Should We Go to Our Gay Neighbors' Wedding?

Sue Bohlin's picture

“Sue, I love my sweet gay neighbors, and after the SCOTUS decision I figure we’ll be invited to a wedding. Do we go?”

Christians take different positions on this question, just as Christians take different positions on the issue of homosexuality in general and same-sex marriage in particular. I believe that regardless of our feelings on this issue and about our friends and loved ones, we need to follow what the Word of God says.

Both Old and New Testaments clearly state that homosexual behavior is sin. Regardless of how we feel about those who engage in it, the Word of God is internally consistent on this issue: all sex outside of marriage, which is restricted to one man and one woman in a lifetime covenant, violates God’s created intent for us. And that includes homosexual sex. Redefining marriage does not change the unnatural, sinful nature of same-gender sex (Romans 1).

A wedding is a communal event where society gathers together to witness the union of two people coming together to start a new family, a new building block of community. The point of a wedding is that the guests witness, support, bless and approve the marriage. Contrasted to lovers making promises to each other in a private intimacy, the communal witness and celebration of a wedding elevates and formalizes these vows as a covenant (a promise on steroids), and the new one-flesh union becomes a recognized part of the community.

So there is a huge difference between having dinner with gay neighbors, and attending their wedding. When people attend a wedding, it makes a statement. Attendance at a wedding means one is offering support, approval and blessing to the couple.

I suggest that since God has already spoken clearly about the nature of homosexuality, He would not contradict Himself to endorse and celebrate what He has declared to be sin (Leviticus 18:22). Neither should we.

Beyond that, the scriptures also direct us not to support other people’s behaviors that God calls sin:

“Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them” (Eph. 5:11).

1 Timothy 5:22 instructs us not to “take part in the sins of others. . .”

How can one attend a gay wedding without participating in “deeds of darkness,” without “taking part in the sins of others”?

To be consistent, Christians should examine why we attend any wedding. Since the Bible is equally unequivocal about believers marrying unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14), it would be wrong to attend that wedding as well. It would be saying, “I support, affirm, bless and celebrate this union.” Just like going to a wedding of a Christian who dumps his wife without biblical grounds to marry a younger trophy wife. No!

Lots of people scoff at this position: “God is a God of love! Who are you to judge anyone’s love?”

It’s true, God IS a God of love, and He has described love for us:

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous;
love does not brag and is not arrogant,
does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own,
is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,
does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;
bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

If love does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but God has declared that same-sex relationships are not right, then it is not loving to engage in unrighteousness. If same-sex relationships are outside God’s created intent for human sexuality, then it is not loving to support and bless relationships that grieve God and will result in pain down the road for the people involved.

So, to answer my friend’s question: “How can you attend a gay wedding without making a clear statement of support and endorsement, approval and blessing? And since you know what God says about the nature of their relationship as sin, what statement would you be making as His ambassador?” I encourage my friend to keep loving her wonderful neighbors, to continue to be their friends and to be salt and light to them.

But not to go to their wedding.

And if they ask why, to kindly and lovingly say, “I am a Christ-follower, and He has spoken about His intention for marriage. Just as He loves you more than you can imagine, I love you too, but I’m so sorry, I can’t stand with you that day. But I’ll look forward to visiting with you, as usual, on the other side of that day. And I will be praying for you.”

Comments

I am about to say something that may not be popular since I believe in Jesus Christ love him and try to follow him, so consider myself a christian in every sense of the word... I have a real problem with this because none of us would be attending ANY weddings if we only attended those that the couple had not sinned in some way. I feel there is a huge difference in living a certain way and judging others for what they have chosen.. God does not say judge throughout the bible he says love, understand, be a example.. How can you be a example if you delete yourself from other cultures beliefs and attitudes except for your own.. Is a homosexual worse than a murderer, a thief, a adultress, one that looks at porn or beats his children..? How about if you have been divorced,beat your wife told a dirty joke used Gods name in vain? Do you go to dog fights, wild parties or disrespect your parents? My point is we are sinners all degrees all kinds all types. As a Christian I live a life that is how my father in heaven would be proud, I do my best but I AM a sinner and I fail each day. I tell others of his love and how he has blessed me.. I may be able to bring that up anywhere even a gay wedding. I am not a homosexuaI dont understand the lifestyle and cannot see myself in that life style but I love the sinner all sinners as God loves me a sinner the very best way I can... as he would.  So should you support something your heart tells you is wrong.. of course not. but being one to judge is something I have no right and nor do you.. I will leave that to the only pure one around and I will just love my neighbor, I will care about those I find hard to understand, I will listen to other opinions and I will be a human being that knows I have done all I can ...to be fair and just and loving and kind and  a example of Gods love. There are things I will speak my mind and am so very passionate, I will stand for what I believe but I will not hurt someone in the process, I will not make them feel less or inferior to me because I am hetrosexual.  Human beings are Gods greatest achievement.. he loves every one he has made as much as he loves me. I will let him judge since only he knows their heart their mind their path and I will just be the best I can. Yes I have a real problem with those that hate others but personally I have a bigger problem with someone that might hurt a puppy or child ... We all must do the best we can and do as our God asks and to love one another... sometimes its not easy but the rest I give to him... I am not wise enough I am not good enough I am a sinner like everyone else and I am certainly am not entitled to judge another for loving another human being.

I would like to point out that not everyone who claims the name Christian believes the same thing you do.

There are many of us (and we're not all "liberals") who find nothing specifically condemnatory about same-sex marriage in the Bible, only a very understandable condemnation of violent sexual perpetration. (for more, dig up David Gushee's "Changing Our Mind" if you are so inclined.)

When I tried to bring this up on the facebook post, I was blasted with a lot of bigtory and some really hateful statements (so I deleted my comment).
In any case, I just thought I'd share that in case you wanted any balance.

Sue Bohlin was spot on about what scripture speaks. God's word is clear. And when we ask for His wisdom he gives it so that we may understand His word. Yes, God is a God of love (as ShellieT writes) He is the very essence of love, but He is also a God of wrath. Throughout scripture God tells us about obedience that brings His blessing and disobedience that brings His curse. The act of homosexuality is an act that God clearly states in the old testament (Leviticus 20:13), new testament (1 Corinthian 6:9-11) and throughout scripture that if you PRACTICE in such things that you will not inherit the kingdom of God.
It is true that we are all sinners and sin (as ShellieT points out), however that's why Christ came, He took the penalty of our sin and put it to death. Christ understands and knows our nature so He tells us to repent and turn from our sin/s that we may be/ remain in connection and fellowship with the Him.  If we PRACTICE or PARTICIPATE in things that God is against then we separate ourselve from him and again, we do not inherent the kingdom  For it is it is written "those who do the will of My Father are mine," (Matthew 7:21-23)
Sue Bohlin in answering the question, 'Should we go to our gay neighbors' wedding?' is her answer is not judging, but stating Gods' clear stand against homosexuality and to participate in a wedding that represents the union of two of the same sex is saying to the world you, the attendee are in agreement with that union. So Sue is letting the person who asked the question know that you can't say you are a believer and that you represent God/Christ who is truth and participate in that which God calls a lie. 
 

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