My Brother’s Wedding – Pastor Knows Best

I wrote about the “Jesus First” theme prevalent in my brother’s wedding at his Grace Bible Church (whatever that is) and now I want to get into some specifics where that authority was used to promote the church leadership as the master over their lives and thoughts. This is another reason that even if there was an intelligent creator then I definitely wouldn’t believe in the structure and authority of select individuals as the speakers of that god to tell me what god thinks I should do and think. If there is a god interested in me and my actions then it can tell me itself. I haven’t heard any actual words from god so far.

The simple examples of “Pastor Knows Best” was during the reception being held in a recreation building on church property. They weren’t allowed a champagne toast because alcohol wasn’t allowed even though I’ve heard a story about Jesus turning water into wine. They had to get a special exception to have their first dance there because dancing wasn’t allowed since apparently Jesus wasn’t much of a dancer back in the day. All of the music played for the entire reception had to be approved by the pastor for style and lyrical content. They actually approved a song from Harry Potter because it lacked lyrics. Apparently Jesus is big on censorship and the pastor knows his taste in music.

These were the things I heard of in my few days in town and I’m sure during the premarital counseling and wedding planning there were many more examples of the pastor dictating what my brother could and couldn’t do for his wedding before their god. The irony I see in all of this is that my brother has been a long time member of the congregation, taught youth groups there, and has done many things for the church since joining them. However, he’s not trusted to do the right thing at his own wedding and the pastor felt the need to run the entire show all the way down to the reception outside of the religious ceremony.

The issue I made reference to in my previous post was a practical thing my brother and his bride-to-be did a few weeks before the wedding that could have destroyed the wedding itself. She just started a job very close to my brother’s apartment so she moved in with him early to drastically shorten her commute. They’re religious and I don’t know or care about their business but for all I know they slept apart at night even though they were under the same roof. I wouldn’t be surprised either way. Regardless, the best man found out about this and told my brother he needed to inform the pastor of this living arrangement to get right with Jesus or he was going to tell the pastor himself. Apparently my brother was just going to keep it quiet to avoid a potential disruption to the church wedding they had been planning. My mother was one of the people telling the best man that the wedding was about the bride and groom and he should leave it alone. That is when he said “No, this day is about Jesus and doing everything right for Jesus is more important than the bride and groom.” He would have tried to derail the wedding because he thought something wasn’t being done right for Jesus.

In the end, my brother was forced to tell the pastor and they had some extra counseling or prayers or something that made it all better. This was another moment where I would have had enough of “their” nonsense and just done what I felt was right. If my brother and the rest of my family want to worship a god then I wish they’d just do it without any of the meddling middle men I saw that weekend. All those other people did was cause problems, confusion, distress, and worry for brother, his wife, and the rest of the family by constantly telling them they’re not doing it “right”. It was all completely unnecessary and didn’t make them better or worse members of that church and in the end I believe it had no impact on what they’re becoming as a couple. If they had done everything the way they had wanted with a champagne toast, dancing, and whatever music the bride wanted it wouldn’t have made them less Christian. If they had openly moved in together earlier then they would still be the same people they are today. They’re a man and woman that have vowed to go through life as partners and they even vow to follow their god while doing it. They are together now despite the church and their nonsense.

I’m glad my wife and I didn’t have any of that nonsense and we don’t have anyone that can tell us we’re not doing it right. That is the freedom you get with thinking for yourself and not blindly following a religion. The religious and their churches can try to tell us we’re not doing it right but we’re not listening. In the end we’d just be who we are and they’d still just be nosy neighbors more focused on my household because they probably don’t want to face their own problems. When it comes to how I should live and love my wife and children… I know best. :-)

5 thoughts on “My Brother’s Wedding – Pastor Knows Best

  1. If a Pastor doesn’t know best, which could be true. My question is, if God existed would he know best? Considering if He did exist then you would be His creation and your life would have a design and a purpose. I would think He would know best. It appears though you dismiss any rational thought of God’s existence and guidance. Maybe you simply believe it is impossible to know the will of God or even that he does exist.

    However if God does exist then surly that would impact every aspect of our life. Such as music, dance (though I am not a dancer I think it could be disrespectful to be grinding in the church), or alcohol. Better yet, how about the living together before they were married. Now if God existed then surly if anything He would care about something as important as relationships. Surly you are aware of the statistic that people that live together have significant higher divorce rates than people who don’t.

    So the question is not does a Pastor know best but who knows best. Lets hope for your case God doesn’t exist because if He did He would know best.

    Also not trying to be rude but you might want to study a little harder on Jesus serving wine. I think your missing the point and the historical facts. Such as one could consume as much wine as they wanted back then but it was never alcoholic enough to cause them to become drunk, wine that is in several occasions. The greek language makes a clear distinction between wine and alcohol that causes drunkenness. Thought you might like to know that.

    Even if God doesn’t exist, why would anyone want to consume a drink that has caused so many deaths? If you really know what is best then shouldn’t you want to keep everyone you care about from alcohol, one of the leading causes in death in america instead of defending it’s consumption. Any before you argue that it is everyone right to drink, ask your self the question. Was it a person’s right to go to a wedding and get drunk and crash their car into a family of four where children died?

  2. The belief in the existence of gods and their guidance isn’t rational thought so it’s easy to dismiss just like you find it easy to have the faith necessary to believe in things that defy rational thought. My wife and I have been married for over 17 years and we lived together for several months before we got married under the laws of this country (not gods). God hasn’t had anything to say about it (or anything else in my life) and I personally see a lot of value in trying out all aspects of a relationship before you commit your life and future to another person. I wouldn’t be surprised if my religious brother was “good” and didn’t do a thing other than sleep separately in the same apartment. I see you’re another person willing to judge his goodness even though he knows he’s good with his god since he’s very religious. This is just one of many things I dislike about religion. How do you know the divorce rates matter in what my brother did and that he did anything “wrong”?

    Why would I want to study further the fiction of Jesus serving wine? It has no impact on my life and my own responsible and occasional consumption of alcohol. The rest of my family that happens to be Christian wanted a traditional champagne toast during the reception. I don’t like champagne so I would have used iced tea if they had done that. I didn’t have a champagne toast at my own non-religious wedding. You’re missing the point if you assume the intent of the champagne was for everyone to get drunk at the reception regardless of the potential for what any amount of alcohol can do today versus 2000 years ago. You’re also insulting by suggesting there’d be any “grinding” on the dance floor. Nobody there was the type of person that would have danced that way regardless of the location. That’s why all of this is very silly in my opinion since all of this supposed debauchery that you imply the church was protecting us from wouldn’t have happened anyway with my family and their guests.

    No, it’s not a person’s right to go to a wedding, get drunk, and crash their car into anyone. I don’t know why your example has to be a family of four with children. I’m guessing if it was a family of atheists, Hindus, etc. then you would be less sad since I’m guessing you picture a nice Christian family when you wrote that and believed the drunk was a sinner that didn’t follow God properly if he was a Christian. You are tying unrelated chains of events together to justify restricting what others are doing. Just because a thing can be misused by some people doesn’t mean you get rid of the thing. We’ve reduced alcohol related deaths as a society by targeting the mix of alcohol and driving that leads to those types of deaths.

    Guess what, alcohol isn’t the leading cause of death. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_causes_of_death_by_rate
    All traffic accidents are #19 at 2.09% of deaths.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcohol-related_traffic_crashes_in_the_United_States
    Alcohol related crashes are anywhere from 12.8% (measured) to 40% (estimated) of all crashes (not crash deaths). So even if we’re generous and say half of all traffic deaths are alcohol related then it’s only 1% of all deaths each year. The other 1% is just stupid people that can’t drive or just human error using a thing that isn’t mentioned in the bible. I think you should do like the Amish and get rid of your car and encourage your fellow Christians to get rid of their cars too since they kill people and God didn’t say you should have a car.

    Even if God doesn’t exist, why would anyone want to drive a car that has caused so many deaths? If you really know what is best then shouldn’t you want to keep everyone you care about from driving, one of the leading causes of death in America instead of defending it’s use? Any one before you that argues that it is everyone right to drive, ask yourself the question. Was it a person’s right to go to a wedding and not be a perfect driver and crash their car into a family of four where children died? As you know, God hates cars. :-)

  3. First off you really shouldn’t use wikipedia as a source. It is also comical that assume that I am judging you or your brother when in fact you are doing the same thing to me. So in reality everyone judges, only some do it with more hostility. For example look at your response.

    So you say it is easily to dismiss the existence of God. If it is so easy then why has it not been done yet. Why is that people such as Dawkins refuse to debate people like William Lane Criag. I mean several heros of the atheist community have already tried and left in defeat, so I guess Mr. Dawkins is simply afraid.

    You say that Jesus is fiction, well that news to anyone that has any understanding of Jesus and history. Of all the documents during that time period the Bible is the most accurate. Now I understand that doesn’t mean it is true but still it is a trusted source during that period. Thats if you don’t hind your head under a rock and reject historical accuracy. Also if Jesus was simply fiction then why is that Cornelius Taticus the famous roman historian wrote about the life and death of Jesus. If he lied about the existence of Jesus then anything else he wrote must not be trusted therefore putting a big dent in of historical understanding during that time frame. I mean if the Bible was the only source of Jesus life then maybe you might have an argument but it not. So brother I am sorry but simply claiming that Jesus is fiction is denial and ignorance.

    You claim to be a “free thinker”, so I guess to be define as that you must reject the thought of a God. A logical person can easily say that is not free thinking but limited thinking. Why, because you will not allow yourself to consider the existence of God. How is that free?

    Just for kicks, the family of four argument could be hindu, atheist, christians, ect…. you completely missed the point. Also proven by your car example.

    If God does exist, then that fact impacts every aspect of our life. Which you have failed to do, prove His non-existence. Have a good evening brother.

  4. Wikipedia is an open collective of written human knowledge and people do try to correct any incorrect information posted by others. Why shouldn’t I use it? Are you saying the information is incorrect? Would it make it a more reliable written record of knowledge if they added “word of God” or “Bible” at the top of every page?

    I’m only judging you and mocking you because you came into my virtual house and started talking about living together before marriage as a cause for divorce, grinding on the dance floor on church property, and any use of alcohol leading to car crashes and death. In truth, I don’t know you and you might be a fine person regardless of the things you’ve written here.

    Your god has been dismissed by plenty of people including myself. You can’t debate a belief based on faith instead of reality and truth. The Bible isn’t accurate even within itself. When did the fig tree die, immediately or the next day? The poor thing wasn’t even in season for figs but it had to die in the story. Jesus is as real as King Arthur and Beowulf. Those characters are written about by our ancestors so I guess I should believe they existed. Even if there was a man named Jesus from that time and it was written in many books then it does not prove that such a person was the son of a god.

    A free thinker doesn’t have to reject the thought of gods. If you’re interested you could read this for my thoughts on that whole thing. http://agnosticuniverse.org/blog/2011/06/06/an-agnostic-creator-hypothesis/ The only god I would consider logical is one that came to be in existence and created just one universe out of an infinity of existence. Existence is more likely to “be” without creation than an all-powerful being that would just “be” without creation and would be capable of creating this universe. I see no true signs of this god other than the claims of believers that then claim I have to prove them wrong even though the burden of proof is on you. People engaging in agnosticism, atheism, and free thought in general do consider the existence of God in such a critical fashion that simply saying “I believe” is insufficient to will such an idea to be true.

    God told me that Jesus wasn’t real and that no human is capable of understanding God’s true nature. God said the Bible isn’t even close to being accurate. Now prove me wrong that the one true God didn’t tell me that.

    If God does exist then that fact impacts every aspect of our life. How have you failed in the eyes of your God and how has that actually impacted you? I believe in society and my family and when I fail in their eyes I know exactly how that impacts me. Your god, the Bible, and all other religions of the world haven’t done anything to me and mean nothing to me. You have a good evening too my brother. I’m going to go talk to my daughter and enjoy my godless life. It’s comforting to not have to worry about a fictional eternity and actual focus on the important things I have in my life at this very moment. :-)

  5. Just a Guy,

    My question is, if God existed would he know best?

    You reminded me of a poem I wrote when I was a child. I don’t remember all of it, but I remember how it ended:

    “But what should I find Him on knees,
    Bemused as well, to a greater sky, hands raised?”

    It was about the search for God, and addressed the theory that He may exist, in that He organized our world, but so what? That would make Him a super human, but not perfect, or all-knowing, or all-loving, or all-powerful.

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