Post # 1
I have such a long story. I guess I will start by saying my fiance and I have been living together for almost 4 years and have 2 children together. When he graduated from college in Va he moved back home and just kind of moved in with me without us having a formal discussion about it. Honestly it’s what I wanted anyway,. But we are both christians raised in church and knew better but….Well fast forward to present day and we get engaged on 12/12/12. I could’nt be happier and the planning I have been doing for years begins to take life. Well about a month and a half ago our pastor preached a sermon on christians and cohabitation, uh ohh. We are overwhelmed with guilt and schedule an appointment to speak with the pastor one on one to seek his advice( At the end of his sermon he makes a huge announcement saying he will make an exception to his rule of not marrying couples who co-habitate and have a mass wedding ceremony where no expense will be spared for couples who are in that situation currently) His advice? To get married ASAP. For obvious reasons I can not be trumped down the isle with 20 other brides and share a wedding day so we decline the mass wedding and decide to get married in his office in secret and continue with our wedding planning, what does the pastor say to that you ask? NO. We can’t even repent and do things the correct way. So it looks like we will be married in the courthouse, in secret and continue our wedding planning only now we have to wed somewhere else and not by any pastor we know personally. This sucks.
Post # 3
@KittyScott83: Girl, my first piece of advice is to find a new church! I am so sorry but your pastor is not in charge of passing out grace. God is. There are plenty of pastors out there who will marry you two. Call every church you know. Get married by a justice of the peace if you have to. I am a Christian as well, but this is nonsense. He is making up his OWN rules. Continue planning your wedding. Seek out venues or pretty churches around your metro area. Are other brides in the church also declining the mass wedding? Get with them and go out for coffee if so! Take a breath , it WILL work out, you just have some obstacles to overcome! Living with your FI is NOT the end of the world. Not the best situation sure, but not the worst either. Think, If you literally had no place to go but the streets I think God would rather you live with your FI! The Bible says Jesus is our High priest, he will forgive you if you are repentant. Your pastor has nothing to do with your level of heart repentance!! This makes me furious !I am so so sorry you even have to deal with this!
Post # 4
@KittyScott83: Find another pastor to marry you, either outdoors or in another church.
While I disagree with living together before marriage, your pastor is handling this in a heavy-handed and inappropriate way. If it’s against his conscience to marry you, then that’s his right. But he can’t stop you marrying somewhere else.
Post # 5
@deannaclaws: I was wondering if I was overreacting for not wanting to go back….ever. But it does seem like he is basically passing judgement on us and holding us accountable for our sins, which is not his place. If we are ready to repent and immediately live as God wants us to, I don’t see the problem. But I have been looking at places to have our ceremony and have found one that is really quite beautiful… it just sucks bc my FIs grandfather helped build that church before the current pastor was even there.
Post # 6
I just want to make sure that I understand. Your pastor said he will not marry you now, in a private ceremony in his office, but will only marry you in a mass ceremony with many other couples?
Post # 7
@KittyScott83: If it was me that would be an under-reaction. I’d probably be out front holding picket signs 🙂 But in all reality, no you are not over reacting. It is definitely God’s place to judge our hearts and to forgive us. The bible is very clear on that if you ask me.
I understand being disappointed since your grandfather helped build the church, however is there another way you could incorporate your grandfather into your wedding? If he is passed, and used a hankerchief or something a lot , or always wears a certain watch, you could have your groom have it tucked in or wear it?? Maybe something like that? Or if he is still living you could always try and give him his own little gift that is just something between you and him, and have your photographer photograph the moment in private. Then have the picture framed for him??
Post # 8
I’d seek out another church as well. Obviously your faith is important to you and as a PP stated grace is not dependent on your pastor’s opinion, its only God’s. Find some church that is accepting and protective of its community.
Post # 10
@dancingriss: It is very important. It really is heartbreaking to feel like we are outcasts because we are gulity of sin.
Post # 11
@deannaclaws: That is a great idea, I will talk with FI about it and see how he feels
Post # 12
@paula1248: Right, it looks like that is basically what is coming down to.
Post # 13
That’s really weird. a mass wedding sounds kind of….cultish.
Post # 14
Wow, how odd! As a Christian I also disagree with cohabitation, but your pastor’s reaction just seems ridiculous. Isn’t the point to have you two not live in sin? Shouldn’t that be the first priority? So why not marry you now, in your own little ceremony? That is just weird to me. o.O Sorry he’s coming at this in a way that in my opinion is borderline morally wrong by not marrying you now, and making this more difficult in process. I wish you all the luck in finding a new church to get married in.
Post # 15
deannaclaws: Reply # 2 —> ALL OF THIS
Girlfriend, the time has come to move on… sorry.
This is exactly the kind of “crappola” that made me stop being a card-carrying member of any church… I consider myself a “spiritual” christian in that I have a one-on-one relationship with God.
Sooooo much of what we have been told has been fed to us as children, and made up by man… this is a man (just a man… and one man at that) who is clearly decided he wants to stand in judgement of people in his congregation.
Shame on him
He is not God… he shall not stand in judgement.
A church is sooo much more than “a building” and “a pastor”… sadly far too many “in the biz” don’t understand that concept…
This man is not the church… this man is not judge & jury
This man is but a man. Sadly he has his priorities all mixed up…
As the saying goes… MONEY TALKS loudest… when MONEY WALKS
So stop filling up the collection plate… and go find another church that understands what the LOVE OF GOD really means.
That has a LOVING Pastor, who will welcome you both for who you are… and is happy that you and your man LOVE each other very much and want to honour that commitment to one another by getting married in a church of god, before all your friends & family… and have a celebration that is rejoyceful of that incredible life choice.
Dump this foolish pastor…
(lol, in time another one will come along at Grampa’s Church and if you like that person, you can return to “the building” that means sooo much to your family. That is what I don’t like about organized religion it is all run by a bunch of humans… and as such they make mistakes… the kind of mistakes that can hurt others. MY GOD doesn’t intentionally hurt anyone… my GOD is all about LOVE)
Hope this helps,