How do we respond to Christians who practice homosexual lifestyle and believe it is ok to divorce and remarry?

I am not sure if there are biblical principles or guidelines as to to how we should respond to invitations to attend:

  1. Gay Christian wedding

  2. Wedding of 2 divorced persons (both their spouses are still alive and are Christians)

You thoughts on this would help.

Thank you.

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Hi @Adaml108 thank you for the question, I think this is a challenging one for many of us and really important to have a think about. I haven’t had to face the dilemma that you put forward yet, but I know it’s a struggle to come to a decision that fills me with peace.

I call it a dilemma, because I feel the main issues are that if a Christian takes the stance that homosexual marriage is not God‘s best plan for us, or if we feel the Bible is clear about not remarrying unless a spouse has died, then it feels like a choice between the Bible or our friends. I think the clinch on our conscience comes because if we attend a wedding, we could be seen as condoning the choice but if we stay away, we could be seen as judgemental.

My overwhelming conviction here is that if we are made in the image of God, our primary role is to love the person. How our demonstration of love looks may differ from person to person, but primarily, I believe our response should not convey a suggestion of the opposite.

I always think it’s a helpful thing to see how Jesus modelled this. Firstly, he was the Holy God who stepped into our world of sin. This was the first demonstration of stepping into something against who he is. When he was in flesh, he dined with tax collectors and prostitutes and anyone whom the culture labelled as sinful or unworthy. This helps me see that in these dilemmas, we are trying to convey the gospel into a different culture in our modern day. Paul, a very highly regarded Pharisee shunned anyone who did not meet his standards, until Jesus changed his heart. He spent the rest of his life stepping into the gentile world to show God’s love.

So as we approach our culture which says everything is permissible, my personal feeling would be to step into those places, accept those wedding invitations and spend time with your friends because that is how you can demonstrate the gospel message and God’s unconditional love. Whether you accept the invitation with a chat about how you feel Biblically is something you might consider too. If you are invited to such a wedding, maybe ask God to open conversations with the people in question, but always make a choice that tells them you value and love them as individuals. I think if we reject invitations, we risk closing the door to those friendships and therefore, conversations about Jesus.

Like I said, I’ve not had to face this myself yet so I’d be interested to hear from others who have.

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The Lord says that if you are truly living for Him you will be reviled & persecuted in this modern age .
Accept the invitation, but do not enter in under the delusion that your conversations
concerning Jesus and His disturbing truth that our sin grieves Him deeply will be taken free of offense.
Toils & snares are awaiting you there but may God give the ability to be victorious in theTruth.
You will be criticized, but that is alright for you can have peace and joy amidst reviling, remaining spiritually of good cheer .
Understand that among the fundamental basics concerning the truth of Jesus is that it will always disturb &,divide.
But take heart because there is a third most important of all characteristic of the truth of Jesus & that is that it also Delivers.
And It is for that most preeminent cause of deliverance that God Himself beckons you to go to them.

Love In Christ + , Mike

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Thank you for your reply.

I believe Jesus did not join the tax collectors and sinners to celebrate with them but rather to save them.

To attend a wedding is a celebration of their joy and belief.

I agree that this is not an easy question and I know many have struggled how to show love and yet not to stumble fellow believers or worse, not to disobey God.

Once again thank you for your honest and thoughtful answer.

God bless you

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Thank you Michael for your reply.

It is truly encouraging to be reminded that the Lord delivers! Praise the Lord!

God bless you.

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Yes, I agree, and this is where the real clinch arises for me. This is why it might be really important for a Christian to chat with their friend before hand, to explain that they will attend the wedding because of their love for the friend, but it doesn’t mean they agree with the choice. The outcome of this may depend on the level of friendship, but I imagine if they are good friends, it wouldn’t come as a surprise to the person getting married.

I think there’s a big message by stepping over to their side, like Jesus did. I think a celebration event makes this whole issue much harder to resolve simply because a celebration highlights a person’s values. By refusing to attend a celebration based on beliefs, you’re essentially saying “I don’t value what you value” or “My beliefs are more important than your values”. There’s nothing wrong with this message in itself but people easily interpret that to mean “I don’t value you”. That is why I think these conversations are essential to have. Doesn’t make it any easier, which is why any approach must be done after a great deal of prayer.

As I write this, I’m very aware that it’s not me facing this dilemma. Out of interest, is this a situation you’re having to face now or one you’re thinking ahead about just in case?

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Thank you for your reply.

I fully agree with you.

This topic was brought up during a discussions with friends. It’s like “What would Jesus do?” type of discussion.

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I am afraid I have to disagree with the conclusion that Alison and Michael came to.
Jesus went into sinners homes to eat with them, not to celebrate their sinfulness, but to show them that they too have hope, and that hope is not only for the upright ones within society.
When a Christian goes to these types of weddings, it does not so much signal love to the persons getting married, but it signals approval and celebrates their life style.
Jesus did not take part in the sinners celebration of their sinfulness, but rather he went to them to preach the gospel in hopes of their repentance.
I cannot imagine Jesus having gone to one of these people’s homes, and then just simply talk politics or popular society. No he would have expounded the gospel to them.
So when we love someone, despite them living a sinful lifestyle, we need to show them we care for them, and part of loving them is to do the hard thing in telling them they are living in sin. Of course we should be living in truth when we do this, so that we cannot be called a hypocrite when we exhort them.
So in my opinion, a Christian should not celebrate sinful lifestyles, and I would not go to either of these types of weddings.

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Hi @Jake, thanks for your response and welcome to Connect :grinning:.

Absolutely, and I think your point highlights what we are trying to resolve. The gospel has to be central to the dialogue. If a person was to chat to their friend getting married, the whole foundation of their reasons of discomfort with the wedding must be rooted in the gospel message: that of the ultimate love story, God’s love for us. If we can communicate that clearly, explaining that we feel that this person’s wedding is a celebration of something that doesn’t uphold God’s love and plan for mankind, maybe we can continue to show how we value that friend as an individual by attending the wedding.

I do see the value in your point that it would be better not to attend at all, and to be honest, until I am faced with this scenario, I’m not 100% sure what my decision will be.

The only thing that pushes me to consider a frank conversation before attending the wedding is that if I rejected the invitation, I might be closing the door to that friendship and therefore to any opportunity of sharing the gospel with that person. This would be heartbreaking for me.

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I fully concur with you on this point.
If we are friends with the individual and not a mere aquintence, then as was said before, they would know what our viewpoint is, and since they know what our viewpoint on the matter is, they should then also understand why the invitation was rejected (if it were rejected).
Also, since they are hypothetically still our friend up to the point of their union, then surely they would know our love for them goes deeper then superficiality, and they could count on our friendship even after their union, though the friendship could be strained for a time.

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Yes, this would be my hope too. I think if and when this situation arises, we will each need God’s wisdom to understand what that individual would need from us: a demonstration of love and support or a firm word based on scripture. Either way could be the key to leading them to God’s truth or pushing them away from it.

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