Author Topic: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?  (Read 8412 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Hmmmmm

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6097
Re: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?
« Reply #45 on: October 09, 2013, 10:39:09 AM »
I accept that other people have different views to me and it doesn't bother me to listen to them for a bit, so I don't walk out. Just being present at a wedding where they are spoken doesn't, to me, mean that anyone listening necessarily agrees or approves, and I don't see it as giving it any sort of personal stamp of approval. Presumably those who attend the church regularly agree, but that's not the same thing.

Snip


This is my feeling. Listening without protest does not mean I agree with the statements. I hear things, read things, watch things that have view points that go against my belief system but I don't feel the need to tackle each and every one of them.  I read view points on this board that I don't agree with but I don't feel the need to challenge the poster every time.

I'm sorry that your friend was made uncomfortable listening to the evils of divorce. But we aren't gauranteed that we'll always be comfortable. This church was the minister's place of work. I don't see how a visitor has the right to request he change his belief system in his "home".

As far as your original question about how to find out what the context would be of the service, I think as others suggested, a little research about the specific church can give you some ideas. Churches may be of the same denomination but have differnt church culture. Many churches have websites with sermon archives, newsletters, daily devotionals, and other information that can be quit comprehensive to get a very good idea about the leanings of a specific church or pastor. 

TurtleDove

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5248
Re: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?
« Reply #46 on: October 09, 2013, 10:39:24 AM »
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.


This.  The pastors I know do not perform marriage ceremonies for just anyone.  They have to be members of the church or somehow connected, and even then they have to go through premarital counseling.  There are lots of meetings about potential issues in the faith lives of the couple, what they want their vows to be, what types of things would be good to focus on during the sermon.  The pastor knows the couple.  To me it is strange that couples who never attend church, are not particularly religious, either don't agree with or don't know the doctrine of the church they chosse to get married in, then get upset that something happens during the service that they did not like. 

As a guest I agree that there is no reason to complain or make a scene.  I can support friends whose beliefs differ from mine without "tacitly" saying I agree with those beliefs simply because I don't stand up and scream, "hey, that's not what *I* believe!  You stop saying that right now!!!!"

gen xer

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 434
Re: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?
« Reply #47 on: October 09, 2013, 10:56:52 AM »
Totally agree with Hmmmmmm.   We don't need to make a point all the time  As we all have I have encountered beliefs I do not personally share....but that's part of life - dealing with people who's views are different. 

A wedding simply isn't the place to get on your soapbox.  Frankly I don't think there would be many people who would applaud turning a wedding into a political / moral statement - in fact I think it would come off as really sanctimonious and kind of narcissistic.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2013, 11:03:07 AM by gen xer »

Outdoor Girl

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 12902
Re: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?
« Reply #48 on: October 09, 2013, 11:18:47 AM »
As a guest at a wedding, I wouldn't say anything about a pastor/minister/priest evangelizing to anyone closely related to the couple getting married.  I might talk to a friend in a whiskey tango foxtrot kind of comment.  If I was made really uncomfortable, I would get up and walk out.  But it would have to be pretty over the top for me not to just sit there and think about something else for a while.

Were I the bride at a wedding, I would not be impressed and I hope I would have the guts to say something.  And I certainly wouldn't repeat vows to obey.  I don't care how much of a scene it caused.  And if the minister wouldn't back down, I'd call off the wedding, in consultation with my groom.  We'd go ahead with the rest of the days events - pictures, reception, etc - but we wouldn't be married by that person.  We'd go off to the courthouse and get officially married after the fact.  I would consider the original date to be my anniversary, though.

And I wouldn't be 'paying' the minister, either.

I would hope, though, that the minister would know me well enough that s/he wouldn't even consider any sort of sermanizing at the wedding.  Should I ever get married, I hope the minister at my Dad's church is still there.  Not only could I count on her to go along with our wishes, she is also a trained opera singer.  I could ask her to sing something!  First time I met her, the fact that she was an alto opera singer came up.  As an alto, rather than a soprano, she got secondary parts - she said 'all the witches, *itches and whores!'  She's a great lady.   :)
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
Ontario

lowspark

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3142
Re: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?
« Reply #49 on: October 09, 2013, 11:35:21 AM »
I've only been to one wedding where anything remotely like this happened. It was pretty mild but the gist of the minister's talk was that the wife should obey the husband. In this case:
-- the minister was the bride's father
-- the groom joked (afterwards) that the bride had better obey him since that's what the minister said
-- the bride just smiled and said "whatever" (or something like that)

Sometimes I think it's just a case of wanting a traditional wedding with traditional vows, etc, but not taking into account what those words are actually saying. Or maybe not caring because you're going to live your life the way you want to anyway.

I did go to a funeral once where the minister was extremely "fire and brimstone". I mean it was almost funny because it was so extreme it felt like an exaggerated character in a movie. My friends and I who were attending together just looked at each other questioningly, as if to ask each other, "what gives?" And afterward we laughed about it as none of us expected that or had ever been to a funeral like that.

But yeah, I think you just sit through it and daydream or whatever. I don't think it's terrible to walk out if it really bothers you, but if I couldn't sneak out without being noticed I probably wouldn't.

Dorrie78

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1259
Re: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?
« Reply #50 on: October 09, 2013, 11:47:28 AM »
Some friends of mine got married some time ago. Neither practice any religion, but they had the bride's childhood priest perform the wedding. The wedding itself was not in a church. Much to all of our surprise, even the bride and groom, the minister launched into a 15 minute sermon during the wedding about the religious importance of marriage, etc. We were only irritated because it was very hot in the room we were in and we wanted to get to the bar. It was supposed to be a very quick wedding! Anyway, 20 years later, we all still just laugh about it if it were to be brought up for some reason - as we did that day, once we got our cocktails.

In the grand scheme of life, it just wasn't a big deal and I'm glad everyone reacted by just rolling with it and then moving on.

mime

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 416
Re: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?
« Reply #51 on: October 09, 2013, 12:06:18 PM »
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.


This.  The pastors I know do not perform marriage ceremonies for just anyone.  They have to be members of the church or somehow connected, and even then they have to go through premarital counseling.  There are lots of meetings about potential issues in the faith lives of the couple, what they want their vows to be, what types of things would be good to focus on during the sermon.  The pastor knows the couple.  To me it is strange that couples who never attend church, are not particularly religious, either don't agree with or don't know the doctrine of the church they chosse to get married in, then get upset that something happens during the service that they did not like. 

As a guest I agree that there is no reason to complain or make a scene.  I can support friends whose beliefs differ from mine without "tacitly" saying I agree with those beliefs simply because I don't stand up and scream, "hey, that's not what *I* believe!  You stop saying that right now!!!!"

What they said.

Some responsibility does fall on the HC for the message. If the church or the pastor are an unknown, then the HC needs to take steps to understand what the message will be about!

As a guest, I may choose not to attend, usually deciding based on the religion or denomination. I have great respect for a church or religion that holds firm to its beliefs (even if I don't share them), so I can respectfully listen to a disagreeable message if I decide to attend.

If I were a speaker or the HC, I would prefer that someone who is uncomfortable excuse themselves rather than sitting and stewing over our differences.

I don't think writing the officiant about objections to his/her sermon is helpful, unless you want to initiate a dialogue (which is typically very welcomed). Some ministers may give a milquetoast 'sermon-lite' for a wedding, but many could not, in good conscience, censor their beliefs in their own place of worship so as not to upset non-members. And they should not be expected to.


DavidH

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1593
Re: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?
« Reply #52 on: October 09, 2013, 12:08:06 PM »
I think that asking about the church in general is okay, but definitely not a checklist about their view.  I agree that looking on line can provide information.  If possible going to a service on a different weekend where you can sit in the back and discretely leave would be the best way, but may not be practical.  It also helps to have realistic expectations.  For example, going to an evangelical church should give you some idea about what to expect in a sermon.

I think that once you're there, the best option if you find the service offensive or otherwise don't want to participate is to sit their quietly and discretely until it's over.  For various reasons, you may not choose to participate in the service and I think that's fine so long as you don't make a spectacle of yourself by not doing so.  I think if there is any question in your mind about being able to stay through the service without making a scene, then it would be best to skip the service altogether. 

A letter afterwards to the officiant seems fine, although I wouldn't expect a response.  A polite letter stating that you disagree or find their views differ from yours is fine and shouldn't reflect badly on anyone.  A nasty letter is rude anyway. 

Bexx27

  • Striving to meet the minimum requirements of social acceptability
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1820
Re: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?
« Reply #53 on: October 09, 2013, 12:24:08 PM »
As an atheist, I can be certain that I will disagree with some of the views expressed at any religious wedding ceremony. Most of the time I'm not actually uncomfortable hearing those views -- they're pleasant enough, I just happen to think otherwise. A few times I've heard things I find disturbing, but I can't say I'm actively offended because the words are not meant for me and my hearing them doesn't mean I approve. IMO the officiant is speaking to/for the HC and it's up to them whether to be offended or not. Frankly, I react by losing a bit of respect for the HC, knowing that they either endorse those views or are willing to take vows they don't actually believe in. (If they thought they knew what the officiant was going to say and then were totally blindsided, that's a different story. I had no idea that happened so often!)
How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these. -George Washington Carver

Judah

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4769
  • California, U.S.A
Re: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?
« Reply #54 on: October 09, 2013, 12:30:35 PM »
I accept that other people have different views to me and it doesn't bother me to listen to them for a bit, so I don't walk out. Just being present at a wedding where they are spoken doesn't, to me, mean that anyone listening necessarily agrees or approves, and I don't see it as giving it any sort of personal stamp of approval. Presumably those who attend the church regularly agree, but that's not the same thing.

This is pretty much how I feel about it. Lots of people hold views I disagree with. If I got offended every time someone said something I disagreed with, well, that's just too stressful.  People are entitled to their views and I don't have to agree with them.  But I don't understand, and maybe someone can explain to me, why hearing something like wives being submissive to their husband would upset a witness. If that's what your friends believe, and what works for their relationship, why would you care?
Ask for what you want. Let's be clear on this one:
Subtle hints don't work.
Strong hints don't work.
Really obvious hints don't work.
Just say it!

-The Car Talk Guys

courtsmad25

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 76
Re: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?
« Reply #55 on: October 09, 2013, 12:49:11 PM »
When I married my first husband, we did the BWW we married in the church that my folks married at, and the minister over the church had a previous engagement and couldn't perform the ceremony. We were able to get was a minister from a diffrent church but of the same sector, soo we figured he would do the same type ceremony, short and sweet (1DH was painfully shy so public speaking wasn't high on his list). The minister made it sound like we were doing the normal short and sweet ceremony. Boy we were fooled!! ???

  The ceremony was 45 minutes long!! He did 3 sets of vowes, and when the service was done the first words out of our friends mouths were "CRUD MONKEYS! Courtsmad, you said you would OBEY" not congratulations.

  It didn't last, but we remained cordial enough that my ex-inlaws came to my wedding (informal, and wayy more our style) to my DH.. the whole point was the Couple may not know what is pulled out from the ministers mouth.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2013, 12:57:11 PM by courtsmad25 »

Chibikoky

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 44
Re: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?
« Reply #56 on: October 09, 2013, 12:52:31 PM »
I think that perhaps- depending on your audience- that a quick word of warning would not go amiss. I say this thinking of my cousin's wedding- her branch of the family was far more religious, her father was even a pastor at one time, while mine has always been...not.

We were in no way prepared for the whole wife is submissive to her husband thing. My mother, sister, and I tend to giggle at the worst possible times when something strikes us as funny, and our full family tended towards husbands being much more...'yes, dear' than in charge. We stifled them to the best of our might, and we don't think anyone noticed.

But if someone had mentioned it, I think we'd have probably been able to sit through it straightfaced having been prewarned. That said, this wasn't *offensive*, it was just something that hit us the wrong way at the wrong time, and perhaps not a reaction the cousin might have anticipated, given her background.

kategillian

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 155
Re: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?
« Reply #57 on: October 09, 2013, 01:12:35 PM »
I think this situation is along the lines of live and let live. Obviously you're not going to agree with everything that another religion agrees with, but if you love this couple enough to attend their wedding, you should be tolerant enough to sit there through the ceremony. Just because you don't leap up and object, doesn't mean that you agree with everything that is being said. Of course you're not going to agree with everything that other people say all the time, but that's not the point of this situation. The point is that you're there to support this couple and their marriage.

Sharnita

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 21246
Re: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?
« Reply #58 on: October 09, 2013, 01:17:44 PM »
See, to me 45 minutes is not unusually long.  It is about what i'd expect from a wedding.

As far as the wives being submissive, I think it can depend.  I've actually heard some awesome sermons on that - where the person preaching goes on to point out that the rest of that scripture points out that the husband is required to love the wife as Christ loved the Church, in other words, he has to live and die for her. He puts her above himself, sacrifices himself for her, etc. That kind of changes the dynamic of the the whole thing overall.

In some of the examples mentioned, the HC quite frankly seem to be the ones at fault. 
Some friends of mine got married some time ago. Neither practice any religion, but they had the bride's childhood priest perform the wedding. The wedding itself was not in a church. Much to all of our surprise, even the bride and groom, the minister launched into a 15 minute sermon during the wedding about the religious importance of marriage, etc. We were only irritated because it was very hot in the room we were in and we wanted to get to the bar. It was supposed to be a very quick wedding! Anyway, 20 years later, we all still just laugh about it if it were to be brought up for some reason - as we did that day, once we got our cocktails.

In the grand scheme of life, it just wasn't a big deal and I'm glad everyone reacted by just rolling with it and then moving on.

I have to say, it seems kind of strange to me me for non-religious people to ask a religious person to marry them but expect that he keep the ceremony that has religious symbolism and might even be a sacrament basically non-religious. Their expectations seem unrealistic and kind of insulting, to be honest.

When you go to a church or pastor and ask them to perform a wedding or funeral, it isn't like Burger King, you can't just order it up your way in most cases.  If their beliefs are so far opposed to yours that they offend you it is best to go to someone or someplace else.

As far as a letter telling them they have offended you - they might see that as a sign they have dine their job, told the truth, shed some light, etc.  They probably aren't to concerned with the fact that the world is changing, they might be urged not to be "of the world".  And they might be able to point to some pretty depressing changes in the world so conforming to a changing world is necessarily a goal. They don't expect you to automatically say "Yes, I've seen the light" because you sat through a wedding, either.

nuit93

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1024
Re: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?
« Reply #59 on: October 09, 2013, 01:33:04 PM »
I accept that other people have different views to me and it doesn't bother me to listen to them for a bit, so I don't walk out. Just being present at a wedding where they are spoken doesn't, to me, mean that anyone listening necessarily agrees or approves, and I don't see it as giving it any sort of personal stamp of approval. Presumably those who attend the church regularly agree, but that's not the same thing.

This is pretty much how I feel about it. Lots of people hold views I disagree with. If I got offended every time someone said something I disagreed with, well, that's just too stressful.  People are entitled to their views and I don't have to agree with them. But I don't understand, and maybe someone can explain to me, why hearing something like wives being submissive to their husband would upset a witness. If that's what your friends believe, and what works for their relationship, why would you care?

It can be triggering to someone who has been in an abusive marriage/rel@tionship.