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A friend of mine who is a Christian made a mistake and lost her virginity before marriage. According to the rules of the Assemblies of God denomination, can she still have a church wedding?

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    Which 'church' are you enquiring about ? The question needs to be scoped as different Christian groups will view this matter differently. Some do not treat marriage as a 'sacrament', for example. Some would argue that a woman had 'married' by giving herself. Paul speaks to 'virgins' and 'widows' - none other. Separated women he calls 'unmarried'.
    – Nigel J
    May 26, 2023 at 6:25
  • Assemblies of God church. It is a pentecostal church
    – Nina
    May 26, 2023 at 21:14
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    Then an edit would be appropriate @Nina so that contributors may be aware of it. I have added the appropriate tags for you.
    – Nigel J
    May 27, 2023 at 8:24
  • @Nina Welcome to C.SE. I edited the question as an example for you since when different denominations have different answer, we require the questions to clearly narrow the scope so answers can be objective. Jun 1, 2023 at 17:03

4 Answers 4

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Can a non virgin have a church wedding?

The short answer is yes.

Although virginity before marriage is highly recommended and it is encouraged by the Scriptures, it is not an absolute necessity.

Even widows may get remarried according to St. Paul.

To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single, as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion. - 1 Corinthians 7:8-9

But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. - 1 Corinthians 7:2

But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion. - 1 Corinthians 7:9

I personally do not know of any denomination that would refuse a Church wedding based simply on the fact that one or the other (or perhaps both) are not virgins. There may exist one, but I do not know of any such denomination.

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    Certainly she should go to confession first. (I would recommend this before marriage anyway!) In any denomination that considers marriage a sacrament, you should want to come to the altar in a state of friendship with God so that you can receive the grace of that sacrament.
    – workerjoe
    May 25, 2023 at 13:43
  • @workerjoe True for those Churches that have that opportunity as part of their sacramental life.
    – Ken Graham
    May 25, 2023 at 13:45
  • virginity before marriage is not highly encouraged, it is instructed and required on both sides. Both the man and woman.
    – mw509
    May 31, 2023 at 6:18
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This is such a great Question.

I'm Pentecostal and so are our kids.

Anyways my kid Fornicated and they have a kid on the way. We told them to get married because it was the right thing to do. We called the church to see if they could have a wedding there and the 2nd in-command pastor told us that what he is about to say came from the main pastor.

They said that if they want a wedding at the church it would have to be private in the pastor's office or if they wanted a big wedding it would have to be in a different venue but the main pastor could officiate it. They said since they fornicated that they broke a sacred vow that God will deal with them as the church has a standing rule of not marrying people in this situation for about 30 years.

Wife is very upset and we tried to plead our case. It's still going through the process and will try to figure out what will happen.

I will update this answer as we go along

So as to answer your question I think it depends on the church's rules

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As the answers show, there are (small) differences between denominations.

I have met people, Christians, most definitely not Catholics, who were convinced that by having intercourse, you are married. So their point of view was that at the moment one looses ones virginity, one is married. And the consequence would logically be that the church marriage, of not with the one you had your first intercourse with, would be adulterous. Interestingly enough, they didn’t draw that conclusion.

But I think most denominations I know of, do not teach that virginity is an absolute prerequisite for marriage. It may be preferable for the first marriage, but as in most (all?) denominations widows can remarry, virginity can hardly be demanded. That does not mean that the circumstances of that first intercourse can’t be a problem. The other answers explain this in enough detail I think, so I will not be repeating that. Only some specific catholic details: confession should me done with a priest in our church. Marriage itself is a sacrament administered by the man and woman, with a priest or a deacon as witness on behalf of the Church. Entering marriage in a state of (mortal) sin doesn’t nullify the marriage, but it is not a very good start. No priest or deacon will, or at least should, assist in a marriage if the state of grave/mortal sin is public, but he can never make it public by not allowing the marriage.

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  • While there may be occasional people who believe this, I've never encountered an actual Christian group who believed this. Since the group will be deciding who gets married, they are the ones who count. Do you have an example? May 27, 2023 at 9:10
  • As I said: “I have met people, Christians…”. I did not say they represented any kind of group or official teaching of any kind. So what example are you asking for? I don’t think the names of individuals who expressed this belief are of any use?
    – ABM K
    May 27, 2023 at 19:54
  • As I said, individual Christians don't make marriage rules so their views aren't relevant to the question. May 27, 2023 at 21:05
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We first of all need to understand that chastity is a requirement. Part of holiness is keeping your virginity till marriage. And so it is actually a sin to have sex before marriage.

9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous[a] will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,[b] 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 1 Corinthians 6: 9-10 ESV

And not just sexual immorality but every other sin is stopping us from being with Jesus in eternity. And this has been since Adam and Eve. However, this is just why Jesus died for us.

8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 NIV

So Christ died for us that what is sin may still be sin but imputed on Him so we may now be forgiven and have a chance at doing it right. We have all sinned and that is why Jesus died for us. If I am to list my sins down, stackExchange will run out of disk space. So the short answer then becomes; Yes! a non-virgin can get married in a church but under the following conditions:

9If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just [true to His own nature and promises], and will forgive our sins and cleanse us continually from all unrighteousness [our wrongdoing, everything not in conformity with His will and purpose]. 10If we say that we have not sinned [refusing to admit acts of sin], we make Him [out to be] a liar [by contradicting Him] and His word is not in us. 1 John 1:9-10

When we have admitted our wrongs and confessed to Him, and then accepted Him to be Lord and Saviour of our lives, then our sins are forgiven and so it is ok to bring your marriage before God in church or even at home with a priest. However, if we do not do this and we go on acting it is ok, then we reject His forgiveness and we are still in sin and so will not even make sense to go to church.

My question then becomes, why does she want to get married in church? If its because she is a Christian and has accepted Jesus in her life and confessed her sins (NOT NECESSARILY TO A PRIEST) but to God and allowed the Holy Spirit to lead her then Hallelujah if not and its just for the fun of it, I do not know.

11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6: 11 ESV

I hope this helps.

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  • Yes she is a Christian saved by grace through faith. She has given her heart to the Lord Jesus. Can she wear a veil and cover her face?
    – Nina
    May 26, 2023 at 21:12
  • Honestly, this could have either answers but I would say yes. If Christ forgives us, He really does and we get to start afresh as though nothing ever happened.
    – mw509
    May 27, 2023 at 16:11

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