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 1:5; 11:14; 12:15). 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?