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Christian Weddings

Trouble with our Pastor and a "Shotgun Wedding"

Hello fellow Christian Ladies.  

I need some help.  My fiancee and I are newish Christians and have been living together for the past 5 1/2 years.  I am fully aware of the biblical implications, and since we came to Christ in March of last year, I've never once tried to pretend we were married, or said that we were doing the right thing. We've been honest with anyone who asked, and when they called us married, we both would say, "Not yet".   It is not financially feasible for us to live apart, and is not what God has told us to do in our prayers.   

We have both been allowed to serve in the children's ministry's at our church, and have become leaders/teachers to classes that we love, and are loved by the children we teach. We got engaged 12/30/12, and set the date as 9/14/13, which gave us enough time to afford a basic celebration and ceremony.  Our marital status has never been presented as a problem to any of the parents, and has never been brought up as a disqualification. 

And then this Sunday happened. We were called in to the Pastor's office, and he basically said we had to have a "Secret" ceremony in his office or we would no longer be able to continue our ministry until after our wedding in September.  He basically demanded that we do the "legal ceremony" by next week (he volunteered to pay for the license)  or he would pull us from our ministry and not allow us to serve in any areas of the church. He pretty much had no concerns for the already sparcly served area we work in, or the kids we teach, only that we "had decieved him" (another lie, as we'd never told anyone we were married) and that if he'd known (which he did) we wouldn't have been allowed to serve. 

When I told him that he was not only ruining the special moment that my future, but forcing me to lie to my family on the day of what should be my wedding, he flat out said "you won't be lying".  He then proceeded to say that "know one would know beyond him, his wife and the secretary", but if no one knows, then how does that change my status within the eyes of whomever complained within our church?  My Fiancee was so mad he could barely speak, and he agreed to comply with the pastor's demands.  His mother was even more upset than I was, when we spoke to her.  

Our Pastor is not only more or less blackmailing us into this, but he's putting us in a position to lie to my family and friends.  He's also lying when he says this will remain confidential, as I've already explained.  But my bigger concern is a spiritual one.  My Fiancee has said he is looking at this as simply signing paperwork, and that our actual wedding and anniversary will be when we are married in front of our families, as that will be when we say our vows truly in front of God, and in front of the people we love.  

How is some piece of paper, that is "of the world" worthy of showing us as married, when we won't be in God's eyes, until we give ourselves in his true presence and not because our Pastor wants to force his timing on us?   We are paying for the ceremony and all on our own, but I can't be the only person out there who thinks my Pastor is doing this wrong, am I?  More importantly, how do I deal with the fact that my pastor apparently thinks that lying is ok, when it's "for the right reasons"?


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Re: Trouble with our Pastor and a "Shotgun Wedding"

  • That's terrible.  I think that you should find another church. 
  • Welcome!

    He is accusing you of deceiving him, which you have not; and then he turns around and asks you to lie.  This is making you uncomfortable and for good reason.  Is this a big enough church that there is another pastor you could speak with who could act as mediator?  I would have a hard time following someone who encourages me to lie to my friends family.  It may be necessary find another church.  God bless.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_christian-weddings_trouble-with-our-pastor-and-a-shotgun-wedding?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:464687ae-7bc1-4360-9aea-999e11f1e1adDiscussion:272a1254-492b-4b96-8579-72416f89a5fbPost:64d9d4da-976b-48fe-aa60-525871f1ebd4">Re: Trouble with our Pastor and a "Shotgun Wedding"</a>:
    [QUOTE]Welcome! <strong>He is accusing you of deceiving him, which you have not; and then he turns around and asks you to lie.</strong>  This is making you uncomfortable and for good reason. <strong> Is this a big enough church that there is another pastor you could speak with who could act as mediator?</strong> <strong> I would have a hard time following someone who encourages me to lie to my friends family.  It may be necessary find another church. </strong> God bless.
    Posted by ochemjenn[/QUOTE]

    <div>I agree with everything here. I am sorry you are dealing with this.</div>
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  • monkeysipmonkeysip member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited January 2013
    That is really troubling.... I'm sorry you're dealing with this.

    If you or your pastor believes you're living in sin, (I'm not saying you are), then having a legal secret ceremony is not really going to change that.  I can't believe your pastor thinks that a technical wedding and a big church one later is the solution here.

    You need to explain to him that you want ONE ceremony... which will be legal, in front of God, and in front of your friends/family/the church. 

    I would explain how you feel, and if he can't accept that, maybe you need to back out of the ministry and find a new church.  I know that would be heartbreaking for you, but it seems like he would make you leave the ministry anyways, and I wouldn't want to continue at the church if your pastor would act like that.  Either way, don't do this "secret" ceremony thing.

    You didn't say whether you were sexually active or not, but you can still live together more as "brother and sister" until the wedding.  I know it's not always feasible for a couple to separate into seperate homes.

    I hope you can work this out and not have to give up the ministry at this church!

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  • lyndsay782lyndsay782 member
    100 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    edited January 2013
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_christian-weddings_trouble-with-our-pastor-and-a-shotgun-wedding?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:464687ae-7bc1-4360-9aea-999e11f1e1adDiscussion:272a1254-492b-4b96-8579-72416f89a5fbPost:64d9d4da-976b-48fe-aa60-525871f1ebd4">Re: Trouble with our Pastor and a "Shotgun Wedding"</a>:
    [QUOTE]Welcome! He is accusing you of deceiving him, which you have not; and then he turns around and asks you to lie.  This is making you uncomfortable and for good reason.  Is this a big enough church that there is another pastor you could speak with who could act as mediator?  I would have a hard time following someone who encourages me to lie to my friends family.  It may be necessary find another church.  God bless.
    Posted by ochemjenn[/QUOTE]

    <div>The only other pastor happens to be his son in law, and he will most likely agree with his FIL, even if he disagrees with his methods.  This situation is terrible all around.  I love the people in my church, and I know that they are not my pastor, and that's why this is so hard.  The only reason I don't want to leave is my dedication to the kids I teach and the members who truly respect us.  I will not allow the head pastor to preside over my wedding, and at this point, do not want the day I truly give myself to my FH to happen with this person at the helm, or even in the building.  I don't even want to be married in that church if he has to be there.</div><div>
    </div><div>My FH has taken the stance that this "paperwork" isn't our wedding, and that's why he's going through with it, but my concern is also for the other members of my congregation.  Who else is he lying to and manipulating?  He may call me a sinner or what ever he wants to call it, but this pastor is showing himself to be a controlling liar, and that to me, is much worse considering his position.  </div><div>
    </div><div>And that is my biggest concern.  Should we find a way to make an official complaint to the churches parent group?  Would they even listen or take his side, because of our (lack of) marital status? </div><div>
    </div>
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_christian-weddings_trouble-with-our-pastor-and-a-shotgun-wedding?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:464687ae-7bc1-4360-9aea-999e11f1e1adDiscussion:272a1254-492b-4b96-8579-72416f89a5fbPost:7e513a43-89e8-44ad-a5f8-6ba03f6e4b5d">Re: Trouble with our Pastor and a "Shotgun Wedding"</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Trouble with our Pastor and a "Shotgun Wedding" :  Should we find a way to make an official complaint to the churches parent group?  Would they even listen or take his side, because of our (lack of) marital status? 
    Posted by lyndsay782[/QUOTE]

    Do you know any of these people?  Is there anyone else in the church that you trust and can confide in?  Maybe they'd have better advice. 

    A complaint might be the right thing to do, but it also might make it difficult for you to stay there.  But I guess you risk that either way :(

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  • edited January 2013
    You shouldn't have to lie to anyone. In the area I live, once a month they print in the local paper all the names of everyone that has filed for a marriage license. So there was no hiding from anyone what we were doing. 

    This paster seems to be bullying into something that you don't want to do and encouraging you to lie to other people, but that doesn't seem like a very christian thing to do. As much as you love what you do, you really need to consider what the pastor is demanding and the impact that it will have on you. If he's willing to demand this of your marriage, what else will he demand of you in the future? 
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_christian-weddings_trouble-with-our-pastor-and-a-shotgun-wedding?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:464687ae-7bc1-4360-9aea-999e11f1e1adDiscussion:272a1254-492b-4b96-8579-72416f89a5fbPost:46463557-4718-419b-940a-7d5f02818c9b">Re: Trouble with our Pastor and a "Shotgun Wedding"</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Trouble with our Pastor and a "Shotgun Wedding" : Do you know any of these people?  Is there anyone else in the church that you trust and can confide in?  Maybe they'd have better advice.  A complaint might be the right thing to do, but it also might make it difficult for you to stay there.  But I guess you risk that either way :(
    Posted by monkeysip[/QUOTE]

    <div>I don't.  We are part of the Assemblies of God group, and I know that there is a district and all, but I also know that each church is supposed to be run (in theory) by its members,so really don't know if a complaint would do anything. I don't think there is a Bishop or anything like the Catholic organization.  I've never had this sort of issue before.  Unfortunately, I think the elders would all agree with the Pastor.   Which is another reason why I'm so disgusted with the leadership.  They all wanted us to be married in like 3 months, instead of letting us do things in a normal amount of time, and I'm pretty sure one or two of them came up with this idea.  To most of them the wedding wasn't a big deal, and didn't understand why it was to us.  Most of them have already been married, and don't seem to understand that it is important to both my fiancee and myself.  </div><div>
    </div><div>The only thing keeping us both at this church is our students.  And truthfully, after my class moves onward and upward when they turn 5 and leave my class, I can't promise I will want to stay at a church that allows a liar to lead it so blindly.   </div><div>
    </div><div>I actually just got a message from the Pastor's secretary, saying how "Happy they are that we made the right decision, and that they are grateful to have such dedicated teachers"... They sure have a funny way of showing it.  As I said, the FH is treating it as paperwork, and knows that we aren't married until we truly give ourselves willingly, but this bothers me way more than it seems to bother him.  </div>
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_christian-weddings_trouble-with-our-pastor-and-a-shotgun-wedding?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:464687ae-7bc1-4360-9aea-999e11f1e1adDiscussion:272a1254-492b-4b96-8579-72416f89a5fbPost:f8f2416f-16f7-4044-9d2f-888956d7d20b">Re: Trouble with our Pastor and a "Shotgun Wedding"</a>:
    [QUOTE]. If he's willing to demand this of your marriage, what else will he demand of you in the future? 
    Posted by Erikan73[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>I'm not worried about the local announcements, as my familly lives outside of the area, and wouldn't look at that stuff.  But this last part is the part that worries me. I share your concerns.  

    </div>
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  • I wouldn't do it.  One of the ceremonies would be meaningless.  I wouldn't be willing to do meaningless "paperwork" just to please this pastor.


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  • Oh goodness this post disturbs me. OP, please read this Do not do this. Your legal wedding will be the day the paperwork is signed. THAT is your ceremony. It is not just a piece of paper. You will be his wife, he will be your husband, and having a "do over" in September will not change that. I bet your bottom dollar you will regret this forever. Your family WILL find out, and they will be hurt, as they should be. Do not let this pastor or your fiance pressure you into this. Please change churches, as this man is in no place to be giving spiritual guidance.

  • You love your students and part of being a great example is through your actions. Your pastor and this secretary are manipulative and dishonest. Even though it's painful I think you should leave the church. What he did is so inappropriate!

    Having a secret wedding and then pretending to get married agan will bring up all sort of problems. You're lying to your family and all the students you care about. You only get one wedding and if you do the second you might feel like a fraud standing up in front of all those people. What about people you go to church with.. you'll be planning a wedding and need to keep your mouth shut?

    I can understand being asked to step down because you're living together but your pastor's solution is ridiculous and offensive. If you can't imagine leaving the church, step down from ministry and attend church, plan your wedding, and interact with your kids weekly. Then when you're married go back to your teaching positions.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_christian-weddings_trouble-with-our-pastor-and-a-shotgun-wedding?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural Wedding BoardsForum:464687ae-7bc1-4360-9aea-999e11f1e1adDiscussion:272a1254-492b-4b96-8579-72416f89a5fbPost:8551ea41-e661-4f66-a2b4-9b23e95ecded">Re: Trouble with our Pastor and a "Shotgun Wedding"</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Trouble with our Pastor and a "Shotgun Wedding" : I don't.  We are part of the Assemblies of God group, and I know that there is a district and all, but I also know that each church is supposed to be run (in theory) by its members,so really don't know if a complaint would do anything. I don't think there is a Bishop or anything like the Catholic organization.  I've never had this sort of issue before.  Unfortunately, I think the elders would all agree with the Pastor.   Which is another reason why I'm so disgusted with the leadership.  <strong>They all wanted us to be married in like 3 months, instead of letting us do things in a normal amount of time</strong>, and I'm pretty sure one or two of them came up with this idea.  To most of them the wedding wasn't a big deal, and didn't understand why it was to us.  Most of them have already been married, and don't seem to understand that it is important to both my fiancee and myself.   The only thing keeping us both at this church is our students.  And truthfully, after my class moves onward and upward when they turn 5 and leave my class, I can't promise I will want to stay at a church that allows a liar to lead it so blindly.    I actually just got a message from the Pastor's secretary, saying how "Happy they are that we made the right decision, and that they are grateful to have such dedicated teachers"... They sure have a funny way of showing it.  As I said, the FH is treating it as paperwork, and knows that we aren't married until we truly give ourselves willingly, but this bothers me way more than it seems to bother him.  
    Posted by lyndsay782[/QUOTE]

    There is something to be said for allowing a couple time to prepare themselves for married life. Yes, some couples are engaged for a short period of time, and they live happily married for decades, but I think it is horrible to pressure a couple to get married faster than they wish.   Marriage is a commitment for life that should not be rushed into.  Whatever they tell you, you will only have one wedding to your FI.    
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  • I am so sorry you are going through this! I feel for you...I understand being a newly emerged Christian as well and to say you've made the wrong choices in the past by choosing to live together is my opinion is wrong. I was raised Catholic and a huge part why I'm not practicing anymore is their "do as I say, not as I do" attitude. Got created all people to be equal and as Christians we are supposed to follow by his example, not judge and treat others fairly. While your situation might not align with his personal morals, it's not fair of him to dictate how your marriage should happen, because just because your situation isn't what he agrees with doesn't make it wrong. Also, doesn't his principle of not telling your family/friends the truth about you already being married go against God's commandment of thou shall not lie??? He is being completely Hippocratical in my opinion.
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  • I'm sorry you are going through this. But if you have a ceremony before hand, that is your WEDDING. It's not just paperwork. Calling it paperwork offends any bride who goes to a courthouse to have a ceremony like that for their wedding, because you are saying it's not legit. Your family or friends will find out somehow, someway, and believe me, you will regret it. I wouldn't give in to a Pastor like that- honestly, he sounds pretty terrible. I wouldn't even stay with a church like that, teaching kids or not. I hope you don't go through it and that your FI wisens up, because your wedding day should be the day you planned- not hiding in the pastor's office. Because the day you legally become husband and wife IS your wedding day.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_christian-weddings_trouble-with-our-pastor-and-a-shotgun-wedding?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:464687ae-7bc1-4360-9aea-999e11f1e1adDiscussion:272a1254-492b-4b96-8579-72416f89a5fbPost:90a75361-c014-4d83-8319-39b7e80390a8">Re: Trouble with our Pastor and a "Shotgun Wedding"</a>:
    [QUOTE]I am so sorry you are going through this! I feel for you...I understand being a newly emerged Christian as well and to say you've made the wrong choices in the past by choosing to live together is my opinion is wrong.<strong> I was raised Catholic and a huge part why I'm not practicing anymore is their "do as I say, not as I do" attitude</strong>. Got created all people to be equal and as Christians we are supposed to follow by his example, not judge and treat others fairly. While your situation might not align with his personal morals, it's not fair of him to dictate how your marriage should happen, because just because your situation isn't what he agrees with doesn't make it wrong. Also, doesn't his principle of not telling your family/friends the truth about you already being married go against God's commandment of thou shall not lie??? He is being completely Hippocratical in my opinion.
    Posted by rel1988[/QUOTE]

    That is really offensive.  I'm sorry you've had some bad experiences with hypocritical people, but that's a terrible generalization of the Catholic faith.  There are hypocrites in every religion, and to a degree, we're all hypocrites because we all have moral beliefs that we break sometimes.

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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_christian-weddings_trouble-with-our-pastor-and-a-shotgun-wedding?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:464687ae-7bc1-4360-9aea-999e11f1e1adDiscussion:272a1254-492b-4b96-8579-72416f89a5fbPost:1e46c7cd-9a93-4902-9f55-7d0788369ada">Re: Trouble with our Pastor and a "Shotgun Wedding"</a>:
    [QUOTE]I'm sorry you are going through this. But if you have a ceremony before hand, that is your WEDDING. It's not just paperwork. Calling it paperwork offends any bride who goes to a courthouse to have a ceremony like that for their wedding, because you are saying it's not legit. Your family or friends will find out somehow, someway, and believe me, you will regret it. I wouldn't give in to a Pastor like that- honestly, he sounds pretty terrible. I wouldn't even stay with a church like that, teaching kids or not. I hope you don't go through it and that your FI wisens up, because your wedding day should be the day you planned- not hiding in the pastor's office. Because the day you legally become husband and wife IS your wedding day.
    Posted by orangehills[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>See the hardest part about this is that I understand that all of this.  My FMIL understands this.  My Fiancee doesn't.  He is able to separate his "legal" wedding from his spiritual one. That's the other really hard part, it's not just my choice.  I'm darned if I do, darned if I don't at this point.  Unless my FMIL can get through to my pastor because she is beyond pissed that he is doing this.  She is so mad it's uncomfortable to be around her, actually.  She is hell bent on telling him that he's wrong for telling us to lie, but she isn't against the quickie wedding either.</div><div>
    </div><div>I've prayed and prayed and prayed and the only thing I keep getting back is "obey".  I've wanted to be Mrs. Smith for the past 3 years, and I'm not going to let my fiancee down.  If he's ready, why is it so hard for me to feel the same?  I'm the only one who is still so opposed to the idea, and not just the lies.  What still matters is that at the end of the day, I'm still going to be his wife whether we do it now, or in September.  I actually think he is strangely relieved that we will be married sooner than expected because then it's less pressure on us both. </div><div>
    </div><div>As far as my family is concerned, they are strangely not excited that I'm getting married in the first place.  If it were up to my parents, they'd be fine with me having a courthouse wedding and having a small reception party on a different date.  </div><div>
    </div><div>So, unless God can convince my Pastor to have a change of heart, and see that what he is doing is wrong, I guess 9/14/13 will be my vow renewal celebration.  We will still be celebrating that as our wedding anniversary, and February 5 will continue to be the anniversary of when we became a couple.  It's just that we will now become a legally married couple as well, 6 years from the date he asked me to be his girlfriend. </div><div>
    </div><div>Prayers for a change of heart for all the others involved ladies...  and lots of them, please. 

    </div>
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  • edited January 2013
    It's a tough situation. Yeah Feb. 5 will be your wedding anniversary though- 9/14 is a vow renewal - there is no way it can be a wedding anniversary because you will be a wife, not a bride. Will you be letting everyone coming to that vow renewal know you are already married? Because it would be pretty messed up if you don't.  I know people do what they want to do.. I don't know. I don't think God would be saying- lie to people or have a ceremony that isn't meaning to you what it should. I think the Pastor has issues. If you don't want this- stand up for yourself. It's not just your FI or your FMIL choice, and it definitely shouldn't be just the pastor's choice. It is yours and FI. And if you don't want it- you need to talk with your FI and he needs to figure out something with you, you shouldn't just be agreeing to what only he wants- imagine a marriage that way- not good!- compromise and figure something out that makes both of you happy, and if the church doesn't agree with that- then you guys should take a good, hard look at them and see if that's how you want to live your life- with them dictating what you have to do.
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  • I guess if people ask, then yeah. I might adopt a don't ask don't tell policy.  I have no idea if the Pastor will actually keep his confidentiality promise, which is another bag of worms I don't want to get into. 

    I know I'm not the first person the Pastor has done this too, and I am pretty sure I won't be the last.   I really don't know at this point if I'm over thinking this, or if I am underthinking this.  
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  • rajahmdrajahmd Galifrey member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    I really think you need to stand up for yourself here.  Don't let anyone force you into getting married in a way that does not make you happy.  Because, no matter what you think, February 5th will always be the day you got  married.  If you let your fiance push you in to doing this because the pastor is pushing him, chances are good you'll end up regretting it and maybe even resenting your fiance for not standing up for your relationship.  What your pastor doing is horribly horribly wrong.  The fact that he's a pastor does not necessarily make his opinion or his directives more important than you and your fiance's feelings and wishes for your wedding.  He is still human, and honestly he's acting like a low-life currently, not someone deserving of the respect a pastor normally receives.  From your posts it seems that you know that getting married now and then having another wedding in September would not make you happy, and would quite frankly being lying to your guests (either outright or by omission).  Stick to your instincts, and stand up for your relationship.  Your fiance should support you in this, not side with the pastor.  
    Anniversary
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_christian-weddings_trouble-with-our-pastor-and-a-shotgun-wedding?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:464687ae-7bc1-4360-9aea-999e11f1e1adDiscussion:272a1254-492b-4b96-8579-72416f89a5fbPost:e8ede6e3-f81d-468c-b625-ae01346256d5">Re: Trouble with our Pastor and a "Shotgun Wedding"</a>:
    [QUOTE]I guess if people ask, then yeah. I might adopt a don't ask don't tell policy.  I have no idea if the Pastor will actually keep his confidentiality promise, which is another bag of worms I don't want to get into.  I know I'm not the first person the Pastor has done this too, and I am pretty sure I won't be the last.  <strong> I really don't know at this point if I'm over thinking this</strong>, or if I am underthinking this.  
    Posted by lyndsay782[/QUOTE]

    <div>you are not overthinking this. This is a huge matter and you are being forced to do something you dont want to. Period, end of discussion. Like others have said, you need to stand up for yourself and what you want. Do not get forced and pressured to do something you don't want to do. You only get one wedding day and I wouldn't want to be forced to do "legal paperwork" as your pastor is making you do. It's not right.</div>
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  • ravenrayravenray member
    5000 Comments 25 Love Its Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited January 2013

    I am so sorry this has happened to you.  Hugs.  Here are my thoughts.

     

    I wouldn't not go through with the ceremony with the pastor.  It's completely wrong that he is basically blackmailing you into submission.  Now I don't know how AOG works but you said he is the head pastor?  As in there are more than one?  I would talk to this other pastor and explain what is going on.  Honestly I would call his bluff say "I'm sorry Pastor, God is not calling us to get married in secrete, we have never lied to you about our status, if you feel like you need to remove us from the ministry then go ahead.  We look forward to rejoining in September."   Even if you are out of the ministry until then, you could survive.  You can still spend time with your kids.  But I would not give up the wedding I had been planning for months just for him.  Who was doing your pre-marital counseling?  I would talk with them too.  I would check the AOG website to see if you can report him.  That is a terrible misuse of power and something that can split churches up very quickly.  

    This is really tough to go through.  Hugs.  In the end you have to make your own choice.  I would talk with your FI and find out why he wants to do what the pastor wants.  

    "Love is not affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person's ultimate good as far as it can be obtained"-C.S. Lewis

    Married! May 27th, 2012

  • I am very disturbed by this post as well.

    If this is the way the church feels, they shoud not have let you served in the ministry in the first place until you were married. Is it possible to find another church? A pastor rushing a couple to get married does not seem right.

    I have heard of churches who do baby dedications privately in their church office if the couple is not married..but not this. If my pastor backed me up against a wall like this situation, I would have to make a decision to either serve/worship at another church or wait until I am married to serve in the church ministry. Allowing him to choose when I should get married would not be an option.
  • Thank you everyone for your thoughts.  My fiancee and I have discussed this more in depth, and come to the conclusion that while we don't (and probably never will) like the way it was presented, and the fact that it felt like it was forced upon us, we can see where he was coming from.   I am still upset at my Pastor, and that may not ever change, but my fiancee and I agree that in order for us to serve, we should be married.  For what it's worth, the pastor has apologized for the harsh nature in which he approached it, and has acknowledged he should not have told us to lie, or told us to in the manner that he did.  I still have some issues, but he is human, and I have chosen to forgive, this time.  If he hadn't apologized, I don't think we would feel the same. 

    We have decided that we will not hide our civil ceremony, but not shout it from the roof tops either.  Close Friends will know (like the BP, and our parents).  In September, we will have the church ceremony with all the bells and whistles, and treat it as a kind of a vow renewal, and it will be our choice to celebrate our anniversary on that day.  If someone asks, I will be honest, but since we already "act" married, I don't see any reason for us to be thought of differently by the general public.  

    I know that my thoughts and my choice goes against most practices of ettiquete (sp?), but at the end of the day, what matters is still the same thing.  That I will be married to my fiancee.   And in the end, that's really all I wanted in the first place.  That and the chance to wear a ball gown Smile

    So again, Thank you all, and I hope I can still participate on the bored, even if I'm now part of the vow renewal crowd...  

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  • I want you and FI to do what makes you happy, and I know you don't want to cause more trouble.

    I just don't like that you're giving into unfair demands.  I don't see your pastor's side to this at all, because if he were really concerned with doing things the right way, he would want you to be married in your church publically now, not do a public "wedding" later after a secret ceremony. 

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  • rajahmdrajahmd Galifrey member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    I agree with monkeysip.  It doesn't seem like you are really doing what makes you happy, you are just doing it to make the pastor happy.  If they needed you to be married prior to your service, they should have told you that at the beginning.  If it makes you feel better, I too live with my fiance, and we are active volunteers with the youth.  We teach the Sunday school class for middle schoolers and serve as youth group counselors.  I respect that you are able to forgive your pastor, but it still sounds like he is manupulating you.

    I wish you the best of luck with this.  And please, be honest with all of your guests.  They deserve to know that the vows you recite in September are not your real vows.  Many people go to weddings to see those vows, not just for the free food.  And yes, your real wedding date will be the day you to to JOP.  Sorry if it sounds harsh, but regardless of what day you chose to celebrate, you can't change the date you legally become married.  That's something you have to accept.  Have you thought about how you would explain it to your children, should you choose to have any? Just some food for thought. Again, good luck, and I hope to still see you here on the board.
    Anniversary
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_christian-weddings_trouble-with-our-pastor-and-a-shotgun-wedding?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:464687ae-7bc1-4360-9aea-999e11f1e1adDiscussion:272a1254-492b-4b96-8579-72416f89a5fbPost:6445bed3-7932-484e-819c-ab2c8b501081">Re:Trouble with our Pastor and a quot;Shotgun Weddingquot;</a>:
    [QUOTE]My heart breaks for you. I'm pretty sure you know that this is not what you want. You are letting the pastor and your fianc control you. You DO have a say in this, and you are going along with it because neither of them are budging. <strong>This is setting a horrible precedent or your marriage. What's going to happen the next time your fianc won't budge on an important issue and you just go along with it just to appease him? That's not how a healthy marriage works</strong>. It sounds like you will not change your mind though, so<strong> my advice is to do away with your "don't ask dot tell" policy. EVERYONE who attends your vow renewal should be aware that day that it is, in fact, a vow renewal and not a wedding.</strong>
    Posted by Weezy56[/QUOTE]
    I agree 100% with this. Marriages are 50-50, not 100-0. You have to let your FI know how you feel so you both can come to an understanding where both parties are happy.<div>
    </div><div>People have the right to know that its not going to be a wedding, but a vow renewal. </div>
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  • We're in week 2 of our premarital counseling and so far we've been learning about how God created marriage to mirror Jesus Christ and the church. God continually risked love by sending prophets and sending his son who were killed, for us. We were created to be the Bride of Christ and Jesus continually intercedes for us, sacrifices for us, and allows us to choose to love and follow him. 

    In marriage we act out these roles with a man practicing this sacrifice to his wife. Loving her and putting her needs above his own. Making choices to serve her like Christ washed his disciples feet. When a man loves you like this and is looking out for your best interests it's easy to follow him. I see that you are wanting to submit to your FI and practice a godly marriage, I am just wondering if your FI understands his own role.

    You're compromising on your marriage, stressed, and in the end not ok with what wedding anniversary date you'll have. Since when does teaching students over the summer trump how you two start your lives? On lies. On giving in? Is this how you want to look back and remember your wedding? Because Christ gives freedom... he does coerce us and push us to do things we don't agree with.
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  • I am sorry that this happened to you. My FI have went through something similar the past week. I posted in chit chat, I didn't even realize this forum existed... We, however, did not go through with it. We could not justify lying to our friends and family and could not understand how not telling anyone would change it in the eyes of the church. We also were afraid it would take away from our actual wedding. Being only 4 and a half months away, we decided to wait. We have had other iffy situations with the church, and this was just a last straw for us. We did not lie about living together either, and were told we were wrong because we were christians when we moved in together, and that made it different than if we could have become new christians during our relationship. My future brother in law and his wife lived together a long time, but after they became christians, they were at least given time to plan their wedding. Our now former pastor told us that if he married us in August that God would destroy him, his church, his family, our family, and us. We serve a loving, forgving God, and I do not believe that!!! I could go on and on... I just felt like I should share a little of mine & FI's story. I hope you don't live to regret your decision and wish you all the luck in the world <3
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