A Few More Thoughts …
As some of you know, I wrote an article earlier this week that has attracted a lot of attention. By the number of views and comments, the topic “Can I Attend My LGBT Friend’s Wedding?” has obviously struck a nerve in the Christian community. I wanted to follow up with a few thoughts in response to some of the questions that have arisen in relation to the article.
1. Some have thought that I’m speaking on behalf of all Calvary Chapels. I am not. I stated in the article that this is my present perspective on the matter. Just for the record: no one person speaks for all Calvary Chapels.
2. Some have thought that I was approving of gay marriage and encouraging Christians to attend same-sex weddings. It’s hard to believe that those suggesting these things actually read the article. I did not say either of those things. What I did say is that each one of us has to pray about these challenging issues that we are faced with in the culture and see how the Lord might lead us. As I said to a pastor friend who wrote to me, expressing his disapproval of the article: “If you know for sure that there would never, under any circumstance, be a time when the Lord would lead someone to meet with sinners on that level, then you know more than I do about what God will and will not do. The danger in that position to me is that it sounds a lot like the men in Jesus’ day who thought they knew who the Messiah should or should not associate with. As you know, Jesus, the great physician, went to those who were sick with sin, and He went right into the heart of where they lived and sinned.”
3. Some have said that to attend a same-sex wedding is to condone, or approve of sin. I personally disagree. In each of the actual cases I’m aware of where there has been an invitation extended to a Christian to attend a same-sex wedding, those who are marrying are fully aware that their Christian aunt, uncle, coworker, or friend does not approve of same-sex sexual relations. I think it’s completely possible to show love and demonstrate God’s grace to people and yet not be complicit in their sin. Jesus certainly did this very thing when He ate with “tax collectors and sinners” (Matthew 9:10). In case we’ve forgotten, the tax collectors were, in the minds of the Jews, the worst of the worst. In fact, the religious leaders of the day were certain that God was going to judge them far more harshly than everyone else. The sinners, who were they? Well, they were prostitutes (female and male), drunkards, thieves, idolaters, blasphemers, etc. What did Jesus do? He ate with them. That is not without significance. It was actually part of the complaint of the Pharisees: “This Man receives sinners and eats with them” (Luke 15:2). Why were they so bothered by Jesus “eating” with sinners? Because to eat with people in that culture was to openly say they were your friends. To have a meal with a person was an intimate act that only people who were friends would do together. If you ever wanted to “associate” yourself, to call someone else your “friend,” or speak of an intimate relationship, you would do that by having a meal with them. Remember the words of Jesus in Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me.” The New Living translates that last part: “If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.” Jesus was the friend of sinners, and as His followers, we should be too.
In conclusion, as I said in the article, I don’t believe there’s one stock answer to these challenging issues, such as whether Christians should attend gay weddings. What I am saying is to look to Jesus as our example, look to His Word for wisdom, and look to the Holy Spirit through prayer for His leading.