Question:

I grew up attending Bible studies and was even a Sunday school teacher at one point, a choir member and a member of the ladies association. But most of all I believed I had a good relationship with God. Then, I met someone at church and we started dating. After some time our relationship became physical and as my shame grows, I left all my ministries at church and even stopped going at all.

There are days I find myself crying and deep inside I am sad that I compromised, but most of all I just miss God. Back then I was so confident that whatever circumstance I'm sure everything will be okay because I know God is with me. Now I just feel wretched. I have asked for God's forgiveness and have repented. My questions are:

Can I still be part of a ministry? Is it hypocritical considering of my past that I haven't told anyone about. In my church most of those who have fornicated are no longer in ministries and I don't see them at church. Not sure if thy were excommunicated or they just don't want to attend anymore. And I don't really want to lose my church. I practically grew up there and I love everyone there.

My boyfriend and I are planning to get married in the next three years and it has always been my dream to get married at church. But because of fornicating I'm not sure if I'm allowed to despite my repentance. I'm quite sure that they will ask if we had sex before and my pastor has strict rules about that. He said he will never spearhead a marriage that have been consummated prior the wedding. My boyfriend said that he can't lie to our pastor. He said we can just have a civil wedding. I'm crushed at that option. Should I just let go of my church wedding dream?


Answer:

There are no choirs in the New Testament church. That was an innovation of men. See: Choirs and Solos.

I find it odd that you left your church and yet talk about not wanting to lose it. A person who does not participate with a congregation is not a part of the congregation.

Can a former sinner return to worship God and be active in the things God allows women to do? Yes. That is what forgiveness is about. But I'm puzzling whether you have actually left your sin. You talk about repenting, but you also mention that you aren't planning to get married for a long while. I can't determine if you are still having sex or are living with each other. I'm not certain if things have changed.

What bothers me most is that you hint that you wish that your boyfriend would lie about your past sins so that you can get married in this building. Lying is a sin and is never acceptable (Revelation 21:8). "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?" (Romans 6:1-2).

Weddings are not a church function. There is no command that a wedding must be done in a church building or officiated by a church leader. Where a wedding takes place does not make it more or less significant in the sight of God. There are attributes about a wedding ceremony that needs to be met because it is creating a covenant between two people, but location is not significant. See: Marriage Covenants.

It sounds like the show before others is overly important to you. Since you have not shown restraint and you want to marry this man, why not simply get married instead of waiting three years? "But I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if they remain even as I am; but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion" (I Corinthians 7:8-9).