Would you marry this couple?

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Zenas, Jan 14, 2015.

  1. Zenas

    Zenas
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    A couple comes in and wants to get married. Neither of them is a member of your church. Do you marry them? Does if matter if neither is a Christian? Does it matter if only one is Christian?

    One member of the couple is a member of your church and the other is not a Christian. What then? What if the other person is a Methodist? Catholic?

    I'm just curious how the pastors here view these issues, especially in view of Paul's admonition to the Corinthians, "Do not be bound together with unbelievers."
     
    #1 Zenas, Jan 14, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 14, 2015
  2. annsni

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    I can tell you how my husband and our church has dealt with these issues:

    If a couple is not part of the church, they cannot get married in our church building. We are happy to go to another location for the ceremony and my husband has done weddings at homes and at our yacht club.

    If they are both unsaved, that is fine. If one is a Christian and the other not, he more than likely would not do the wedding.

    Additionally, any time my husband does a wedding, premarital counseling is required. We do it together with the couple and we have had to do it in a shorter timeframe, over the internet/phone and sometimes have had to travel to do it. But it gets done. He won't do a wedding without this.

    If they are not a Christian, he will not do the wedding. If they attend another church and believe in the orthodox teachings of the Scriptures and are saved, he is happy to do the wedding.

    What we've found in the past is that those who claim to be Christians and are marrying an unbeliever are not as "unequally yoked" as we may think. More than likely, the "Christian" is either not walking with the Lord at this time or never was in the past. But bottom line, hubby will marry two believers and two unbelievers but will not marry a believer to an unbeliever.
     
  3. PreachTony

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    To the best of my knowledge, my church requires either one of the people getting married to be a member, or to have a family member who is a member of the church. If the couple is of differing faiths, then they cannot be married. For the most part, (I hesitate to say "every time" because I just don't know) a couple living together prior to marriage would not be eligible for marriage at my church.

    Now, I'm speaking as a home preacher and not as an ordained man, so I'm just going off best recollection.
     
  4. Tom Bryant

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    Long answer...

    I will only a couple where both are believers. They have to do 6 counseling sessions and attend our church for the 2 months prior to their wedding. We don't allow non-members to use our facilities. We don't allow them to go to another church because if they were regular attenders at the church, why wouldn't their pastor do the service.

    I have refused a few times even when both are believers because they are either not ready for marriage or, after counseling with them, in my opinion doomed to failure. I've refused 3 times and in all 3 times they have gotten married somewhere else anyway. And in all 3 times, they were divorced within 2 years.

    If one is a believer and the other is not, I will attempt to win the unsaved one to Christ, but if he/she is not saved, I won't marry them because a marriage that begins with disobedience to Scripture will more than likely end in disobedience to Scripture.

    I have done weddings when both are unsaved, but not in the church and they also have to go through counseling and attendance at church. That pretty much stops most unsaved couples from going any farther.
     
  5. Jkdbuck76

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    I was standing in line at Chipotle one night and three women were running their pastors into the dirt, complaining about how they all had to go to premarital counseling and how much they hated it and what a waste they thought it was. I JUST about said "ladies, you are the reason preachers quit", but I didn't.

    A preacher has to answer for everything he does, including the folks he marries. Premarital counseling is a way to help. And shame on people who run their preachers into the dirt.

    Sent from my KFTT using Tapatalk
     
  6. annsni

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    JD - That's sad and I'm sorry to say that I might just have said something to them.

    We also do not marry couples without counseling. It's a vital step in the process and we've actually done "premarital counseling" with young married couples who have come into our church after their wedding and they did not have the counseling and guidance to get them off on the right foot. It's the exact same information with a little bit added/changed.
     
  7. Reformed

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    We will not marry a non-member. That eliminates many of the other issues your raised.
     
  8. convicted1

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    I would not marry a couple where one is a sinner and the other is a christian...

    I would marry a couple if both were sinners, but only after giving them some Godly counselling...

    I would marry a couple if they're both saved...duh...
     
  9. Earth Wind and Fire

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    You would perfer them to go to a secular source to perform the ceremony then. Or go to aliberal church that condones God knows what. For all intents and purposes, you have now taken a perfect opportunity to convert a couple and trounced it.
     
  10. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Define sinner.
     
  11. convicted1

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    One who sins. :smilewinkgrin:
     
  12. Earth Wind and Fire

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    That would be All of Us!:smilewinkgrin:
     
  13. Reformed

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    Hogwash.

    I never said we would not counsel the couple. You injected that yourself. If the result of counseling them results in their conversion and joining the church then we may very well marry them. However if they are not members of the church we will not marry them.

    The state our church is located in has legalized same-sex marriage. The elders have anticipated future legal action against churches that refuse to marry individuals of the same gender. At present the prudent thing to do is limit marriage to members only. Eventually the prevailing culture will catch up with the church and force local churches either to cave or disobey. I pray to God that does not happen, or if it does happen that faithful churches will choose to disobey and willingly suffer for Christ.
     
  14. annsni

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    I agree with Reformed that in this climate of our culture, setting a rule that you will only marry members is a logical way to avoid lawsuits later on when homosexuals will be setting up churches to disobey the Word of God.
     
  15. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Paul Simon song...... "Slip Sliding Away" keeps playing in my head.:smilewinkgrin:
     
  16. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Already here....
    Look at the Episcopal Church!
     
  17. annsni

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    It's interesting. A friend of mine has a daughter who is supposed to be a Christian and she was marrying a non-Christian. They went to their pastor to ask him to do the wedding and he wouldn't do it. He approached it all kindly and with grace and asked to meet with the couple and counsel them but he said that he just couldn't marry them. They got all upset, left the church and the couple were married elsewhere. I just found out that the guy was an absolute scam artist (so much so that there is a website against him) and he stole a ton of money from her and was extremely unkind to her 6 year old daughter. She is looking to get her marriage annulled. I wonder what would have happened had she listened to that pastor.
     
  18. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Probably been uncovered by a Background check....and being unkind to a child is unforgivable.....that should ha e e'en a clue to her.
     
    #18 Earth Wind and Fire, Jan 26, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 26, 2015
  19. annsni

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    He was wonderful to her before the wedding - like an amazing dad for her. SO sad.
     
  20. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Sorry to hear that.....hope she grows closer to God through this exercise. HE is our true refuge and strength.
     

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