On this week’s episode we answer the question,” Is It Ok For A Christian To Attend A Gay Wedding? ”
Be sure to also check out: What’s a loving response when a friend tells me they are gay? and Why is it front page news when a celebrity announces they are gay?
Rick Smith: Welcome to “Real Truth. Real Quick.” My name is Rick Smith, Director of Digital Ministries here at Watermark Church, and I’m here with Todd Wagner. How are you doing?
Todd Wagner: I’m doing great Rick, how are you?
Rick Smith: I’m doing good. I just watched the Modern Family finale last night. I know you don’t watch that, I watch it, it’s one of those popular shows on T.V.
Todd Wagner: There we go.
Rick Smith: Let me tell you what happened. So last night, there are two gay guys and it was their wedding. That was their big season finale. So the question comes up, is it ok for you to go to your gay friend’s wedding?
Todd Wagner: First of all, let me say this. I’m glad the way the question is phrased, that a believer who genuinely wants to follow Christ, has friends who happen to have, as their struggle, homosexuality. I love the fact that believers have friends who aren’t all abiding with Jesus Christ. I wouldn’t have companions. I wouldn’t have people I do business with who are committed to not following Christ, but we ought to be friends to all people. Jesus was a friend of sinners, he wasn’t a companion of sinners. Okay, when you’re a companion of somebody, you are communicating implicit approval of what they’re doing. I can lock arms with you and affirm what you’re doing and I’m going to fellowship with you, do business with you and Jesus would never do business with anybody who’s involved in behavior that is destructive to them. He would get in their business, in a very loving and powerful way, and speak the truth to them. That’s what Jesus did.
So, I think you have to ask yourself this question. I’m going to expand on that in fact. Let’s take it outside of homosexuality. Let’s just say, is it okay to go to the wedding of my son or daughter, or friend’s son or daughter, where they’re marrying somebody that wisdom, scripture, would not have them marry. In other words, what we would call a mixed faith marriage, where a person who professes Christ is marrying somebody who is an Agnostic, or who’s a Buddhist, or who’s a Hindu. I would tell you, you really have to ask yourself, what does your presence communicate?
I think people invite individuals to weddings because they want them to share in the joy and the celebration of that day. I’m not even going to get into whether or not there is such a thing a gay marriage, that’s another day, another conversation. But when people are getting together to celebrate a relationship that God says is destructive to a person, I would tell them, I don’t want my presence to confuse you. The bible says this: love is patient, love is kind, love does not boast and is not arrogant. Love does not act unbecomingly, is not provoked, doesn’t seek its own, does not take into account a wrong suffered. Love does not rejoice in unrighteousness.
Now listen, if Jesus is my Lord and King, and I love what he loves, and he says that is not righteous, any of those scenarios that I communicated before, it would not be loving for me to be there to rejoice in you at the celebration of that relationship which Jesus says is not good. So I would go to that person and I would say, it grieves me that I can’t participate in something that you think is life-giving; but it would grieve me even more is if I did something that would confuse you that what you’re doing is going to lead to life. I think it’s going to lead to even more trouble and more sadness. Isaiah 5:20 says this, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness.” So we don’t want to do that. So if our presence in any way communicates approval, I think we have to step out. We have to let them know it’s because we love them. I love the fact that this question is rooted in the idea of a friendship.
One last thing, what about if you don’t go to the wedding but they want to come visit you over Christmas. What I would want you guys to do; let’s just say I have a family member who’s living immorally, and he comes home with with a girlfriend, my son comes home with his girlfriend, who he’s living with. I don’t think I would just put him in his room and just say, you guys have at it while you’re here, I know what you’re doing, I love you. I would just say, while you’re here, I’m going to ask that you abstain from that behavior, in my house, where I have a responsibility for what goes on here. If they say, we’d rather stay at a hotel, I’d say, well that’s your choice. I love you, and because I love you, I can’t rejoice in a behavior that I think is going to be destructive to you. So you’re going to make the choice not to stay here, but I’m going to make the choice to ask you to not participate in things while you’re here that are destructive. In the same way, if you see me yelling at your mom, you see me raising my voice, being impatient, I don’t want you to endure that, because you love me. I want to you carefully and kindly reprove me.
So, can you go to a wedding where someone is entering into a relationship that the bible says is going to be destructive and a source of sadness, I would say you can’t. If in any way your being there communicates approval, and for me, I would tell you that’s what I think that’s what a wedding is for. They typically say that, old weddings would say, we’re here as family and friends, before God, together, to enter into this and to be here as witnesses of this covenant relationship and to support them in their fulfillment of that public profession of their intention. So, there you go.
Rick Smith: Good stuff. Well hey, we hope that helps. We know that is a prayerful thing. You need to continue to pray for your friend and love them well. Thank you for checking out this week’s “Real Truth. Real Quick” and we will see you next week.