How Do I Respond with Grace and Truth if I’m Invited to a Gay Wedding?

Many people wonder, “What if I’m invited to a gay wedding?” In the following video and transcript, I share some thoughts.

I have been invited to one, even where it might not have been legal. There are also ceremonies to “honor” this union.

I’ll take the question a step further. What if it’s a heterosexual couple where a Christian is marrying a non-Christian? I believe that 2 Corinthians 6 says it is an unequal yoke for believers to be married to unbelievers. What if there is some other reason why I believe this wedding is wrong? Should I still attend?

I would say a general rule would be that you have to figure out what constitutes approval. For instance, if you’re invited to the home of your gay neighbors and they want to serve you a meal, is it a form of approval to have dinner with them? No. I think that’s just being a nice person and a good neighbor. You’re not making any comment on the choices they make by accepting the invitation. Likewise, having them into your home for a meal would be appropriate.

A wedding, it seems to me, is a little bit different—maybe a lot different. The old wedding ceremonies would often talk about (and sometimes they still do today) how people are all joined together to witness the ceremony and the couple are making themselves accountable to all who are attending. The very attendance is in some way an expression of approval—not just, “I wish you well in general in life,” but specifically, “I wish for you the greatest happiness in this union.”

Well, if you fundamentally believe it is wrong, are you expressing approval by attending? I have counseled people before and encouraged them not to get married because I saw some huge red flags. If they still chose to get married, in the end I did not attend those weddings. This was not because I was “trying to make a statement”; I just couldn’t say I felt good about those weddings.

By the way, one of those people years later came to me and said, “Thank you for telling me the truth. You were absolutely right. Our marriage ended in disaster.” (If everyone who knew a couple like this and believed the marriage wasn’t right and was not going to work said to them, “I love you, and have always wanted to be your groomsman or bridesmaid, but I can’t in this situation”,  maybe we could avoid that sort of thing.)

So yes, I’m not comfortable with the implicit approval involved in attending a gay wedding.

On a similar note, somebody asked about having people in their home. I would say, when they’re inside your home and under your roof, you are accountable to God for that. This is a place where you have dominion and responsibility. I would not say to a couple that is living together, “You guys sleep in this bedroom.” Instead, I would have the uncomfortable conversation with them and say, “We love you. You are welcome to stay at our house. Because of our convictions, would you mind the separate bedrooms?” They might say, “Well, then maybe we should stay at a motel or wherever.” I would respond with, “But please understand that this truly is us trying to honor God. This is not something we just came up with.”

What about your child marrying somebody and you know it isn’t right? Do you allow them to stay in the same room together in your house? I think when they’re husband and wife and the marriage is a real marriage, even if you didn’t approve of it, I would say yes, sure.

But is “gay marriage” truly a marriage in God’s sight whether it’s made legal or not? I don’t think it is. I think that’s another component that’s involved.

Of course we’re to speak the truth in love and share grace with people. But I do think there is a time to say, “You know what? In the name of love, I can’t make the statement that I approve of this by attending.” (I share some specific thoughts on how to turn down the invitation in this article.)

You just have to find ways to graciously communicate this. This is very tough to do.

Photo by bjearwicke via freeimages

Randy Alcorn, founder of EPM

Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over fifty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries