Homosexulaity

Should Bible-Believing Christians Attend Gay Weddings?

With all of the complexities involved in helping Bible-believing Christians come up to speed with the crisis of homosexuality, interestingly, the question I have been asked the most (as a pastor) is, “What do I do about my cousin’s (or some other family member or close friend) wedding? He’s (or she’s) gay?” Here’s my answer:

There is only one condition under which you—as a Bible-believing Christian who denounces homosexuality as an abomination in God’s eyes—may attend your friend’s or family member’s gay wedding.

If you can guarantee that every person who attends the wedding (including every person in the wedding party and the two people getting married and the one who is performing the ceremony, and so on) knows that you are only there because you care about the friend or family member who is to be married, and that you unequivocally denounce and reject homosexuality as an abomination to God, then you may attend the wedding.

Weddings are celebrations; events where the Name of God is invoked and the Church gives it approval. It’s called holy matrimony for a reason! Therefore, attending someone’s wedding is an endorsement—your endorsement—of the ceremony, of the love relationship being solemnified, and of homosexuality itself. It is also a declaration that you believe that God endorses homosexuality.

So, practically speaking, a Christian should not attend a gay wedding. Don’t hide behind an excuse or lie and say your busy that day. Lovingly express to your loved one that you can’t condone homosexuality but that you will always love him or her. This action will exemplify a truth that our culture has forgotten: You can disagree with someone and still love them. Disagreement is not hate.

16 replies »

  1. Thank you for this article. I have a gay nephew and have told him I love him but totally disagree with his lifestyle.

  2. So glad I found this discussion on attending a gay wedding or not. Just this week a relative who is gay announced her engagement. I have already been told that it will be rude and wrong if I don’t go. I know it would be offensive to God if I do and that’s the most important issue to me. I don’t know if I can tell them why because it probably would alienate me from them. I have put it in God’s hands.

    • Hi Imogene! It is a tough spot and probably would alienate you. I am certain the Lord will walk you through it.

      The difficultybisbthatvpeoplenhave forgotten that someone can disagree with you and still love you. I call that the “muddy middle.” So, if you are going to address this with her you might start by helping her grasp that just because you don’t support homosexuality does not mean you don’t love her. Hang in there!

  3. A few years ago I attended a friend of ours’ (a Christian couple) son’s wedding. A day or two before my friends asked where I was with gay marriage. I told them I don’t believe in it, but I also don’t judge the heart the couple, and their pull in that direction. I honestly don’t understand it. I do love them, and I go in love for them, but not for the marriage itself. I also stated that I am no less of a sinner than the 2 men, and am not going to condemn them, for Christ made it clear it’s not my role. Still, clearly the marriage isn’t biblical.
    I know that at least one of the couple was torn, but I also believe it was wise for him to go. For him not to would be seen as withdrawing Christ’s love (this is my personal take).
    I totally understand your POV, and the only part I disagree with as entirely is making sure everyone at the wedding knows how you feel. I can’t think of a more effective way of creating the perception Christ doesn’t love them. If God forgives me my sins, I won’t be a party to drivingsomeone away from perhaps later accepting Christ, if they haven’t already.
    Having said that, your post is giving me thought to whether my decision was right or wrong. If it’s the latter, I will rely on God’s grace.
    On a side, and related note, what I felt when in prayer this morning was may I be gracefully humbled.

    • Hi Don, thanks for your thoughtful, articulate reply. My “requirement” that everyone at the wedding be made to know that you are against homosexuality is of course not a practical suggestion or even feasible, really.. The point I was trying to make is that if everyone at the wedding DOES NOT know where you stand, you run the risk of being perceived as endorsing homosexuality.The whole thrust of this is that if you as a Christian go to a wedding where God is represented as blessing the union, you too will be seen as blessing the union.

      The reason this sin is different is that people are advocating for it to not be considered sin. In other words, yes we all have been guilty of sin, but we called it sin. Homosexuality is not being called sin. It is being called normal and blessed by God.

      You mentioned not being party to “driving people away” from being saved in the future. But by endorsing the marriage and lending it your blessing, you are making no salvific statement at all.

      • Scotty, I’m still going back and forth with this. To validate your overall point, Christ ate with tax collectors, and prostitutes; but he didn’t do it as an endorsement of prostitution, and tax collection. It also makes me question, if I’m eating the food served, is it dedicated to idols, being it’s perhaps dedicated to an endorsement of sin.
        On the other side, I’m questioning (please know it not in judgment, since you make sense) if a dogmatic stance to not go, or else let others know my stance, is legalistic? Legally, the Pharisees were right, but Christ always came to love overriding the legal.
        I’m a conservative thinker in the music business. One huge lesson I’ve learned is speaking up doesn’t change minds, and if I alienate myself from people who don’t sed things as I do, I’ll shrink my sphere of influence until I’m only preaching to the choir. I’m not by any means dismissing your point, but my circumstances have made me decide to deepen my love for those who think differently from me. I was pushing people away, or not approaching for fear of rejection, when I’m finding I can influence other areas of people’s lives if I proceed forward in love.
        Still, your thought on this topic is still stirring in me, and I’ll continue to pray on a case my case basis. Thank you for your thoughts.

      • I really appreciate your willingness to wrestle. Let me say that I completely agree that whatever we do we must do it in love for the persons affected. That said, my ONLY concern is endorsement: I don’t want to send false signals to those who may look to me for answers. Now, I am a pastor, so whatever I am seen doing it is assumed I am endorsing. So I am extra sensitive about that. As far as people with same-sex-attraction, we must be ready to walk with them through the struggle. So I do not advocate cutting a person off just because they are in sin. As long as we can have a real relationship where we speak truth I will walk with a person a very long way.

        Don, thank you for your heart!

  4. Your responses make total sense to me, so I’m asking this more with the intention of deepening the question, not looking to change your mind.
    For me, there is no question that you couldn’t officiate a gay wedding. That issue goes beyond perception. However, when you go to the place of being a pastor, and perception, the question that churns in my spirit is; what if it was your kid? Would you have the same stance? The reason I ask is because there perception could be a double edge sword. It could be perceived as a personal rejection, and what might that say about your love (being agape) for your kid?
    The question for me is; does God hate the homosexual? Because of grace, I personal go in hope that the answer is no. If it’s yes, that puts my whole security of salvation on shaky ground, for I believe my nature is no less sinful than someone who is gay.
    Also, do you then worry about being seen as friends with the married couple because of perception? The reason I ask is because perception can be a trap. I think we’re going to be in total agreement that going for the celebration of the wedding is clearly percieved as support, and there is a difference. The trap is, amongsth evangelicals (and I do proudly consider myself to be one) perceptions can so greatly vary.
    I hope the continued dialogue is welcomed. I came to the site to read your response, and accept it, but the perception angle inspired me to ask.

    • At the risk of being a nudge, another question came to mind. Assuming everyone at the wedding knows your views, and you go, do you bring a gift? It seems to me that creates s much of an endorsement.

      • Good question. You might as well, right? I mean, there is a valid case to be made for one who will be like Jesus and eat with sinners. However, Jesus did not eat with sinners and hide His convictions. He shared them and demonstrated love to the sinner. If you can do that and maintain that then perhaps God will use your attendance at a gay wedding. However, most people won’t attend for that reason but because they are afraid to be truthful. They think to be truthful means separation. I say it doesn’t. Speak the truth in love and stay connected as long as you can.

    • Hi Don, Well, perception is one thing when it belongs to people who don’t know you. It’s another when it is founded on a clear act I have committed. I can’t control what people at a distance may do with their limited knowledge, but I must be careful not to knowingly send a false message to those who see me up close and personal.

      Again, I am not talking about saying something hateful. In fact, my position assumes that I would have a heart to heart conversation with the one getting married. I advocate for the kind of real relationship with people that allows for a genuine speaking the truth in love.

      In answer to the question of what if it were my child, I have no intention of ever not loving my child but I also have no intention of ever endorsing something that God calls abomination. At some point we have to stand for truth if we ever intend to rescue anyone. By the way, we have witnessed many politicians, theologians, and pastors shift their stance on God’s word because discovered their child was gay. That is compromise. You can love and stand for truth at the same time.

      Don, on one hand our hypothetical examples at times can cause a false sense of things. For example, not going to a wedding will have no affect on the strangers who do show up. So it really isn’t a question of portraying a lack of love to people in general by not attending. However, showing up to the wedding can absolutely hurt those strangers if it be known that I represent God and the Church.

      As for the relative who is getting married I am responsible to exemplify God’s love which doesn’t endorse sin in order to spare feelings but demonstrates itself by sharing the truth and loving anyway.

      You question, “Does God hate the homosexual” is interesting because it almost echoes what is happening in our culture. In America today, anyone who disagrees with homosexuality is said to hate that person. When did disagreement equal hate? Well, it seems to today. Our job as Christians is to demonstrate exactly what God does: tell the truth and love anyway.

      • Hello this past Sunday I attended a service at Smithtown gospel Tabernacle where You preached and I was brought here I am only 14 years old but very observant and I find this topic very interesting because I have friends and family members that are gay I know they will be going to hell I don’t want that and I want to share with them the love of Christ without offending them but I don’t know how to approach this subject it can be sensitive and I don’t want to come across in a unloving way sharing the love of Christ is something I have always had trouble doing I am not ashamed to be a Christian I will gladly tell someone I am but then when it’s time to tell them the truth I want to keep quiet I feel they may not want to be my friend and think I’m weird I try to tell myself I’d rather lose all my friends in the world then to lose my faith from fear , I don’t want it to but it seems in this area fear is taking over I also want to be prepared in a situation like this so if they ask questions I give them an exact answer with a reference so I don’t look like I don’t know what I’m talking about may you please share any suggestions you might have your blog has helped me a lot and what you is very appreciated

      • Hi Keyana! I am SO glad you have reached out to me! I also appreciate your transparency, especially with this issue.

        So here’s the thing: There certainly are Scriptural references that make it clear that homosexuality is wrong. The most relevant being found in Romans 1, beginning in verse 18. The reason it is the most relevant passage is two-fold. First, it is a New Testament reference. Many people ignore the Old Testament references saying they don’t apply today. But we cannot easily get around Paul’s statement in Romans. The second reason is that Paul is very clear and specific in his description of the sin and how God looks at it.

        I said all of that to say that, even though the Bible is clear, many people even Christians are finding creative ways to nullify or re-interpret Scripture so that they can feel justified in their sin or the sin of a son or a daughter or a friend. So, quoting Scripture is a starting place but it isn’t the silver bullet as far as persuading someone. Although it is God’s Word and will have its affect.

        So, what can we do?

        1) We must be clear that we believe the Bible and that there is no room to compromise on that.
        2) We must do and say whatever we do and say out of a genuine heart of agape love. (That said, we mustn’t forget that love does not mean never delivering difficult news to someone. True love will speak the truth.)
        3. We must assure them that while God does hate sin He does not hate them. He loves them.
        4. We must demonstrate that it is possible for someone to truly love them and yet disagree with their lifestyle. (Right now in American culture, disagreement is equated with hate.) We can do this by being honest with them and yet not rejecting them as persons.
        5. There is no replacement for prayer and intercession on behalf of these who are struggling. They are hurting deep inside and it is very complex.
        6. While God can instantly deliver someone who struggles with same-sex attraction, it is likely that they will have to fight the good fight every day like any other person who has been bound by sin or weakness.

        So, Keyana, what can you do? Well, first let me say that you are brave and to be commended for your faith and your heart of compassion. As I said, we do need to find a loving way to communicate with our family and friends that we cannot endorse homosexuality. But, once they know where you stand you don’t have to remind them about it. Just love them, stay true to your convictions, and pray for them.

        Meanwhile, Keyana, the enemy does not like that you are standing up for the gospel so be on your guard and stay in prayer for yourself as well.

        I am going to be at the youth group this coming Wednesday talking about this very thing. Will you be there?

        If you see me at church introduce yourself. I would love to meet you. I’m praying for you!

        Pastor Scott

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