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Feedback archive Feedback 2015

Should I attend a gay wedding?

Published: 18 June 2015 (GMT+10)
Jeff Belmonte, wikipedia.org wdding-ring
Jesus said, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?” (Matthew 19:4,5).

In today’s society, Christians increasingly find themselves in difficult situations where it can be difficult to know how to live out our faith. Robert G., Canada, wrote in response to the article “What does the Bible really say about homosexuality?”:

I know of a couple that got an invitation to a wedding of two lesbians. The first question: should they go to the wedding? These two lived in the apartment down the hall from my friends. They had intentionally started a friendship with them before they knew they were gay in order to be Christ to them. When they asked their church about going they strongly said no, to the place where one deacon said they would take their membership. When they didn't go, they offended the lesbian couple and number of other non-christian people who live in the apartment. They really can't bring up the love of Christ anymore, because the first thing they are labeled with is being hypocrites.

We as believers need to be sensitive as Jesus was with the woman caught in adultery. Jesus showed love and compassion without condoning the sin. To me a better way is to unconditionally love those who are lost in sin so you can share Jesus. We need to find a way to love people who are sinners. We need to be Jesus’ hands and feet, remembering we are all sinners saved by grace. Maybe the baker should bake the cake but also share Jesus with gay couple expressing the biblical view of sexuality.

The last command Jesus gave his disciples was to go and make Jesus-followers in all the world. We don't do that by offending someone by being ignorant or arrogant. We as Evangelicals need to change! In a Barna poll when asked about Evangelicals the first thing that came up by non-Christians was that we are anti-gay! What a sad commentary on the church! We should be known for our love! We need to learn how to keep our conviction that the gay lifestyle is sin but in stating that show our love!

Lita Cosner, CMI-US responds:

Christians should certainly initiate friendships with practicing homosexuals. This gives us a chance to share the Gospel with them, and to show them that we're actually human beings, not the weird cultists they probably think we are.

As their friends, we can do many things with them—we can have them over for dinner, celebrate their birthdays, send them Christmas cards, and so on. But we can't do anything that would celebrate their relationship that we see as fundamentally sinful. So I wouldn't be able to go on a double date with a gay couple, for instance.

And of course this prohibition on celebrating sin extends to a gay wedding ceremony. As Christians, we believe that God defines marriage, and that He has done so in a way as to exclude relationships between two people of the same sex. So what happens at a gay wedding is not marriage from a Christian perspective. And because everyone attending the wedding is participating in the ceremony, even attending the ceremony is contrary to our faith.

Just as an aside, this is not the only type of wedding I wouldn't attend—I wouldn't attend any wedding I believed contradicted the teaching of Scripture. So for instance, the marriage between a Christian and a non-Christian is not something I could celebrate, either.

Just as a practicing Jew would not come to a barbecue where pork was the main dish, and a Muslim would not come to a Muhammad-drawing contest, a Christian should not be expected to engage in activities that violate the fundamental tenets of our faith.

Yes, they are lost in sin—but they don't experience it as lostness, they are reveling in it, and hate righteousness as defined by God. We don't help them by supporting their sin. The gay couple is just as lost whether or not you attend their ceremony—to be a consistent Gospel witness you have to display both true friendship and concern, and uncompromising fidelity to the Gospel. Unfortunately, that may end the friendship, but it just shows that it is the homosexual in that case, not the Christian, who is intolerant of people with different beliefs.

Helpful Resources

Gay Marriage: right or wrong?
by Gary Bates, Lita Cosner
US $3.50
Soft Cover

Readers’ comments

Abe M S.
Of course Bible-believing/applying, Born-Again Christians should NOT attend a gay wedding. Hello! Lol. Our Father's perfect Word was the first and only source to reveal homosexual behavior and how it comes about (lusting in thought-life). Can this be refuted/disproved? Of course not! Regarding the so-called "nature" of this behavior - none! God gave men and women the natural ability/trait of sexual arousal/stimulation. And he also told us crystal clearly that "woman was made for man", proving that, men and women are naturally sexually/physically attracted to each other. Bestiality awakens sexual arousal in both men and women. Does this mean that this is another full-fledged, natural, explicit alternative choice to men and women being sexually attracted to one another? Of course not! The natural sexual arousal is not the point, but whom you choose to awaken it, and that choice is not a natural choice, rather a choice that is dictated by moral lessons, which God Almighty is the Creator of. The entire foundation for homosexuality continues to be solely and strictly aggressive sexual behavior, thus, the subject of love is clearly a subjective, self-fabricated "additive" to this behavior, as without this additive, they are exposed as sexual fiends. My prayers for salvation of the homosexual community, and the lost world. =)
Owen H.
What if you have a really close friend who is Gay can you not show frindship to that person without it being based on the persons sexuality? If all sin is harmful to God then it shouldn't matter what the sin is whether it is theft lieing or adultary you can still be friends with that person and show that you love them.
Lita Cosner
As I wrote in the article, as Christians we can certainly love people who practice homosexuality. Part of loving that person, however, is refusing to engage in any activity that encourages that person in their sin, and pointing that person to the forgiveness in Christ that all of us need.
Reed C.
I find this article has been written at a rather appropriate time considering the events that took place just yesterday. Now is facebook filled with rainbows and this article will help many Christians in how they interact with an increasingly anti-christian world.
H. G.
Homosexuality issue is coming out quite frequently lately. It has even infiltrated some churches. The other day the signboard outside Pitt Street Uniting Church in Sydney read "Marriage equality now, Love is love." I couldn't believe this coming from a church.
Jay Zeke M.
Here's an interesting and difficult question I've seen asked regarding the issue of being allowed to remain seperate from immoral things. Some people have moral convictions about serving black people just as we do about serving gay weddings. Personally, my answer is that first off, we are not discriminating based on the fact they are gay, we are refusing a completely different service. A gay "wedding" is fundamentally different to a true wedding, therefore it's not discrimination because it's a service that would never be offered in the first place, even to straight people. Second, we should be allowed to refuse to support gay "marriage" not just because we HAVE the right to do so but because we ARE right. A racist cannot justify racism because there is no such thing as race. So we have different skin colours, so what? We have different hair and eye colours too. Am I a different race from my brother? However, we CAN justify the difference between a gay "wedding" and an ACTUAL wedding WITHOUT discriminating against a certain group. Straight people can't marry someone of the same sex either (and even Liberals would agree, as they went bonkers when those two best friends tried it), whereas a gay person CAN marry someone of the OPPOSITE sex. Marriage equality? Yup. Same sex "marriage" never has to enter the equation. Gay people are EQUAL to us. No true Christian can deny that. The fact that we can justify our beliefs whereas a racist, for example, is just plain evil (something we have a standard for due to our belief in an objective moral law giver) means we cannot be painted with the same brush.
Peter W.
The Bible has a lot to say about this, but a couple of things come to mind. The Bible says "Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted." (2 Timothy 3:12 NASB) The Bible says ".. Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God." (James 4:4 NKJV) But it also says, "I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world." (1 Corinthians 5:9-10 ESV) So by all means by friendly, preach the Gospel, but affirming their sins is such we as Christians absolutely cannot do. At the same time we must share our own powerlessness to be sin-free without Jesus Christ and the help of the Holy Spirit. That is, never preach from a superior position. Grace, absolutely. Affirmation and participation? Absolutely not and God help me to not be a "Christian Hypocrite", living in blatant sin while preaching purity. When I look in the mirror there is still dirt there, stains washed away eternally but still visible in the now.
Dan M.
Does Jesus love sinners? Yes! Does Jesus call sinners to repentance? Yes! Did Jesus allow UNREPENTANT sinners into his inner circle of followers? NO! Mathew repented and promised to pay back every thing he unrightfully took and more, for just one example. Jesus was surrounded by sinners but he NEVER participated in or condoned their sin. Jesus loves unrepentant people but it is his way or the highway. He makes the rules and sets the standards. When we disagree with a gay union, it is not our opinion but that of God whom we follow in faith. Should we love gay people as Christ did? Should we invite them into our churches? Yes, but we are called to lead them to repentance, not to participate in their sin. Does this make us intolerant? Everyone is intolerant of everyone else in one form or another. When you call someone intolerant, you are taking an opposing viewpoint and pointing out you disagree with someone. Why should I be tolerant of your point of view, your not tolerant of mine? We should only tolerate the truth. But modern society says what is truth, (yawn). Try jumping off a 100 story building and on your way down tell me there is no truth! I'm intolerant with the sin in my own life, so why should I tolerate it in someone else's as long as I disagree in love and point them to Christ. I am not to judge, but that doesn't mean I'm not reason! Judgment is not my position but God judges all of us and he has the right to. I Personally I don't understand why gays being only 2% or less of the population get so much press. 1Co 6:9 mentions 10 different people groups of sinners of which I WAS one. We are one and all sinners or repentant sinners. Let us uphold the standard of Christ in love and understanding knowing where we come from. Come Lord Jesus come!
Tony M.
Not to sound nitpicky but I would go so fat as to say that the Bible even forbids us to be friends with gay people.
Proverbs 13:20 tells us not to be the companions of fools, Psalm 1:1 tells us not to walk in the counsel of the ungodly. 2nd Corinthians 6:14 warns us against fellowship with unbelievers. Finally, 1 John 1:7, the sign of true obedience to God is fellowship with other believers. (as opposed to fellowship with the world)

Don't get me wrong, we are commanded of God to be friendly to them of any non-believer (luke 10:27). Being friendly is when we extend compassion to them ( a one-way street). Being friends with them means we now exchange ideas with one another ( a two way street). This could lead to idealogical compromise.

When Jesus ate with sinners (Mark 2:17) he explained that He did so to get them saved. Thus our only association with the unsaved should be evangelism, not just randomly going to the movies with them because we feel like it.

On the other hand Lita is 100% right that even attending a "gay wedding" would be an endorsement of their beliefs, therefore we should not go.

Ephesians 5:11
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
Lita Cosner
Of course the objective of any friendship with unbelievers has to be sharing the Gospel. In fact, a friendship with an unbeliever probably has an 'expiration date', i.e. if they are not converted (at which point it is not a friendship with an unbeliever anymore, but a fellow believer!) they will probably end it when they get tired of hearing the Gospel from us!

If we like and are naturally drawn to the company of unbelievers more than the company of believers, to me that would be concerning. But if we don't make the effort, even if it makes us uncomfortable, to reach those who don't know Christ, that is also concerning.
Nicole P.
"If there is anyone present who has just cause why this couple should not be united, let them speak now..."
Christians cannot attend "gay weddings" because of this sentence alone.
Hugh O.
I agree with Lita. Our life must be consistent with our witness. This is why Jesus was angry with the religious people, they were hypocrites. We must take a stand, this is what the Bible teaches, this is how I will live my life. When or if we receive an invitation to a same sex marriage provides an opportunity to be a witness and share the gospel, this is our command from Jesus (Matthew 28:19-20), not to save someone or not take a stand for the truth, but do it with gentleness and respect. (1 Peter 3:15) They may call us hypocrites for not attending the wedding but Jesus will judge us hypocrites if our life choices does not match the teachings in the Bible. They want us to compromise, but Jesus said let your yes be yes and your no be no. I truly do not believe it is possible for a Christian to honor and glorify God at a celebration that is dishonoring to who He created, male and female and what He instituted, marriage between a male and female. (Genesis 2:23-24 & Matthew 19:4) Do I believe and live my life by the Bible or societies standard?
Jerry W.
Robert G states..We as Evangelicals need to change! In a Barna poll when asked about Evangelicals the first thing that came up by non-Christians was that we are anti-gay! What a sad commentary on the church!...are we not told in scripture true believers will be hated, misunderstood and persecuted for our belief in Christ? "Robert seems to completely misunderstand biblical love.
Orlando Z.
This is not a unique topic. Homosexuality is a sin. So, it's also looking at your neighbor's wife. What else is there that we can be above the law of God. Nothing. One way or another, we are all sinners and guilty as charged. What makes me a better person than the rest? Nothing. Am I a "Top Ten", Christian? NO... Am I sinless? NO. What makes me different from non Christians and many Christians is that I am Not Purposely sinning with the fact that I am always looking at God's way and commands. Sin abides in us. There is no way out of it. I can only do it through Christ that strengthened me, but I must continue to be part of Him every single moment because sin is always waiting for the opportunity to take over us.
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?
Any space that we leave open, will be taken by our evil desires at any given moment...
The closer we get to God, the less our sinful desires will show...
Joseph M.
“…They really can't bring up the love of Christ anymore, because the first thing they are labeled with is being hypocrites…”

This is a strawman and equivocation fallacy combined because attending a gay wedding doesn’t constitute love.

A Christian’s definition of love is 1 John 4:16 ESV “…God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” Since God doesn’t abide in sin, rejoicing with sinners in their sin cannot be classified as love.

The label of being a hypocrite is both a strawman and emotional fallacy because you are not saying you don’t love them. You are actually being consistent to your Christian nature of not encouraging sinful behaviour.

Their wedding is about ‘acceptance’ of their definition of love which is based on relativism. God’s love is based on absolutes that transcends all others. So rejoice in the love of God because it’s to our salvation and always give the correct answer to what love is and where true love is found.
Pat G.
I would not be able to attend. There is nothing to attend! They're doing something that is a total fiction. The original writer left out the part of the story where Jesus tells the woman to go and sin no more. You leave out part of one of Jesus' stories at your peril. You cannot go to a homosexual "wedding" and simultaneously say "Go and sin no more." The sheer impossibility of it should answer the question. I'm wondering if the couple who befriended the lesbians ever told them that homosexual activity will condemn them. We need to be a clear witness. As long as we are wishy-washy, they'll continue to demand that we condone and participate in their behavior. The Christian church is currently filled with CINOs (Christians In Name Only), and this is weakening our witness.

I think it is correct to say that the lesbians have failed to respect the faith of the Christian couple in trying to get them involved in the first place, and that for the moment, the Christians have lost all opportunity to witness. Not because they didn't attend, but because the lesbians are not open to the gospel. If they stated their position (including refusing to attend) at least the lesbian couple has information: Christianity does not approve of lesbian relationships.

When I was younger, I was in a judo club with lesbians. They invited me to their home and I visited once. They also invited me to one of their conferences, and I went. But there was never any hint that I was approving of anything. That was long before the current controversy, and I have had plenty of time to think about it since then. Still not sure if I would have gone to the conference or not, since all I did was listen.
Doug L.
I guess everybody's got an opinion on this one. Personally, if I were invited to a same sex "wedding" I wouldn't go under any conceivable circumstances. No way, Jose! It would be a tacit approval, giving legitimacy to same sex marriages. That being said I certainly don't condone elders in a church threatening to kick someone out of the church if they have a different opinion here. The fact is a Christian has liberty, not a liberty to sin but a liberty to make decisions like this. I think it's along the lines of eating meat sacrificed to an idol and Paul specifically dealt with this. There shouldn't be any question that this is a "meat offered to idols" situation. A person should be sensitive to the leading of the Spirit, not the browbeating of a deacon!
phil K.
Tolerance is a two-way street. Gays want us to more than tolerate them. They want us to accept their behavior. Why can't they tolerate our faith that teaches us that homosexuality is a sin? It's ok to agree to disagree.

Also, when it comes to loving them, if you see someone standing in the street about to get hit by a car, which is more loving? To step into the street with them or to warn them they are about to die?
Roberta T.
When we are truly friends with homosexual couples then they should know us and what we believe. This being so they should respect our decision not to attend their wedding, understanding that to attend their wedding would make us hypocrites.
We have to make our decisions in life based on what God would want us to do and not on what society thinks is right or wrong.
Gail D.
A timely article in view of what is coming down the pipe with the Supreme Court. Far to long in this country Christians have been able to practice their faith and hold on to their tenets with no pushback from society. Now we will face forms of persecution if we continue to observe the full tenets of our faith.
It comes down to either take a stand or back down. We have to each ask ourselves what will I do when faced with this challenge.
Christians old and young in the Mid East,Africa all over the world are taking a stand just to practice their faith even in the face of death.
J. L.
Thank you staff at CMI in helping Christians navigate through proper courses of action while interacting with those who practice homosexuality. I agree with the article.
Shane R.
I have a brother that is Gay and his twin sister has done just as this contributor suggests to keep in relationship with him. Now she is lost from the faith and attacking her other Christian siblings. To preserve one relationship she has destroyed or harmed six other relationships in our family. This is the effect of compromising principles for peace. Pretty soon the former allies are at war and the instigators are gloating at the destruction. God's word is full of wisdom. Where we struggle with an issue we need to dig deeper into God's wisdom, not appease the insatiable appetite of the fallen. I really appreciate Lita's application of Godly wisdom in her responses. If we are not being persecuted by the fallen for our faith, we actually are not practicing our faith and will NEVER influence ANYONE to consider establishing their own relationship with Father God.
)Patrick P.
It is a pity that Christians are being labelled as anti-gay (or correctly put, anti homosexual) which as far as I know is not the case for the majority. The truth is that the homosexual community and the media are portraying Christians as "anti-gay" without clarifying that Christians are or should be against the sin of homosexual conduct, but love the person caught up in this sinful behaviour. It cannot be expected or even hoped that the media and the homosexual community will change their misrepresentations so it is up to the Church to make our voice more clearly heard and for individual Christians express this in a loving manner. i.e. present the true Gospel.
D. O.
A solid response.
The Bible is tough on a lot of things, drunkenness, adultery and murder as well as gay relationships.
There is the account (starting half way through Judges 19) of where all this type of thing can lead if it is not confronted. The Benjamites, when confronted by the rest of Israel, were not going to do anything about it. This is not some made up story, it is a (very grim) warning from history.
The great thing about the Bible is that it calls us to account and makes us aware that there is more to life than just what we can take and that we are to be independently good, not just good when someone is watching (because we will be judged by God). Thus we can have truer freedom as a society if these Godly values are taught with sufficient conviction.
I do believe that the microbes to man evolution story is a branding tool, (sponsored by the global elites) to sear our conscience from God, to get us to give up our God given rights (and responsibilities) in exchange for a lie and permission to 'do what is right in our own eyes'
Gods Law is never changing and that really irks some people. There is room for compassion in it however there is the option to get tough when people are engaging in behaviours that threaten the fabric of a healthy society.
It is easy to end up being a hypocrite and it is much tougher to follow the ten commandments than you would think if you have never tried to do it. I believe it is that through our own failings that we learn the degree of compassion that should be shown (he with out sin...) However there are stories in the news where despite my sin I would throw that first stone!
Society is encouraged to applaud, not just tolerate, ungodliness. We are asked to be different. It is not easy. Our hope is in Jesus and his promises.
Grahame G.
I'm not convinced that attending a wedding (or in this case "wedding") is necessarily celebrating or condoning it, especially if one has clearly expressed one's biblical stance in a firm and loving way.

I believe people would need to follow their own conscience (with careful study of scripture and much prayer) on that specific topic.

However, it seems that Robert might be a little askew in some of his comments.

Jesus was faced with a woman who was being threatened with death after having (presumably) sinned, not a couple who had no such threat and about to embark on sin. While we are not given all the details, it seems clear to me (especially in the light of the rest of scripture) that the woman was repentant (and it is frequently forgotten that Jesus also tells her to "Go and sin no more").

Unconditional love includes uncompromising rejection of sin, which may involve not being present at certain events.

Jesus was known as a "friend of tax-collectors and sinners" but not because he attended the events of those who felt no guilt/sorrow/shame over their sin. No, they knew He hated sin - He was often extremely scathing of it and those who were arrogant in their sin.

And I see no record in scripture that He attended an event where the focus was sin, such as a homosexual event would be (and maybe that lends support to what Lita has written).

Would Jesus bake a cake for a homosexual "wedding"? Absolutely He would not.

Is this being ignorant and arrogant? No, it is standing against a wicked and perverse generation.

They can accuse us of being unloving, but if we are following our Saviour and Lord, we are being loving. And therefore opposing homosexuality is love, despite what others may think.
M. W.
To love, a non christian, is to share with them the truth of the gospel, not be ashamed of speaking. Society is of the opinion, that by condoning, not having anything to say or excuse themselves eg; it's none of my business, of an obvious sin, is showing love. As Christians we can share with them, that we do love them and want them to know the truth of their sin and how they are being deceived by Satan's lies. If they have been shown the truth and still continue in their sin,then we have done all we can for them. As Jesus did with the woman caught in adultery, he showed her the sin and told her to go and sin no more. So if you had shared the truth (John 14:6) with your neighbors, they may have understood & respected you and your faith. You might not have been invited to the wedding, better still, the wedding might not have every happened but at least you have shared the truth.
Hans G.
My wife and I we read this morning 2. Cor. In chapters 2/15 and 4/3 it talks about 'those who are perishing'. The fact is, there are people who will perish.
This gay movement today are the most likely ones unless they discover the 'thief on the cross effect', a last minute turnaround. But God is not mocked.
The story about Jesus compassion with the adulteres has a condition: sin no more. I don't think it works by such people. And when a Christian is present by their wedding, it can be seen as an approval.
Edwin M.
Thanks for the warning to be the more ready,while we all appreciate the growing need for wisdom in the christian walk, lets never end up leaving our personal fellowship with, The *FATHER* and *Christ Jesus*1 John 1:3.And Oh yes, the letter of the law is at hand to clobber each of us unless the communion `of` The Holy *GHOST* ungreived within, is our *STRONG TOWER* not our mindy judgements.
Lk 23:34.& Blessed are the merciful,but with persecutions for sure..Zeph 2:3 Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord's anger. Take heed if we think we stand lest we fall.*G*B in *Jesus*. Amen.

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