Author Topic: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?  (Read 10049 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

flickan

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 192
Re: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?
« Reply #15 on: October 08, 2013, 10:48:51 PM »
Before our wedding we attended two weddings where the pastor felt it necessary to make comments on the sanctity of marriage in regards to the idea that it was for heterosexual couples.

Forearmed with the knowledge that this kind of thing was happening we advised the evangelical pastor who officiated our Christian ceremony that we wanted to make absolutely sure that there would be nothing in the sermon that would be exclusionary to our gay friends (some of whom were standing in the wedding party).  If the pastor had not made that promise to us we would have promptly found a different one.

I don't mind hearing things I disagree with in a wedding sermon.  I'm a Christian, I go to a lot of family weddings and we're all of the same faith.  I've heard a lot of things over the years that I personally don't much like; most of it to do with gender roles.

I think it is the responsibility of every bride and groom to make sure that the views expressed in the ceremony are complimentary to their own.  Furthermore the wedding sermon is certainly an appropriate place to laud the morals and values of one's faith, ie, the tradition of marriage and so forth, however there are some things that seem to me wholly unnecessary content and somewhat incendiary.

On the other hand, as a guest, I don't think it's the end of the world to have to listen to a viewpoint you find offensive for a relatively short period of time.  That's really the business of the couple getting married.  Believe me, I sympathize.  I just don't think it's realistic to ask, "Will this offend me?" and expect the bride and groom to have a good answer for that.  What's important is that they know what's going to be said.


Sharnita

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 21458
Re: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?
« Reply #16 on: October 08, 2013, 10:49:27 PM »
Unless you were kidnapped and dragged into the wedding you weren't a captive audience. You volunteered to be there.

If I go to a poetry reading I might hear something that offends/bores/upsets me but I am not a captive audience - I went to the poetry reading.


Twik

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 28519
Re: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?
« Reply #17 on: October 08, 2013, 10:50:15 PM »
You can try, but if his congregation keeps coming back, I doubt he'll be concerned that their friends don't approve of his views.

He thinks he's right. Your complaints likely won't sway him, so the sole benefit of complaining would be to get it off your chest.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

onikenbai

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1152
Re: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?
« Reply #18 on: October 08, 2013, 10:56:25 PM »
I don't think any bride or groom marrying in a church would have any idea of what the minister will say in the sermon.

So true.  At my brother's wedding, they had met with the minister prior to the wedding and discussed with him what he was going to say, and the minister said he was going to speak on the joys of marriage.  Come the day of the wedding he stood up and gave a sermon on the ten deadly sins of life and why society in general is going to hell.  My whole family was ticking off sins on our fingers, wondering if the bar (sin#7) was open yet, and my brother and his new wife looked like they wanted the floor to open up and swallow them up on the spot.  Highlight of the whole wedding was my four year old cousin loudly asking mid-sermon "Is this over yet?!"  Great truths come out of the mouths of children.

TootsNYC

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 30648
Re: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?
« Reply #19 on: October 08, 2013, 10:57:05 PM »
[quote author=Surianne link=topic=130390.msg3029606#msg3029606 date=1381284893

Would it ever be appropriate to afterward write a letter to the officiant protesting the content, and saying it made me uncomfortable, or would that just make my friends look bad?  (I wouldn't want to get them "in trouble", so to speak, with their church!)
[/quote]

I don't think so.

You're not a member of his congregation or his denomination, or even his faith. It's not his job to please you.


nuit93

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1136
Re: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?
« Reply #20 on: October 08, 2013, 10:59:10 PM »
Along the same lines...what are the obligations of the HC in warning their guests that the ceremony may have elements that are radically unfamiliar to them or might be offensive to their religious beliefs?

I've attended a fair number of ceremonies that are not in anyway mainstream (handfastings, non-Christian Masses, etc) and some guests appeared a bit confused/disturbed by what was happening.

gmatoy

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1320
Re: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?
« Reply #21 on: October 08, 2013, 11:04:29 PM »
Well, I have been known to make the remark that it was a good thing that my wedding didn't include "whatever."  And, if it were about only heterosexuals getting married, I would stand up and leave. I also don't do services that denigrate other religions. I walk out.  I try to be discreet, but I walk out.

LadyL

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2861
Re: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?
« Reply #22 on: October 08, 2013, 11:11:33 PM »
I went to one that was fire and brimstone and included a speech evangelizing about how we all should convert to their denomination, because all the others are going to hell. Also a speech warning the HC not to divorce lest they face shame and suffering.

Knowing what I do now about that denomination (hint: googling "is denomination name a cult" gets a TON of results) I would not attend another service. I think also that next time I go to any unfamiliar religious thing I will sit in back where I can quietly slip out if it becomes uncomfortable.

I guess I think of how I would want my wedding guests to act if something about the event really rubbed them the wrong way. We are having it in a theater, not a church, and it's an entirely secular ceremony. Two of my bridesmaids are a lesbian couple. Those things alone will probably offend some people but if they know us at all they should at least not be *surprised.* What shocked me about the fire and brimstone wedding was the couple being wed are very down to earth, moderate, and not preachy/evangelical at all about their faith.

Surianne

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 10817
    • Prince ShimmerShine Moondream's Blogging Adventure
Re: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?
« Reply #23 on: October 08, 2013, 11:17:37 PM »
Unless you were kidnapped and dragged into the wedding you weren't a captive audience. You volunteered to be there.

If I go to a poetry reading I might hear something that offends/bores/upsets me but I am not a captive audience - I went to the poetry reading.

That`s true, I wasn`t tied down, but from an etiquette perspective, I feel a lot more comfortable walking out of a poetry reading than I do a friend`s wedding.  Often at a wedding you`d have to pass by rows of people in the pews, causing a bit of a scene.  I don`t think it would be very kind to my friends to do that, and I`m sure the officiants who want to make their moral statements are quite aware of how the audience feels stuck, and they take advantage of that.

Just look at some of the stories in this thread, about brides and grooms who were caught off-guard by their officiants!  If they weren`t even comfortable walking out, the same is likely true of their guests.

Well, I have been known to make the remark that it was a good thing that my wedding didn't include "whatever."  And, if it were about only heterosexuals getting married, I would stand up and leave. I also don't do services that denigrate other religions. I walk out.  I try to be discreet, but I walk out.

I think that`s a really principaled stance.  I mean that as a total compliment, no sarcasm at all.  I wish I were that brave.  I wonder if next wedding I go to that`s religious, I should try to deliberately sit somewhere on an aisle near the back to make it easier.  My main concern in the past has been about disturbing other people and causing a scene, so that might make a difference.

I definitely don`t feel comfortable sitting there and tacitly accepting views that are offensive to me, unfortunately.

I guess I think of how I would want my wedding guests to act if something about the event really rubbed them the wrong way.

That`s a good way of wrapping my mind around it.  I would definitely have no problem if someone felt uncomfortable at my event and preferred to remove themselves, so I should probably give my friends the same courtesy of assuming that they`re equally understanding. 

Sharnita

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 21458
Re: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?
« Reply #24 on: October 08, 2013, 11:19:19 PM »
While I would hope nobody says anything hsteful or unkind, if they believe that salvation, inner peace , whatever can only be achieved through X then I don't think they are obligated to soft sell their basic beliefs just to make wedding guests happy.

Honestly, it seems kinder to be up front about their beliefs. Imagine going to a wedding and being drawn to a church and pastor because they seem one way only to learn they are completely different when you go to a service.

Library Dragon

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1445
Re: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?
« Reply #25 on: October 08, 2013, 11:56:24 PM »
Unfortunately HCs get blindsided during their ceremonies.  At one wedding I attended the HC had been living together and the minister preached for at least 10 minutes on the horrors of living in sin.  They obviously had no clue that was coming and instead of a celebration they received a scolding.  The guests expressed their displeasure by casually ignoring the minister.  I wouldn't leave because IMO that would leave the couple with lesssupport.

The MoB complained later, as it was her pastor, and I believe she and her DH began looking for a new church.


            Created by MyFitnessPal.com - Free Calorie Counter

Elfmama

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6158
Re: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?
« Reply #26 on: October 09, 2013, 12:01:09 AM »
I just attended a wedding like this.

The pastor spent a good deal of the ceremony talking about the importance of the wife being submissive to the husband, and how this was the only sanctioned and happy type of marriage, and had the bride vow to do exactly that.  Now, the groom's family was part of a very conservative denomination where such sermons were expected and encouraged.  The bride's side (which I was on), not so much!  At one point my baby sister and I looked at each other with a raised eyebrow and the expression of "did he *really* just say that?".
 
However, neither the bride nor the groom personally believed in the whole "wife must be submissive" way of thinking, and had specifically requested that the pastor NOT include it in the ceremony.  The pastor either forgot or chose to ignore this request, figuring that neither of them would make a scene in the middle of it all (they didn't).

So, I don't think knowing the beliefs/expectations of a particular denomination would necessarily prepare an attendee for what to expect.
If you hadn't said "just attended" I would have thought that you were talking about my DD2's wedding!  The pastor was the groom's grandfather, just to make it worse.  I think that was the only reason that DD didn't make a scene.  All of the bridesmaids agreed, "I thought she was gonna slug him!"
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
It's true. Money can't buy happiness.  You have to turn it
into books first.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Sebastienne

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 530
Re: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?
« Reply #27 on: October 09, 2013, 12:06:44 AM »
I went to a wedding where the homily was basically about how difficult marriage was, and how to make a marriage work, you have to sacrifice your own happiness (as does your spouse) for the sake of the marriage, and if you weren't willing to be married and miserable, there was no point. Turns out, the officant was going through a nasty divorce at the time, and really had nothing nice to say about the institution.

It made for some interesting conversations at the reception, at least.

blarg314

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8486
Re: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?
« Reply #28 on: October 09, 2013, 03:39:35 AM »
I don't think any bride or groom marrying in a church would have any idea of what the minister will say in the sermon.

If you attend that congregation regularly, I find you'll have a very good idea of what sort of sermon that officiant will give, and what his/her views are in general, as you'll have listened to dozens of sermons on various topics, and have likely have gone through pre-marital counselling or consultation before the wedding.

Surprises tend to occur when the bride and groom are getting married at a church that they don't regularly attend (getting married in a hometown, for example), or don't attend church much and are doing the church wedding thing due to aesthetics or parental pressure.  Or sometimes when only one of the couple is familiar with the denomination/minister, and has a different view of it than their fiance.

Denomination will give you a general idea of where that type of church fits theologically and politically, but there can be a fair bit of variation from minister to minister.

For a regular church service, I would leave in the middle of the sermon if the views expressed got too offensive. But for a wedding I'd swallow the discomfort for the sake of the bride and groom.

hannahmollysmom

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1297
Re: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?
« Reply #29 on: October 09, 2013, 04:17:55 AM »
You are there at the ceremony by invitation of the HC. Basically, I would just treat any offensive speech by the pastor as water off a duck's back.  You are there because they invited you to witness their marriage vows. Your opinion of how they take them, is a moot point. They believe in what they are agreeing to, so as a guest, just sit there, and don't take it personal.

I don't mean to sound snippy, but I feel, as a guest, you have no right to take offense in what they believe. Put it this way, you are Catholic and invited to a Jewish wedding, do you take offense because they don't believe in Jesus?

JMO