a church, and at least one is a regularly attending member of this church.
    3) both parties demonstrate in a counseling relationship that they have an understanding of biblical marriage and demonstrate the commitment and willingness to carry it out.
    4) both parties agree to ongoing "check ups" after the marriage. The counseling doesn't end with "I do."

    I will only marry couples that I believe demonstrate the willingness to "make it" long term.

    I will not marry couples if:

    1) one of them is unsaved.
    2) one of them is not regularly attending a good church of which they are a member.
    3) the denominational backgrounds are substnatively dissimilar (i.e., Baptist w/ church of God, or Lutheran, etc.).
    4) they do not intend to remain in the membership of this local church (exception for it they plan to move away to a different locale).
    5) they are living together or involved in ongoing immorality.
    6) they demonstrate an unfaithfulness to the counseling appointments, thereby showing a lack of maturity and desire to do it right. (If you can't keep a one hour appt., how will you keep a life long marriage??).
    7) they show an hesitancy in any area of biblical obedience to the marriage relationship.

    I will not marry a couple if I think they will eventually end up getting divorced.

    As for divorced people, I will remarry them based on the above requirements, with the addition of requiring them to deal biblically with their divorce and the sins that caused it. I would deal with this on an individual basis, assessing each individual as to whether or not I would marry them.

    I think one overlooked area of this divorce and remarriage issue is tellign the couple "I won't marry you" or "I won't marry you in church" but we allow them to be members ... so if you go and get married somewhere else, you will still be welcome in the membership. To me, that is inconsistent. If you will let them join the church, why wouldn't you marry them? I would perhaps make a distinction here about public weddings vs. private weddings.
     
  12. GODzThunder

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    Church members only?
    I will marry a member or a non-member with no qualms but I must consider my Church's policy on using the facilities found in the constitution. It states that only members can use our Church facilities. Non-members would have to find another facility or get the approval of the Church Council. Personally I like to perform all marriage cerimonies in a Church.

    Divorced and remarriage?
    I will meet with divorced couples prior to the wedding and discuss their reasons for divorce and the totality of committment they are willing to put into this new marriage. I know that determined couples will get married one way or another and I perfer it to be under God's witness rather than under the state's. I will also at this time bring into view their children's welfare concerning this marriage should they have children. I will not perform any marriage where I see a wide possibility of unfaithfulness, a large problem or conflict between children (I will counsel the children and try to resolve the issue) or if I see that they are getting married for the wrong reasons (of an unbiblical nature).

    Counseling requirements?
    I counsel ALL candidates for marriage regardless. They are required by me to meet three to six times (depending on what I see need) to examine all possible events such as how will it be different sharing your life with someone different than you, annoying habits, why do you want to be married, etc. If they refuse to take this counseling then I see that as a lack of wanting to committ. Since I do not charge for either wedding or counseling, there is no reason to not want to talk about their future together.
     
  13. dclark14

    dclark14
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    Some time ago I set the rule that I only marry members of the church.People would come to me with all sorts of stories, and to clarify my own thinking I decided that-since I was called as the shepherd of this particular congregation I would confine my ministry to it- in this case.Marriage is too great a decision and commitment for me to be "Marryin' Sam".Since membership in our church first requires 6 months of regular attendance,both I and the couple will know each other better and will be more certain of God's will for them.I require that they meet with me and go through a video course on Christian Marriage.This course either deepens their relationship and understanding of Christian marriage, or it gives them cause to re-evaluate their relationship and plans. I have married couples with divorce in one or the other's past, but am careful to make clear when divorce is allowed by scripture. I have married those who are co-habiting, but only if repentance is evident.(The latest couple is now attending worship and their first child is due this week). It is a joy to be instrumental in making a wrong situation right!For those who finally decide that these rules are not for them, I always advise that a civil ceremony is just as legal a marriage.
     
  14. brobobby

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    I do counsel with a couple but usually only once.

    I also do not marry anyone who is divorced and has a living spouse.

    Romans 7 is still for today. They are bound as long as they liveth.

    I believe that Matthew 19 talks about scriptural divorce but never mentions remarriage. That is an assumption.

    Those are my convictions. Pray that God will direct you on who to marry and who not to.
     

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