Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Should Christians attend gay weddings?
Wow. That is quite a statement and conclusion to come to that Jesus Himself would attend a gay wedding.
But would He? And should we?
I have commented on a few threads on Facebook about it, and there are some Christians who vehemently claim we should. Anyone who dared disagree was lined up on with machine guns and tanks, and taken out. OK, not quite, but disagreeing with the people who hold that we should does not go over well with them.
Back to Arterburn's blog post. I am a bit disappointed in what he said, but have to wonder if it is an unbiased opinion. He has 2 gay brothers. He would feel more sympathy than people who don't have any gay relatives that they know of. (I seriously doubt there are many people who do not have a relative who struggles with same-sex attractions)
He makes the point that Jesus turned the water into wine. OK, so what. I am still of the camp who believes Christians shouldn't drink alcoholic beverages, but have friends who do, and I am not going to throw stones, but still.... Jesus' first miracle, whether you are pro-alcohol or against, doesn't prove He'd go to a gay wedding.
He then points out the kind of people Jesus was around and visited, tax-collectors, prostitutes, and drunkards. OK, but would He do anything to affirm their sin? I can't believe He would. He didn't pat the woman on the back who was caught in adultery, and tell her she was OK. He forgave her and told her to go and sin no more.
Sinners who were around Jesus changed. The tax collectors made restitution and stole no more. The adulterer was forgiven and sinned no more.... yet He would hang out with gay people and just affirm them in their sin? I find that hard to believe.
And yes, I do believe He'd hang out with gay people. I think the church has long ago dropped the ball on the issue of homosexuality. We have made it such a terrible sin, and Christians mock and joke about it, make such disparaging remarks, that we have people growing up in our churches, struggling with being attracted to the same sex, and scared to death to tell anyone and seek help.
There are people dealing with this issue who would love to confide in a Christian friend, but are afraid, and with good reason. The results could be catastrophic. But Jesus would love gay people, hang out with them, but never pat them on the back and tell them they are OK the way they are.
A friend of mine made an interesting statement on a discussion about a similar topic: "If Jesus went to a gay pride parade, He wouldn't be there passing out water and being supportive. He'd be weeping over their sins, not supporting them in their sins."
I agree. And I believe it applies to a gay wedding. If Jesus went, He wouldn't be congratulating them on going against His Word, of trampling on what He intended marriage to be, of smiling proudly as they marched forth in their attempts to legalize their sinful lifestyle and union. No, if He went - and that is a big if, He'd be weeping.
God loves us totally, no matter what we do, no matter what or who we become, whether we are straight or gay, sinner or saint....... but in His love, He never, ever affirms sin. Never. And I cannot see how Jesus Himself going to a gay wedding would not be doing just that: affirming sin. Putting His approval on a sinful union. Sounds harsh, but I believe it is true.
And here's the thing: If Jesus was hanging around a gay couple, I think they'd know He didn't approve of their sin. Oh, I am not saying He'd be preaching at them all the time. But this is Jesus we are talking about. The one who wants us to go to Heaven more than we want to ourselves. The one who loves us and doesn't want to share us with the devil..... so if you are a sinner and hanging out with Jesus, He is going to try to win you to Him and get you to quit the sin business.... even the gay sinning business. And if that couple ignores His pleading and drawing to Him, and goes on to marry...... I doubt they'd be shocked if He didn't show up at the wedding.
I couldn't fault a Christian couple for going to their kid's gay wedding. That would be a tough call, and may depend on the relationship they have. If it is a good relationship, and the kid knew his parents loved him, yet didn't agree with his lifestyle.......maybe he or she could take it. I wouldn't want to be in that position. If they don't go, they could ruin any chance of a relationship, yet by going, it could look like approval. Tough call.
And yet that argument could be made for other relatives and close friends. I am going to relate something which could offend people, but hopefully I can do it in a way that doesn't. I am still in an increasingly small minority who believes it is wrong to marry after divorce. I have read what the Bible says on it, and that is how I believe. I have friends and relatives who have done it, and that is between them and God, and I don't think I am a better Christian or anything like that - I am not - nor do I look down on them. It is over and done.
However..... and this is where I may get crucified: No one in my family has ever attended a wedding that involved a divorced party. As far as I know, no one has ever held that against us. And I am not equating that with gay marriage at all. What I am trying to do, is say I think it is possible to not go to a gay wedding and keep a friendship or relationship intact.
Interestingly, this argument was used in the thread about gay weddings. A guy who was pro-Christians going to them asked "so have any of you ever attended a wedding where one of the people was divorced?" And I replied "actually, I never have".
It has been years since I have had to deal with that, and would I go to one now? I really don't know. I still believe the same way I did then, but since I avoid all weddings like the plague, it is a moot point anyway. :-)
To totally answer the question, "Should Christians attend gay weddings?" I would say that is between them and God. I believe there is good reason not to, much more reason than there is to go, and take issue with people like Arterburn who try to say Christians should. Maybe the best thing to do, is to pray long and hard about it, and do what you feel God says.
We should do that in more things than we do anyway.