What Would You Do?

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0isez

Puritan Board Freshman
About 10 years ago I attended a gay marriage of male partners. This was my brother in law and his partner. My wife (his sister) and I were expected to attend. It was a very close family who never mentioned the gay union in disparagement nor criticized them the whole time they were courting and not even when they announced their intent to marry. Both were well off professional people and nice people to boot. The family acted as if this was the normalist thing in the world. I didn’t want to attend at the time but I was afraid I would be a marked man henceforth so I went.
I was very uncomfortable and I felt that it was an ugly affair even though at the time I was a nominal Christian. Since then I have become a much more fervent believer. However, I still would not know what to do if the same situation arose again. Am I condoning same sex marriage by attending one even though I am opposed to the whole affair from a biblical standpoint ? I have never shared the viewpoint that it’s two people in love and how could that be wrong? Maybe I should have stood my ground and not gone and let the flaming darts land where they may. God forgive me if I erred. What would you have done in my place brothers and sisters?
 
Personally, I would not attend. But I would probably in a very loving and kind way share my love for them, but explain how that goes against my beliefs. After all, marriage is supposed to be a lifelong thing, so showing up to approve and celebrate such a thing which goes against God's will, I don't think I'd be able to do.

I guess there is always the option of showing up, and speaking up when the minister asks if there's anybody that objects :)
 
I agree with Ryan-- I would be sure to express my personal care for the individuals and desire to continue being in their lives, and then explain why I could not support the "marriage" and would not be attending.
 
I would not attend. These two passages come to mind:

"Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." - 2 Tim. 3:12

"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me." - Matt 10:34-37
 
It is a celebration and a solemnizing of something forbidden by God. I would not attend. It is also a mockery of God's institution of marriage, and blaspheming His name when it is used in such a ceremony.

And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.
- Ephesians 4:11-12 KJV

Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
- Romans 1:32 KJV
 
In addition to what others have already said, it's worth noting that attending a wedding has more symbolic significance than attending most anything else. When you attend a wedding you really are acting as a witness to the vows, meaning you have an actual role in the solemnization of the marriage.
 
I would still care for the person. But kindly tell them in good conscience support their choice. Now I know doing such a thing will come with risk but sometimes tough love is needed.
 
Thank you for your most important answers to this dilemma. I do concur and repent of such a sinful audience that I held some ten years ago. Now, far be it from me to enter again into a ceremony that God considers an abomination, however how did Naaman get away with accompanying the Babylonian king to an idol worship temple in 2 Kings 5?
After General Naaman of the Babylonian Army was healed of leprosy in the river Jordan under Elisha’s blessings, he asked that the Lord forgive him for his futuristic actions of going into the temple with the Babylonian King for a worship session. Elisha told him “don’t worry about it”. (CEV)
2 Kings 5: 18-19 (ESV)
18 In this matter may the Lord pardon your servant: when my master goes into the house of Rimmon to worship there, leaning on my arm, and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon, when I bow myself in the house of Rimmon, the Lord pardon your servant in this matter.” 19 He said to him, “Go in peace.
 
The stakes, if you will, are context dependent. That is, how will you proceed when you do not attend? This will look and sound different with close relatives than office workmates.
 
I do think some come across as saying that if you attend one than you aren't a Christian.
I can't know know that. But certainly I am not sure why a Christian would enter a pagan temple and unite with a priest/priestess...or watch...
 
Since then I have become a much more fervent believer. However, I still would not know what to do if the same situation arose again. Am I condoning same sex marriage by attending one even though I am opposed to the whole affair from a biblical standpoint ? I have never shared the viewpoint that it’s two people in love and how could that be wrong? Maybe I should have stood my ground and not gone and let the flaming darts land where they may. God forgive me if I erred. What would you have done in my place brothers and sisters?
[The Red is by Ed]

Below are a few random thoughts I wrote last night but decided not to post. Then changed my mind.

I know I would not have attended. And yes, I did consider how close and intertwined. Sounds like a hotbed for storgē [στοργή] love. And I mean this in the best way. But there can be a dark side to even family love if it turns into tribalism or warfare amongst the same people who loved so dearly yesterday. (Think, Hatfields & McCoys) All will eventually go awry unless all are under the power and guidance of Jesus, the Master builder of all there is. Jesus will never allow another god to rival His loving rule.

I have settled on a few other things, at least for now – (Philippians 3:15).
  • I don't do pronouns – Pronouns that indicate someone, something, gender, age, etc., ad infinitum. It is something that is obviously back–asswards. A person is not a tree, car, or goat.
  • I don't use the word 'gay' when referring to homosexuals. Neither do I call them fagits and similar. We have a perfectly good word – a Bible word. Too bad it has fallen out of vogue and is considered pretty near a swear word (like the unmentionable 'N' word). Was I wrong to capitalize the 'n'? Who knows.
στοργή
Storge (στοργή, storgē) means "love, affection" and "especially of parents and children."​
It is the common or natural empathy that parents feel for offspring.​
PRO'NOUN, noun [Latin pronomen; pro, for, and nomen, name.]​
In grammar, a word is used instead of a noun or name to prevent the repetition of it. The personal pronouns in English are I, thou or you, he, she, we, ye, and they.​
 
it was not a marriage.

Amen to that.

IV. Marriage ought not to be within the degrees of consanguinity or affinity forbidden in the word;h nor can such incestuous marriages ever be made lawful by any law of man, or consent of parties, so as those persons may live together as man and wife.i The man may not marry any of his wife’s kindred nearer in blood than he may of his own, nor the woman of her husband’s kindred nearer in blood than of her own.k

h [Lev. Chapter 18] 1 Cor. 5:1. It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife. Amos 2:7. That pant after the dust of the earth on the head of the poor, and turn aside the way of the meek; and a man and his father will go in unto the same maid, to profane my holy name.

i Mark 6:18. For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother’s wife. Lev. 18:24. Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you: Ver. 25. And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants. Ver. 26. Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations; neither any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you: Ver. 27. (For all these abominations have the men of the land done, which were before you, and the land is defiled:) Ver. 28. That the land spue not you out also, when ye defile it, as it spued out the nations that were before you.

k Lev. 20:19. And thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy mother’s sister, nor of thy father’s sister; for he uncovereth his near kin; they shall bear their iniquity. Ver. 20. And if a man shall lie with his uncle’s wife, he hath uncovered his uncle’s nakedness: they shall bear their sin; they shall die childless. Ver. 21. And if a man shall take his brother’s wife, it is an unclean thing: he hath uncovered his brother’s nakedness; they shall be childless.

Westminster Assembly, The Westminster Confession of Faith: Edinburgh Edition (Philadelphia: William S. Young, 1851), 135.
 
I personally do not attend weddings or baptisms that do not involve professing Christians. This is perhaps a personal view of seeing these as something I am present at in the capacity of, among other things, a witness. I would not willingly witness a crime if I knew it was going to happen. I would try to stop it.

When I have declined such invitations, if I was asked why I declined, I briefly explained and that was that.

Yes, "Marriage is honorable among all" (Hebrews 13:4) in the sense that we must all warn against and do our best to see that adultery is prevented, but that does not mean one must approve of every impending marriage.
it was not a marriage.
Agreed. And thus does not need to be honoured or preserved.
 
I should add that my college-aged daughter recently asked me about a similar situation. She worked part time at a neighboring (horse) farm growing up and became good friends with the owner and her daughter. The daughter was in an immoral (same sex) relationship and is now engaged to be "married" to another woman. My daughter was concerned with what to do if invited - or even asked to take part in the ceremony. I told her she can just say something like "I love you both but I cannot support something I believe is morally wrong." She told me that was the answer she was looking for. I'm not sure if she ever had to use it. But it will no doubt help that she already has a strong, consistent Christian testimony (for example, she will not work on the Lord's Day, unless it is an emergency, in which case she always refuses pay) which I think they respect her for.
 
I have been forgiven for past sins...small, medium and large. Those who take me back have violated God's sanctity and pronounce judgment where God has forgiven. BTW...All sin is disloyalty to Christ.
Listen, you: you brought it up. I didn’t “take you back” …. YOU did! You’re literally the person who dredged out your past for us. It’s great that God has forgiven you. Yet the situation is the same: It was wrong in the past and it would be wrong again in the future. So don’t do it again.
 
I have been forgiven for past sins...small, medium and large. Those who take me back have violated God's sanctity and pronounce judgment where God has forgiven. BTW...All sin is disloyalty to Christ.
I agree with Pastor Ben. You asked and left open the possibility of reoffending in the future.

It was sinful, see Romans 1:32. And it would be sinful to not take a future stand, see 1 Corinthians 16:13-14. It is not loving to condone such things.

Noone here condemns you brother. However, based on your response, your conscience may very well be condemning you yourself.
 
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