Pastor Encourages Cohabitants To Marry & Pays For The Weddings: Pastor Bryan Carter is encouraging his congregation to get married, he is even offering to pay for the wedding, dress, tux, everything! Tune in now to learn what kind of impact it’s having on the community.
Air Date: 06/17/2019
Guest: Pastor Bryan Carter
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
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Transcription note: As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.
Faith And The Culture
Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. This is WallBuilders Live! WallBuilders Live! Where we’re talking about today’s hottest topics on policy, faith, and the culture, always doing that from a Biblical, historical, and Constitutional perspective.
So whatever the issue is; we’re gonna say what does the Bible say about it? How do we apply that in our lives, and our culture, and our government, and every area of the culture? Then what can we learn from history? What does the Constitution say about it?
We look at those three perspectives, and it helps us to find the right answer on every issue facing us in our nation today.
My name is Rick Green. I’m a former Texas legislator, and I’m here with David Barton. He’s America’s premier historian and the founder of Wall Builders. Tim Barton is with us he’s a national speaker and pastor and the president of WallBuilders.
You can find out more about all three of us and the ministry at Wallbuilderslive.com and also WallBuilders.com. Two websites, one of those focused on the radio program. There at WallbuildersLive.com, you can get archives of the program of the last few months, and then you can also find out which stations we are on across the country. And you can also e-mail in your questions to [email protected]
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Family And Marriage
Our guys our topic today definitely is the intersection of faith and the culture because that number one government unit, that closest one to us – is the family. We’re gonna be talking about marriage today and the importance of that institution being revived in our country.
(We) Have a pastor coming on later. A pastor, Bryant Carter, from a large church in Dallas, Texas that is challenging his congregation. If you’re cohabiting, get married. He’s actually offering to pay for the wedding – dress, tuxedos, rings all that. Anyway, we got a great interview coming up later in the program.
Marriage In Today’s Culture
David, Tim marriage in today’s culture.
Well, first of all, I think the fact he’s offering to pay for marriages is making many fathers listening to the program right now consider relocating to Dallas and going to church.
Like, we’ve just solved a financial crisis in the family, especially if you’re a homeschool Dad and you have multiple daughters like, wow. God bless you. But, how cool that they’re doing something to promote marriage, and especially looking at the next generation and recognizing the views of millennials in regards to marriage.
How millennials don’t value marriage on the same level and in some aspects, I can understand when the majority of millennials have grown up in broken homes, where divorce was part of their life that I think many millennials are very skeptical of marriage. Because they didn’t see it work well in their family and they saw the brokenness, they saw the hurt, they saw the pain, and so you know some of these secular ideas that hey we should just live together and let’s just see, just try it out. Let’s balance is out, and it’s interesting how much what culture promotes seems to be wise, seems to be practical.
It reminds me of where the Bible tells us that the wisdom of the world is foolishness to God and God’s kingdom right and vice versa. That the wisdom of God is foolishness to the world, that these things seem to contradict.
Revenge Of The Church Ladies
I remember several years ago when I read this study first time I’d seen something like this it was called, Revenge of the church ladies. It was an article about a study. But the article identified that in this sexual study that was taken, and I think a lot of the data was done in New York.
The study was looking at women and when and where are they the most sexually satisfied in relationships. What they discovered through this study, through this survey, was that the women who identified that they were the most sexually satisfied in their relationships were actually church ladies who were in a monogamous relationship.
So religious ladies, monogamous relationship, lifelong partner, and union they said they were the most satisfied.
It was totally contradictory to what culture would say – that you know you hook up with as many people, you explore, you live together, and all these things we hear from culture.
It was completely the opposite when it came to people enjoying and being fulfilled satisfied in those dynamics of the relationship. There’s a lot of studies that show the contradictory nature of what culture and the world promotes when it comes to the practicality of enjoyment of life and success.
This Is A Cultural Challenge
Studies also show that biblical standards tend to produce the best results. And yet, that’s just not what’s being promoted, and it’s not what’s largely embraced by millennials, and so this is a cultural challenge.
An issue we understand for culture and a community that families are the foundation and bedrock of any culture, of any society, of any government. The stronger the family units, the better of a chance that culture, society, the government has to be successful.
The weaker, the worse the family unit, the more problems you’re going to have in that culture, that society or in that government, and this is where America is.
A Fatherless Epidemic
One of the major problems we have is the fatherless epidemic. A lot of that comes back to couples who aren’t getting married, the brokenness of the home, they’re not staying together. Yet there are voices in culture that are addressing this.
We talk so often to pastors saying, we should just start teaching what the Bible says and how the Bible applies to culture. And many pastors are kind of scared to get into what the Bible says because they don’t want to offend people.
They don’t wanna drive them off, they just want to weave words, tell people that Jesus loves them, and God has a plan and purpose for life. Even though that is totally true, Jesus does love you, and God does have a plan and purpose for your life.
The Bible also gives guidance for how we should live life and how we can live it to the fullness of what God wants us to have. Yet many pastors just don’t get into those issues.
This Is Teaching the Bible and How To Make Practical Application
I think that’s what struck me most when I saw this article, was hey this is not just teaching the Bible. This is teaching the Bible and showing how to make practical application.
I’m going to address things that are going in the culture right now that don’t go along with what the Bible says rather than just saying here’s what the Bible says it’s all right.
But let me show you how to get to where the Bible says, how you can live with the Bible says, and this is where you are right now, and I want to help you get to the right side.
I thought it was so good to have so many practical solutions. I mean the church is paying for the wedding? The church is helping people get out of cohabitation, which is such a common practice today. It was just so refreshing to see the church actually becoming relevant and practical.
And my gosh the response that we’re getting over the church in Dallas really shows that people are hungry for this kind of practical application. So we thought this would be a great interview to have.
I don’t know the last time I’ve heard of a pastor doing this kind of stuff, and it was just refreshing to even read the article. So I’m looking forward to really hearing about the interview as well.
Excited to have Pastor Brian Carter with us when we come back from the break. So stay with us folks, you’re listening to WallBuilders Live.
Moment From American History
This is Tim Barton from WallBuilders with another moment from American history. After the final victory at Yorktown, the Continental Army awaited the outcome of peace negotiations with Great Britain.
Pastor Israel Evans, a chaplain in the army, proposed to George Washington that they build a structure where church services can be held during the months of waiting. Washington approved the plan and urged officers to ensure that the soldiers attend that service.
Pastor Evans further knew if we were to secure the liberties they had fought for, sound education would be crucial.
He declared, “Every parent and every friend to the freedom of his country ought to be attentive to the improvement of our youth and the principles of freedom and good government. And, then the people will stand fast in their liberty for a long time.” Our schools today need to return to teaching the principles of freedom and good government in order for America to survive and prosper. For more information about Pastor Israel Evans and other colonial Patriots go to WallBuilders.com
Special Guest – Pastor Brian Carter
Welcome back. Thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders Live. Thrilled to have Pastor Brian Carter with us from the great state of Texas, there in Dallas at Concord Church. Pastor, thanks for your time today.
Hey, thank you so much for having me on. Honored to be here.
Well, appreciate the challenge that you’ve made two couples in your congregation. We think it’s a great challenge to share with our listeners across the country and hopefully, other pastors do the same with their congregation.
But you are basically saying, hey all you cohabiting couples out there there’s a better way. Let’s do this the biblical way.
Lift Up The Biblical Model Of Marriage
Yeah, you know all the statistics indicate that cohabitation has really become 60 to 70 percent of couples will live together before they marry.
It’s really almost becoming normative, particularly for our young adults and even those above 50 years – a growing crowd of cohabitation.
Our hope and goal is to really to lift up the biblical model of marriage and encourage couples both in our church and in the community to understand that marriage is much better than just living together.
Now, you actually challenged the couples in your church and said, hey, we’ll pay for the wedding. You’re actually saying we’ll get the dresses, the tuxedo, the rings.
The Church Is A Place Of Restoration
Yeah, You know, it’s our hope that the church is really a place of restoration. It’s so important that our faith is not just calling people to honor God in our lives but also giving them pathways.
Our whole goal was not only just that to help us understand the value of the biblical covenant of marriage but also to give them a pathway. So we taught them if you want to.
Sometimes many people end up in cohabitation because they slide into the relationship. One night turns to two nights. Two nights turn to a week. A week turns to a month, and before you know it, you’re there a couple of years.
We Want To Help You
And so, the first opportunity we gave them was if you want to move out we’ll cover your first month’s rent. If you know you in that relationship and it does not honor God, it’s not what you want to be, but you just slid into the relationship, we want to help you.
But then secondly, if you’re living together and you know you need to make a commitment. You know you want to honor her, to honor him then we’ll help you get married.
We’ll take care of all of the wedding costs. All we want you to do was go through our eleven weeks of couples counseling, and preparation to prepare for you to have the best, and strongest marriage you can possibly have.
If We Can Make Disciples Of Men And Women, We can Impact Our Country
You know, Pastor just looking at some of the things that that you’ve done, and continue to do. It’s such a good application of living a biblical life.
The series you did for Lifeway on authentic manhood. Family life ministries program for the art of marriage.
I guess I want to ask you how you decided to do more than just preach on a Sunday morning about salvation but to actually make disciples of men and women. You seem to be doing that more than most pastors. Can you describe why that’s different for you and your congregation?
We just have a heart for marriage and family. And so because of that, we believe that if we can make disciples of men, and women, and couples, and family, you really can have an impact on a city, upon a community, and upon on the future of our country.
And so I think that’s just been a heart’s desire mine, a passion for our church. And so part of this whole issue of cohabitation really rests at the feet of men.
Couples Need Help
You know when men don’t make a commitment, but when men settle just to move with a woman rather than to commit to her, you know all these things ripple together. So, we can build up strong men, then we can, in turn, build up strong marriages and begin to the disciple couples.
Couples need help. Nobody knows how to do marriage on their own. We need help on how to deal with conflict, how to communicate well, and then all of that builds toward building stronger families for our sons and daughters.
And so our hope is just to try to live out the scriptures and try to help families and help marriages to understand that God has instructions for us on all of these issues and he invites us to follow him.
Let me ask you from the perspective of a couple that might say you know, Pastor we’ve been living together for years so why should we change now? It’s working OK for us.
It’s Really A Matter Of Honoring God
You know it’s really a matter of honoring God. I mean at the end of the day, there are some would say, why would a pastor talk about such a topic? Or you know we can kind of do it our own way.
You can, but if you want to follow Christ, he calls us to honor him in many areas of our lives.
One couple that came forward had actually been living together for the last 15 years. They’ve got two or three children together, and they came, and they basically said this to me; we’ve been living together, but it’s time we’re committed to each other, but we want to do it the right way.
We want to honor God. We want to edify Christ. We want to set an example for our children.
So this is really about the gospel. It’s about the fact that when you give your life to the Gospel, you understand the Gospel restores, and the Gospel transforms.
Which means I can’t do or live the way I want to live because now I want to really honor him here. We all fall short, but our goal is to offer couples the chance to really honor God in their relationships.
And you had a great response and continue to have a great response on this. Even to those that you’re saying, hey if you’re cohabiting now if you’re living together now, your challenge was basically three steps.
Get into our program stepping into marriage with three steps, and that includes you know getting into the program but then go ahead in separate spaces until the marriage date. Until the actual date of the marriage and continue to date during that time. Kind of walk us through how that’s working.
We Provided Three Options
We provided these three options. The one option is really to move away. What does that mean? That simply means how you think about relationships.
So many of us think if I move in together, it lets me test the relationship. What we’re trying to help people to understand is that living together really doesn’t deliver all of this promise.
The percentage of couples that live together rarely never get married. In living together, this is a higher rate of domestic violence.
There’s a higher rate of depression among women. Although it seems like living together would solve all my problem, it really doesn’t.
Some people do it for economic reasons. Some people do it because they’ve been hurt in the past, and so they’re trying to find a way around that pain. Some have been married before, so they say let’s live together, and this will stop me from dealing with the pains of a divorce.
Here’s what we know: it just doesn’t deliver on all that it’s promised.
So the first idea is this: I got to take it off the table when I start thinking about my options of how I want to do relationships.
The second thing we offer was to move out. It simply means that for some people you just need a chance to say you know what, this is probably not where I need to be.
We have four couples, four individuals that said thank you for the assistance and rent because this is not where I want to be. I got here one night turned to two to three. I’m here, but it’s not where I want to be. And so that’s one option.
The third option is to marry now. And so we ask couples if you know you’re committed to one another and you want to get married. Let us help you. We’re going to put you on a 90-day path to marriage. So will all we want you to do is go through 11 weeks of counseling so that you can learn how to communicate, how to deal with conflict, what it means to be a husband and wife and then when that’s finished, we’ll give you a free wedding.
A Tuxedo, dress, ring, we’ll take care of all of that. You focus on the relationship, let us focus on the wedding.
We’ve Had 50 Couples Come Forward
We had 50 couples that came forward to say they want to join us on that journey. And so they’ll be walking with them for 90 days and then, later on, we’ll put on a wedding to happen in September.
Right. We’ve never had. Now we’ve had one in ten years, but we’ve never had that many couples come forward.
That’s fantastic. My question for you: Are you going to have to come up with a different message for each of those 50 weddings? ’cause that’s going to be tough.
I don’t know how that’s going to work. We’ll figure that out. It’d definitely be interesting.
How To Issue This Challenge To Your Congregation
Yes. Let me ask you for pastors around the country that are listening right now that like the sound of this and they want to issue this challenge: Can they go onto your website and pull on this particular sermon? Would that be the easiest way for them to follow this model?
Yes. This is our 10th year and our fourth time issuing this challenge. So we’ve helped a number of churches to be able to apply this program in their church and to be able to preach a message on cohabitation. However, they lay it and then issue this challenge.
It’s reproducible. It’s easy to do. Just share a word or in a series on singleness or in a series on sex. We talk about this, and then we offer couples to meet us, and then we’ll walk with them on the journey. Every church has premarital counseling.
That’s all we’re doing, its not a special class. Is this the same class we use for all of our couples. It’s the same class we’re used for that.
So you can find us at ConcordDallas.org. Just send us a note that we’d be glad to help.
Last thing Pastor, sometimes we tend to shy away from these subjects in our churches because we’re afraid to run people off. How did you approach that? What was the response, I guess overall, with both your team there, and with the church yourself?
Balance of Grace And Truth
You know I think all of us struggle to balance both Grace and truth. I think the model that Jesus Christ tells us is someone that was truthful, but he was also gracious. And I think every church wrestles with that.
So I think the pastor there who decides to preach about it or anyone to decide to share about it has to remember that when we have our talk about that, it’s not me just pointing out everything that’s wrong. But it’s also maybe being sensitive to how people arrive in this place and that it’s not easy. It’s not.
Some people are doing it to try to avoid pain. So if we don’t approach it with the truth of what God’s word says, that relationships ought to be built on a covenant of marriage. But the grace that we all can be very vulnerable to cohabitation as well.
So I would just encourage them. Balance your methods. We’re both truth and grace.
So good. So good. Pastor Carter, God bless you, brother. Thanks so much for your time. Appreciate you coming on today.
Hey, thank you so much. Stay with us folks. Be right back with David and Tim Barton.
Bring A Speaker To Your Area
Hey, this is Tim Barton with WallBuilders. And, as you’ve had the opportunity to listen to WallBuilders Live, you’ve probably heard a wealth of information about our nation, about our spiritual heritage, about the religious liberties, and about all the things that make America exceptional.
And, you might be thinking, “As incredible as this information is, I wish there were a way that I could get one of the WallBuilders guys to come to my area and share with my group.”
Whether it be a church, whether it be a Christian school, or public school, or some political event, or activity, if you’re interested in having a WallBuilders speaker come to your area, you can get on our website at www.WallBuilders.com, and there’s a tab for scheduling. If you click on that tab, you’ll notice there’s a list of information from speakers bio’s, to events that are already going on. And, there’s a section where you can request an event, to bring this information about who we are, where we came from, our religious liberties, and freedoms. Go to the WallBuilders website and Bring a speaker to your area
Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us. Special thanks to Pastor Brian Carter for being with us here on the program today, and that website that he gave during the interview.
Folks who would like to get that particular sermon which he just did on May 21st and as he said is done every year for the last ten years. You get that at ConcordDallas.org. That’s C-o-n-c-o-r-dDallas.org. We’ll have a link today at Wallbuilderslive.com
for you to get as well.
We’re back with David and Tim Barton. And guys, I just love looking through at you because I got to thinking, you know if he’s teaching on this what other kinds of tough topics does he take on? It’s also just cool to see the other programs the stuff he’s done for Family Life Ministries and the authentic manhood series, lots of cool stuff.
That was pretty that was fun to have him on.
How He Handled It In The Congregation
It really was fun to see how he handled it in the congregation because he’s talking to people in his church that aren’t living a biblical lifestyle, but it’s not nailing him for where they are and saying oh look how bad you are. He said, hey we want to help you get to where you need to be.
I love what he said we want to give them pathways. And so that was all about Jesus and what he did. You know he had expectations for disciples, and they often weren’t there, but he gave them pathways to get there, and they were really practical.
Truth Should Bring Freedom
One of the things that the Bible says in John 8:32. Jesus was speaking, he says you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.
Truth should bring freedom, and I think what he said in the interview so powerful, really made me think this is sometimes what’s missing in culture. He says you have to speak the truth to speak with grace.
This was everything Jesus did.
Jesus never brought condemnation when he was correcting somebody. He always showed here’s the solution, here’s the way out, Here’s the hope. And that’s the grace message.
It’s that Jesus loves us just the way we are, but he loves us too much to leave us the way we are right.
I understand life and happens, and you know even as he points out. For so many people this was just a slippery slope that they just kind of got caught up in.
It was one night to two nights. A week to a month —
The Statistics Shows Us That Cohabitation Doesn’t Work
Even on the other side, I mean he was talking about here are all the stats. This is how bad it is domestic violence etc.
But for those that have lived together for a long time and it’s worked. I mean even for them, he had a pathway out for them because they could say hey we don’t have those stats we don’t have negatives.
And so Tim as you’re saying, he had the pathway for the one side, but even for those who appeared to work, he still gave him a pathway over that.
We Do What Honors God
Well, going back to he says well why do we do it? Because we honor God.
And this is where I sometimes think as Christians, we lose perspective is part of why we do what we do as believers, is not always because it makes sense to us, right?
Jesus did not say obey my commands if they make sense to you. That’s not what he was explaining to the disciples.
He said, here’s what I want you to do sometimes we have to walk in obedience to God even when we don’t understand why and how all of it works.
We just know OK, that’s what I’m supposed to do. That’s what I’m to do.
This is no different than a boss to an employee, to a parent to a child. Sometimes as a parent you tell your child, hey do this. They might not understand, but you have a reason, and it is for their good for their benefit.
As a boss, you’re telling your employee I want this done. They might not understand there’s a reason you’re doing this, and it’s for the benefit and good of what’s happening. And this is where I sometimes think as Christians, we get so caught up in this cultural idea of well, here’s what I want here’s how I feel.
We Can See Christianity As Being Restrictive
We see Christianity sometimes as being restrictive not recognizing no, this is actually very beneficial for you. We know that the studies, the stats, the surveys show but also this is how you honor God, which is really part of what being a Christian is all about.
The idea that as Christians we’re not perfect and you can love God and be imperfect, but if we find places in our life where we’re walking in sin, then we want to change and be different because we do want to honor God. We do want to live a godly life.
How Can We Get This Message To The Next Generation?
Guys, as he was saying this I was thinking, so how can we really get this message to the next generation? This is why the things we do in the summer are so important.
Things like High Point. Where we work with high school students and we’re giving them it’s a biblical world view.
Camp is essentially what it is it’s a camp. We do a lot of fun things, but we’re promoting a biblical worldview.
With our leadership training program. We run through WallBuilders, it’s 18 to 25-year-olds, and we do the apologetics of faith. We do the apologists of the Bible, but we get into America, and the Constitution, the First Amendment, the Second Amendment.
We’re trying to help equip and give a foundation. Even at Patriot Academy as we’re teaching kids how to be biblical leaders when it comes to this area of government or politics.
We’re giving them a biblical foundation saying, here’s how you live that out.
It’s just so refreshing that you have pastors that are helping people know here’s how you live out biblically what you need to do, and not only is he telling them what to do then to help equip them being able to do it.
It is so encouraging, refreshing to see pastors taking the lead on helping solve these problems and issues in culture.
Hey man, he’s even going to pay for the tux. The dress, the tux, the rings. The whole nine yards of it. That’s just awesome.
That’s a practical faith right there. That is a practical faith, not a theoretical faith. That’s really good.
He’s Taking All The Obstacles Away
Yeah. He’s saying, look we’re going to take away all the obstacles. We’re gonna get all the things, the excuses, all the obstacles that we say why we’re not getting married yet. We’re going to take that all away, we are going to take care of those things for you.
Let’s do this the biblical way.
Just really cool to see and also cool to see that he’s been doing it for 10 years. They see the results that have taken place there in their church, in their community.
So (we) encourage other folks to model that in their community as well. Thank you so much for listening today.
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