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Should you attend a gay wedding? The Contrarian’s response

October 1, 2012

This is the 4th in a series of posts attempting to answer the common question: Should you attend a gay wedding? This question is already common, and will only become more prevalent as time goes by.

So here’s the answer: it depends.

Although some would seek to paint this issue as black and white, I don’t think it is. That’s why in the first post of this series I set up some guidelines for how I would write about it. Ultimately, the question comes down to what is going to help that person know Jesus.

However, I think we can be too quick to answer that at times. What is really going to lead someone to fully submit to Jesus? Most of the time, we don’t really know! We try our best to pray and start conversations and build relationships that over time can lead someone to Christ. But we’re never really sure what ultimately pushes someone to humbly submit to Christ. So this guideline doesn’t seem to help much, because the sides arguing both for and against attending gay weddings would say their view leads someone to Jesus. What are we to do?

There is a question that I believe clears up much of this and will give you the answer of whether or not you should attend a gay wedding. Here is the question: What is the more difficult thing to do? If it is more difficult to attend, I believe you should do so. If it is more difficult to stay home, I believe you should do so. And here’s why…

If your answer is that it is more difficult to attend, that means you are uncomfortable doing so. it means you fear that your attendance compromises your biblical stance and that you communicate to others that flowing with the cultural mores is perfectly acceptable. But it also means that you passionately stand for biblical truth, no matter the circumstances. So if you have built this reputation, it probably is more appropriate for you to attend. The couple will know your stance and how seriously you oppose their sin, so your attendance will show them that in spite of their actions you still want a relationship with them. For example, if Al Mohler were to be invited to a gay wedding, I would unquestionably advise him to go, for these very reasons.

However, if your answer is that it is easier to attend, I think you probably should not do so. If it’s easier, that means you focus a ton on relationships and have built solid friendships with the people in the ceremony. Therefore you are worried that by not attending you will sever the relationship. You are so close with the person that you cannot imagine missing their wedding, no matter how much you disagree with its morality. The problem here is that by attending you show support for the relationship, and are quickly losing the opportunity to communicate a biblical stance. For someone to know Jesus, they have to understand sin. And by focusing solely on being friends and neglecting eternal truth you lose the foundation with which to speak truth and grace into their lives. Because you have built such a friendship over the years, staying home from their wedding would not sever the relationship. Instead, it would communicate your priorities. So, for example, if Brian McLaren were to be invited to a gay wedding, I would unquestionably advise him to stay home, for these reasons.

Now comes a question that I’ve received when sharing this: What if both options are difficult? I have counseled several people recently who feel that both options have opportunities, but they don’t want to do either! Ultimately you just have to figure that out. Remember that God’s Spirit lives in you, that he will guide you into truth, and have confidence that he will work in spite of you. The bottom line is that there is no easy answer, and the Contrarian has learned to embrace the fact that you have to make the best decision for your situation, since you know it better than anyone else.  Yes, you will get criticized. Yes, you may make the wrong decision. No, your friend probably won’t change his/her lifestyle as a result of your single decision. But you can know that you are seeking God’s will above all else as you partner with him in bringing his lost children home.

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