Should I attend a gay wedding?
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 Sanders, 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.