Monday, May 29, 2017

LCG: Stop mocking pre-engagement counseling command!

A reader here has taken great exception to a previous post, LCG to start enforcing pre-engagement "counseling"

Several LCG members have commented to me about how appalling they think this invasion into their lives is.  It is all about control.  Members are still too stupid to make good decisions on their own.

The Bible tells us that good counsel is critical for making good decisions (Proverbs 1:511:1412:15). Marriage is one of the most important decisions of one’s life (second only to baptism). The ministry must never become a “blessing factory,” just putting the Church’s stamp of approval on a marriage, no matter what. Rather, the ministry is here to help couples seeking marriage discern God’s will as they consider making a covenant with each other, before God. 
While the Church has historically suggested premarital counseling for all couples considering marriage, it makes much more sense to seek pre-engagement counseling. The intended purpose of counseling has always been to help couples themselves better determine if they are “right for each other” in God’s sight and to increase their opportunity for success in a potential marriage.  
Regrettably, in all too many cases, once a couple is engaged, the couple’s focus is no longer on evaluating their relationship and whether or not they are right for each other. When their main concern is planning the wedding, they are far less evaluative of their relationship. Counseling can be simply an afterthought. 
Pre-engagement counseling makes far more sense. The couple may be dating seriously but they have not yet publicly committed to marriage in an engagement and they are much more open to honestly evaluating themselves as potential marriage partners. This, in turn, gives much more opportunity for God to guide their decision-making. To better serve our membership in these critical decisions, the Church requests that all couples considering marriage seek pre-engagement counseling from the ministry before any formal engagement.

God is NOT guiding their decision making, it is the minister, plain and simple.  It is his opinion and has nothing to do with God.  Just look at the horrendous mess Rod Meredith made in the church with his "divorce and remarriage" policies he instituted in the 1960/70's.  Could there have been anything viler?  Given that sickening track record, why would ANYONE even think about using an LCG minister for pre-engagement counselling?

He writes:

Derek Arrington said...
HEY! Are any of you awake. No mot physically but Spiritually, LOOK at the world for a moment. How is marriage coming along? I use to study in the field of crime scene techniques. This world if you haven't noticed is pretty SICK. Relationships of all types are falling apart even the God forbidden relationships ( If you don't know, please blow the Dust off your bibles and Read it). Is it really Wrong to try something different? It makes total sense to first find out if one is compatible. I guess you all think marriage counseling while married is stupid also. Getting back to my previous statement, this world and its views are Sick. Many people get married Only to seek something in return. It happens quite often on a daily basis. How many Murders are committed on the honeymoon or within 3 years of the marriage or relationship? I guess they sadly didn't do a good background or knew of a Pre- Counseling ( which may have caught things that raised Flags). The heart is very wicked and you have no idea whatsoever ( its thinking) Yea! Really, If you're not working on a 20,30,40,50 and above marriage then you probably should keep silent ( if that's possible of course). And if you're not married but in a serious longtime relationship for many months or years, then I'm less you are practicing Gods law ( No Fornication) neither of you truly have respect for each other ( Actions Speaks Louder) and you both SIN. Now I ask again, would it hurt to at least find out if a couple is compatible? If not, look at the world and pick which relationship you want. Good luck eventhough I don't believe in it.


Anonymous said...

Look at Dr. Douglas S. Winnail's marriage, divorce, and remarriage (to the same woman who divorced him), and tell me that his Church Administration Department has any credibility or moral standing to approve or disapprove of relationships and to instruct people on how to have harmonious Christian relationships.

Ask LCG young people about the childless Mr. Gerald Weston's reputation in working with young people at summer camps over the years.

Ask LCG young people about LCG's approval of both of David Meredith's troubled marriages.

LCG young people would be excited about pre-engagement counseling if they saw that it produced good fruit. What they see, instead, is that "counseling" is more often than not a tool for ministerial control, not for marital happiness.

nck said...

Marriage is a way of female control over man. A structure imposed by society, demanding social behavior by said (I don't care where I left my stinky sock in the cave or during the hunt), men. Only in the end some men will hesitantly admit they actually benefitted from the arrangement. In the mean time women will have to suffer this or get a job and outdo men.


Connie Schmidt said...

... And be sure that the couples read "The Missing Dimension In Sex" by HWA.

Anonymous said...

I remember back when I attended LCG, Winnail for some reason enjoyed giving marriage sermons. Apart from the boredom I always thought to myself, who the hell are you to explain how to have a happy marriage. How bizzare.

Byker Bob said...

The problem is that the Armstrong system lends itself to superficial relationships between the ministers and the members. If the minister actually knew both members of the couple and their families, perhaps something meaningful would happen as a result of preengagement counselling. The ACOG local congregations are so small these days that the dating pool has shrunken, and people get desperate. Plus, they harp on times being short, people tend to think they could have a short term relationship with just about anyone, and then the end never gets around to arriving, so you have miserable people. If you're not married prior to coming into an ACOG, you are pretty much screwed, counselling or not. And, like the police in the ghetto, the ministers always have a way of making things worse, so why allow them to insert themselves into your life situations in the first place?


Anonymous said...

How many single LCG members, under the age of seventy can there be?
Of that number, how many of them have the socials skills required to hook up with another?
Then, how many hundreds of miles would they have to drive to pull off an occasional hook up?
Why are the LCG mini-Rods trying so hard to frustrate these couple dozen needy souls?
The number of LCG singles of child-bearing age must be a very small number.
Assuming that LCG spawn would remain with LCG until adulthood and that LCG lasts another 18 years, then the LCG is limiting a possible source of members to make a meager counter-balance to the larger number of LCG members waking up and leaving and the number leaving by dying.
LCG government rules have never made sense.

Anonymous said...

Marriage today is slavery for men. They work twice as many hours as they would need to if they were single, and in the end she runs off with another guy and his kids and his house and his money and child support. And then she tells the kids lies to make them hate their dad and stay with her, so in the end they just hate him. That's what happens when the death penalty for adultery is removed. Your race goes extinct because men say to hell with marriage. Of course, that was the plan all along. Duh.

Anonymous said...

I have never believed in going to the ministry for counseling of any kind. Every time I saw the results of it with former brethren, it was never good. If a couple knows they want to get married, and does want help, my advice is this; Seek out a couple who you know have been married for at least 20 years and seem to be happy. Ask them what their secret is. I think that would be much wiser than going to a minister just because they said you should.

Redfox712 said...

It is just awful how LCG's leaders expect to have the authority to conduct pre-marriage counseling. As though they don't have enough power over lay members already. The potential for a minister in this position of power to pursue his own interests is frightening. This practice should be abolished.

Anonymous said...

The thing is, if it were really about trying to achieve good outcomes with happy marriages, wouldn't you think that it would produce good outcomes with happy marriages? I personally know of many couples who went through this scam of "counseling" and were given the green light full speed ahead and a few years later were miserable. LCG rushes marriages through when they think it will be beneficial to the church. If not, you're out of luck and good luck trying to get anyone to marry you or to fit in the "club" afterwards. Sociopaths are good at putting on a pleasant mask as long as it suits them (in front of the minister and brethren). I've even participated in such counseling unbeknownst to me, with the minister sizing me up when all I was trying to do was to get to know the other person to decide if I actually was interested in dating them. It felt pushed and rushed and I walked away knowing that it wasn't right for me. I feel bad for the 20 year olds that don't have enough life experiences under their belt to stand up for themselves.

Anonymous said...

People have to get married when they aren't allowed to have sex outside of marriage. As an old woman, all I can say is, who in their right mind would marry someone without having sex first? Now we have the ability to prevent pregnancy and other problems it seems ridiculous to choose a life mate without testing the waters. Maybe for men they can look at a woman (or man) and know they will have good sex, but it is more important for a woman to try it out first if she wants a good sexual match, otherwise she might just end up a lifelong housekeeper.

Anonymous said...

This is all much to do about nothing. The LCG is not "enforcing" pre-engagement counseling, rather, they are highly suggesting - for the long-term benefit and good of the couple considering marriage - that they seek the ministries spiritual counsel and advice. Many of the fulltime ministers have taken non-Church of God marriage counseling courses that even many ministers in the "world" have taken, and which have proven to be of exceptional benefit to many, many, couple. The Bible encourages counseling from a wide-variety of sources (Proverbs 11:14 is just one example), so why not come to a minister to whom many of these people - even the "complainers" - believe to be true ministers of God. However, the LCG ministry will not tell anyone "no" about getting married, nor will they kick them out the Church if they do get married without their blessing. As is always the case, people will have to live with the decisions they make. However, if they will simply seek a multitude of counsel (even with the ministry and with others), their lives may just be a little more happier and fulfilling - and not play out in frustration.

Anonymous said...

Over forty years ago, I went by the "book". No "hanky-panky" before we got married. Then on our wedding night, I find out she can't deal with intimacy. Being young, dedicated and stupid, I stayed in the marriage for 17 years in which I received two hugs, until she divorced me. She never dated afterward. The minister told me it was my fault, "you just don't know what you're doing."

Later, when I met a beautiful young women in the church, I proved him wrong. So, the "rules" didn't work for me. When my second wife died shortly after we married, I said "That's it!". No more letting a minster tell me what I can or cannot do when it came to dating. I met a lot of women, none in the church, because there aren't any. I would somewhat early on let them know about my "crazy" religion and lost a number of very attractive potential mates.

But eventually found a widow who needed a lot of help and over time we got married.
I never required her to go to church, but she's now baptized.

All relationships can be difficult at times. Having your mate in the church is no guarantee you will have a good marriage.

Retired Prof said...

May 29 at 8:23 PM gives this advice for pre-engagement counseling: "Seek out a couple who you know have been married for at least 20 years and seem to be happy. Ask them what their secret is."

Okay, then. Some years back, when my wife and I had been married about forty years, a guy at a party asked me how we had stayed married for so long. I told him, "Inertia. Sheer lack of imagination and initiative."

So that's our secret. As I mull it over, it seems unlikely to benefit either people considering marriage or their counselors. Still, for what it's worth, there it is.

nck said...


Thank you for your advice.
I still have to do some more time.
If she finds out I wrote this, I will be physically abused. Please help!

"Sheer lack of imagination and initiative", hilarious. When you passed on the advice she must have been busy talking to that young associate on the other side of the room.


Anonymous said...

Never marry damaged goods. Who can trust a floozy? Nobody.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who can't learn to have sex is a retard. Trying each other out first is for retards.

Anonymous said...

two things are certain: human beings are born knowing nothing, especially nothing about how to behave in a marriage; biblically sound advice has been around even before the romans...

how we in our modern day progressive world presume to be inherently prepared for marriage, or even nominally prepared based upon our limited experience prior to marriage is frankly illogical...

we simply have to have advice and guidance going into such a major commitment...

no one would dispute the seeking of the advice of an attorney given certain circumstances, but when it comes to seeking counsel for marriage we find this ridiculous???

Anonymous said...

the LCG ministry will not tell anyone "no" about getting married, nor will they kick them out the Church if they do get married without their blessing.

FALSE. Look in the earlier thread and you will see examples of young people told "no" about getting married, until their parents were ordained as deacons and the marriage suddenly somehow became OK. Why do you LCG apologists keep making yourselves look so stupid and cult-like by lying when the truth is so plain for anyone who bothers to check for themselves?

Here's what LCG published several years ago, which Weston has reaffirmed as LCG policy:

Courtship and Engagement: A Christian Approach

"Part of seeking God’s guidance involves seeking pre-engagement counseling with a minister who knows the couple well. No couple should assume that they are “too old” or “already experienced” and thus do not need the benefit of pre-engagement counseling. During courtship, a man and woman must be willing to ask and answer deeper and more personal questions about each other as they explore their individual goals, ambitions, perspectives and life experiences.

In my many years of working with and counseling young singles—and with older singles, too—I have learned that it is incredibly important for men and women both to develop a “list of qualities” they feel they must have in a future mate. This must be a personal list, developed by the individual considering marriage, but it should also benefit from input given by others who are older and who know the individuals well. Parents and ministers and older married couples will often identify key qualities that an idealistic person in love may neglect."

Read the above carefully. The individual list of your future mate's qualities must include "input given by others who are older and who know the individuals well." Note that this isn't just for young people, as Weston says that no one should consider themselves "too old" for pre-engagement counseling. Note that during this process, the counselees must be willing to "answer deeper and more personal questions" posed by the counselors.

Maybe the above poster made a sincere and innocent mistake because of living in a region where LCG wasn't previously doing counseling Weston's way. Unfortunately for him, Weston's way is now all of LCG's way.

Cultish and creepy.

Anonymous said...

You Can't Turn A Whore Into A Housewife.

Steve J said...

So now that Rod Meredith has passed away who will advise future husbands how many spankings they should give their wives and for what reasons???

Margaret Walker said...

Honestly, people, THIS is what you get when you NEVER READ GOD's LAW, E V E R! The solemn seventh year it is to be READ as a whole AT the Feast: the CHURCH never read it - just portion s of it. Why? Because, mainly, the human sexuality laws put them off - they refuse them, to THIS DAY! The fornication judgment (Ex.22:16,17: spoken at Sinai, not done away with by baptism, for Israel was BAPTIZED in the sea, and then heard God's Law first at Sinai), then the statute of Num.30 that IF a father approves or is silent on his daughter's BOND (premarital sex is a BOND) he either establishes her bond or forbids it and GOD BACKS HIM UP - so, it is NO PROBLEM if the Father of the Bride gives her away as a VIRGIN to her VIRGIN HUSBAND! The last 100 years have made a mess of the WHOLE WORLD in this matter, although sin did exist before then, people knew there was a BRIDE PRICE TO PAY if they stole someone's virginity. God doesn't like what's being taught today, contrary to His Word, and His silence on it doesn't mean He isn't going to take to task eventually those that BREAK these eternal Laws. Go figure. I didn't make the Law; God did. Christ DIED for our breaking them, so seems to me to be pretty serious. Marriages bound BY THE LAW are for a it or not...

Anonymous said...

You Can't Turn A Whore Into A Housewife.

Zsa Zsa Gabor accurately described the state of modern marriage when she said, "I'm a marvelous housekeeper. Every time I divorce a man, I keep his house!"

Anonymous said...

God is not involved in marriages. He took his hand off things when man left the 'garden'.
We are on our own now.
Catholic church has Pre-Cana counseling.
Jews offer pre-marital counseling.
None of it does much good.
Marriage works if the people work at it.
It doesn't if they don't or if one doesn't even.
This is why God created divorce: the hardness of hearts after the 'garden'.
We do not live in that garden and things are not the way they should be. We do the best we can with what we got.

Best advice I can give for marriage:
1. be good friends first
2. discuss sex and money before marriage in detail... real detail.

Anonymous said...

You can't turn a whore into a housewife ..maybe.
How about turning a whore mongering Tom Cat into a good husband? Rarely happens and most men are out tom catting with anything that moves before marriage and most of them after as well.

nck said...

It didnt work out for Tevje.

Matchmaker matchmaker......etc


Anonymous said...

I can name 3 couples in LCG who were told they could get married, but it wouldn't be by an LCG minister. LCG ministers have no legitimate qualifications for counseling. They just deem themselves wise and tell people what they can and can not do.

One of these couples were told they couldn't get married because they weren't the same race. Yep, you heard me right... LCG is still staunchly against inter-racial marriage in the year 2017!

nck said...

"LCG is still staunchly against inter-racial marriage in the year 2017!"

I wouldn't dare ask the opinion of the "black mamma and her seven sisters" either at the hairdressers.

"Aren't we good enough....didn't your mamma raise you good.....snap snap.."

(sorry for not being politically correct)


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