Should a Christian Attend a Gay Wedding?
Opening the mail can give one mixed feelings. If it is an unexpected bill, you are not so happy. But then there is the joy of opening an invitation to a wedding. You can almost taste the cake. But beware, there is dreaded wedding invitation coming in the mail to a saint that will bring anything but joy. Sooner than later, most Christians will have to decide whether or not they will attend a same-sex wedding.
The ethical dilemma of government sanctioned marriages between the same gender has already become a reality to many. The florist who supplies the flowers, the photographer hired to take pictures, the baker who prepares the cake, etc. are all subject to be penalized (if not criminalized) for refusing to participate.
Not all conservatively minded members of society agree on how to deal with such an invitation. Some will go as an opportunity to witness to those in attendance. Others will only go, if those getting married are not Christians and thus may not know any better. Still others refuse to attend under any circumstances. They still love their gay friends and family but must not support sin.
When confronted with the quandary, a Christian has but two choices: 1) attend (and keep in mind attending via Zoom is still participating) or 2) decline. To deal with this decision one must study and pray and seek the advice of others who also appreciate God’s Will concerning marriage. My personal position is that answer #2 above outweighs answer #1, so I would not go.
Arguments For Attending
“Attending Does Not Denote Approval”
Dr. Lara Embry is a clinical psychologist and co-vice chair with the Trevor Project, she advises, “a wedding is a celebration of love and commitment. Having family and friends witness the ceremony is both meaningful and practical.” Have you ever read a wedding invitation that did not invite attendees to come join in celebrating the couple’s union. They will say at a wedding “Thank you for honoring us with your presence” and/or “joining us as we celebrate”.
If attendance shows love and friendship, it will also demonstrate approval of the union. To attend a gay friend’s birthday party shows love and celebration of their birth and life. So, attending their wedding will show love and celebration of their homosexual marriage. Suppose you have a friend that is racist. Would you attend a ceremony from them put on by a local chapter of the Klan? What our personal views are in regard to love is one thing, a public demonstration of joint participation is celebrating homosexuality or racism is different.
“Do Not Want to be an Unloving, Disloyal Friend”
If you love them, you will attend? But could rejecting the invitation be a way of showing our love to family and friends? Our love and loyalty must be first and foremost to Christ (Matt. 10:34-39). If I have a friend who is a struggling alcoholic, I will show loyalty, support, and love by going to AA meetings with them. I cannot demonstrate such loyalty, support, and love by going out to a bar with them. How does showing up and signing a guest book show love to a homosexual? Loving unbelievers doesn’t mean endorsing their beliefs.
The love of Christ knows no boundaries. Yes, but what is the love of Christ? Loving God is doing His commandments. “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love” (John 15:9-10).
“Makes Christians Bigoted, Intolerant Weirdos, and Judgmental Pharisees”
Christians who refuse to attend will often be viewed as bigoted and hateful. It is a form of gay bashing according to some. This is not the first time the world has thought Christians to be “a bunch of intolerant wierdos.” Peter wrote, “Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles—when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you” (1 Peter 4:1-4). Just who is being bigoted, intolerant, and judgmental? The same can be said of the LGBQT’s attitude toward Christians.
“Jesus Would Attend”
Someone wrote, “my cousin and his partner eloped and honeymooned in Europe, and now I’ve been invited to the celebration of their marriage. If we can afford the plane ticket, I want to go. I think Jesus would’ve done the same.” Others compare such to the attitudes of the Pharisees who refused to eat with publicans and sinners and condemned Jesus for doing so.
Yes, throughout His ministry Jesus ate with tax collectors, and prostitutes, spoke with Gentiles, touched the lepers, etc. But when He associated with these sinners, He did not celebrate their disease or their occupational habits or their sex lives.
When He went into Zacchaeus’ house, a chief publican He encouraged repentance. He said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:9-10). To a prostitute who washed his feet with her penitent tears. “He said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven’” (Luke 7:48). To the woman caught in adultery “Jesus said to her, ‘Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more’” (John 8:11). The only wedding Jesus is said to have attended John wrote was the “beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him” (John 2:11).
Sharing a meal and leading sinners to repentance is not the same as attending a gay wedding. For it to be comparable to Jesus attending a gay wedding, the grooms and/or brides would be encouraged to repent. Jesus claimed marriage was created by Him to be the union of a male and a female. “He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?” (Matt. 19:4-5).
So, if a gay couple next door invites you over for dinner, don’t turn them down. Invite them to yours. Be like Jesus, share the Good News as you share a meal. Even the homosexuals of the first century were taught to repent (1 Cor. 6:9-11).
“Remember, the Ultimate Goal is to Save Souls”
To save souls from sin, the soul has to be made aware of the sin in their life to repent of and be saved from. The ultimate goal of a Christian is to glorify God (Eph. 3:21) and to love Him with all one’s heart, mind, strength and soul. Putting God first (Matt. 6:33) and serving Him comes even before soul-saving.
“Makes Christians Hypocrites”
Some will ask, “If I don’t go to a same-sex wedding, should I go to a ‘wrong’ heterosexual wedding?” Good question. No saint wants to be a hypocrite. So no, you should not go to a wedding and celebrate with them their sinful, adulterous marriage. Could you imagine John the Baptist telling Herod it was not lawful for him to have his brother’s wife and Herod reminding John, “But you were at our wedding.” Just because a Christian is not consistent does not prove attending a gay marriage is the right thing to do. The wrong done in the one case does not make attending the other – the right thing to do.
Keep in mind that attending a wedding between a non-believer and a believer or between two non-believers is not the same as a gay wedding. A marriage between a non-Christian man and non-Christian woman is still a marriage. Even a marriage between a believer and an unbeliever is a valid marriage (1 Corinthians 7:14).
“Jesus said, ‘And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two’” (Matt. 5:41).
This cannot possibly mean that we do whatever people demand no matter what God teaches (Acts 4:18–20; 16:35–40; 22:22–29). Helping a government courier for the Romans is not the same as being compelled to accept an invitation to a gay wedding. There is nothing wrong with helping a government official carry their bags or give them transportation. On the other hand, homosexuality is a sin.
“Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due” (Rom. 1:24-27).
– Daniel R. Vess