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Marriage counselling/repentant adulterers/fornicators?

Submitted: 7/10/2009
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Question: Is it normal for a pastor who is a licensed marriage counselor and who also pastors a church and who, because of his licensure, counsels and gives post-counseling reports to outside pastors after counseling the non-licensed pastors' congregants, to encourage two couples to continue to worship in the same assembly when there is another assembly in the same vicinity as an option? The counselor/pastor says he has seven couples who have committed adultery in his congregation and they all, after his counseling, all are together worshiping in his church. What is the scriptural basis for this?

Answer: It would seem to make sense that people be part of the church where they are receiving good pastoral care. We do have questions about the quality of some professional counselors. We also would be concerned if a pastor was charging fees for whatever work he is doing with struggling marriages. But in general, we see no signifcant issues with what you have described. We also do not know of any general practice among Apostolic churches. As far as we know, each assembly determines for itself what its practices will be.