Your counsel is very helpful Joe. The other side of it is that on the issue of divorce and remarriage, we have our positions and convictions.
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I have no problem if someone takes a different position than I do. I do have a problem if it violates my convictions. Tew , one of the kindest men I have ever known. Everything you said Joe he said as well.
My rules are always simple… I dont delve into their past much, but do put myself squarely in their present. We meet and I express my qualifications to do the wedding, which have been whittled down over the years to a list of about 5 things they have to committ too one being 5 weeks of pre-marital counseling and 4 others that can be a challenge to many. I am at a place of peace when it comes to marrying folks, but it took 24 years.
Let me know Joe if any of the young guns want my steps … Love you and thanks again for your leadership…. Your comments on pastors in premarital counseling asking the couple if they are living together or are they sexually active. Do you think this steps over the lines of privacy. I have never been able to ask that question because it really is none of my business and out of repsect to the couple.
I have pastor friends who do and order a cease and deceist. Your thoughts please. There are no good answers that I know of to this, Gordon. Evade the issue and it feels cowardly. Bring it up and it feels like prying. Evasive, invasive—choose your poison. Joe: Good article and insightful. When asked to perform a ceremony for a couple pregnancies, living together etc I had to examine the hard and fast rule in my life.
Certainly I would. So why not extend love and concern to them and help with the wedding. It gave me an opportunity to share the gospel and witness that I would not have had otherwise. The Lord lead me to this site-Praise God! I have be asked to perform a wedding on a divorced man and never married woman-both saved, but not members of the church I pastor.
Still praying to see what God would have me do. Thanks for the Godly advice. Bro Joe, you bring up some good points. To the pastors here, my dad is a pastor so i have seen him pray over decisions such as this. Bro Joe, If you will remember you helped a young lady start the healing process when her husband abandoned her. To add insult to injury the pastor at her church, at the time of the divorce, informed her that she needed to find another church to attend.
That young lady and i were later married by my dad in the chapel at First Baptist here in Columbus. Churches should be the hospitals that the wounded freely and without fear come to for comfort and healing. I am thankful that we were able to get married in a church and start our marriage at the alter before God. I am thankful for my Dad who was willing to marry us. I am thankful that God led me to my wife. I am thankful for a God who forgives.
Using reason — seems most pastors would rather see a married couple than an unmarried pair living together. Of course, dispense with same sex marriage requests quickly They are rare anyway. Quit being so judgmental and marry them all. The only problem would be whether allowed in a church service or not. Marry them in the pastors study, in their home or reception hall and quit trying to use your pious thoughts to judge the reasons for their joining lives together under God. After the vows are made — Let God take over from there.
When I was a young pastor, our worship leader started a relationship with one of the young divorced mums in the church she had some 3 years earlier fled an abusive husband who had ended up in prison for the abuse.
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At first it all seemed like a friendship which was wholesome, but I found out that they were sleeping together. Rightly or wrongly, I challenged them on their behaviour and they claimed to have stopped and put their relationship right with the Lord. Some time later? Again, I had a very difficult decision to make, but felt on balance that to marry them was the most gracious course of action, so I conducted a marriage ceremony.
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That was about 25 years ago and they are still happily married and committed to each other — and to the Lord. I still worry about whether I handled things well or not, but am grateful to the Lord that my actions did not discredit the gospel or the church I pastored. I have now moved on, am older and not necessarily! I have read much in the comments above about the forgiveness of sin.
It is true that God forgives sin, but His forgiving sin does not give one the right to go ahead and do whatever they want after he or she has received forgiveness. There are consequences for sin.
The young pastor’s dilemma: Should I perform this wedding?
The Lord, in His Word, gives qualifucations for the office of deacon and pastor, and He gives clear instruction concerning marriage. Sin and forgiveness aside, does one meet the qualifications to do what they are doing? I think that is the important question. Dear sir, all that you have said here is very good, and I appreciate your input. I only want to make one suggestion.
Just about every denomination has a Statement of Faith posted or written somewhere for people to examine, and folks, if they are smart, will want to know what a church believes before getting involved. We recommend a civil marriage be considered by those in these two categories if they are determined to wed, although we are persuaded that couples that are surrendered to the Lord will be best equipped by God to enjoy the blessings of matrimony as they grow in grace and knowledge of His Word.
And if they DID opt for a civil marriage, they would always have the memory of such a clause in the church declaration that could possibly convict them of their need for Christ when the future trials come and they will come. I hope my suggestion can be helpful.
God bless. I divorced after a 30 year separation from my Ex. He molested both our children and several others. I have now met a Christian man who is a deacon in a church and does missionary work and we plan to be married.
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I was in this abusive marriage 16 years and tried to make it work till he was turned in to the police. For the protection of my kids I left and I feel God is a living God and knows that I did not go into my marriage light heartedly. And I feel My remarrying will have Gods Blessing.
I hope we find a minister that will be willing to marry us under the circumstances. Unable to say no to almost any demand, they stick their fingers in every pie and teeter on the constant edge of burnout. Often they and their families smolder with quiet resentment.
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But in a younger generation the pendulum has swung to the other extreme. I support a commitment to a reasonable workweek and a quantifiable job description, as well as a fair compensation package. But overstating these boundary concerns has, in some situations, implied that being a pastor is merely a job, a clock to punch, an agenda of tasks to address, and the church "the place where I go to work. It is difficult to build a spirit of partnership with a pastor who seems to regard himself as a mere employee.
Many new pastors do not tend to the art of relationship building, of establishing basic rapport and pastoral conversation. My wife, a pastoral psychotherapist, will ask in an initial session what brought the client to therapy, invite some narrative and commentary, and likely have some immediate insights into the situation.