Same Sex Wedding - Would you attend?
Question: Would You Attend a Gay Wedding?
Wisconsin at one time carefully penned its legislative intent with respect to laws governing marriage and sexual morality. Woven into the fabric of these statutes are statements like:
"The state recognizes that it has a duty to encourage high moral standards. Although the state does not regulate the private sexual activity of consenting adults, the state does not condone or encourage any form of sexual conduct outside the institution of marriage. Marriage is the foundation of family and society. Its stability is basic to morality and civilization, and of vital interest to society and this state." (Wis. Stat. 944.01; cf. Wis. Stat. 765.001(2)).
With the passing of time, increasing disinterest in traditional morality and marriage has led to a build-up of dust upon the unturned pages of some of its laws. While untended laws are of some concern, what is more damaging to the stability of society are the changes in moral standards and the redefining of an institution that serves as the foundation for family.
Marriage was once defined by our state as, "a legal relationship between two equal persons, a husband and wife, who owe to each other mutual responsibility and support" (Wis. Stat. 765.001(2)). In 2014, this definition of marriage was deemed unconstitutional, and we observed the abandoning of one foundation for another. The new foundation was society's acceptance, the state's endorsement and the institutionalization of same-sex marriage.
With the rising normalization of homosexuality in society, it's no surprise this question is before the elders. Our answer: No, we would not attend a gay wedding. And here are some of the reasons why:
1. God, not society or the government, has defined marriage as an institution whereby a perfectly fitted and complementary man and woman leave their father and mother and cleave to one other (cf. Genesis 1:27-28; Matthew 19:4-6; Mark 10:6-9; Ephesians 5:31). As the author of marriage, God reserves all rights to the institution, including its definition and purpose. While society has endeavored to rewrite the definition by including same-sex unions under the umbrella of marriage, it does not have that authority.
2. God declares homosexuality sin, and the end for those who practice it is eternal separation from God in hell. God’s original decree can be found in Leviticus 20, where He says that homosexuality is an abomination. In Romans 1, homosexuality is described as dishonorable, unnatural, shameless, error, and something that ought not be done. In 1 Timothy 1, homosexuality is listed as contrary to sound doctrine and does not conform to the gospel. Finally, 1 Corinthians 6 declares that those who practice homosexuality will not inherit the kingdom of God.
3. Celebrating the sin of same-sex unions is sin. In Romans 1, we see an unraveling entropy in society: what was known about human relationship was plainly seen in creation; while plainly seen, lust entered in and some exchanged a plainly seen truth for a lie; the lure of the lie led some astray and they began living for themselves, the creature, and not the creator, by engaging in homosexual behavior; and finally, they not only engaged in homosexual behavior, but approved the practice of it. Man's approval and celebration of sin is the pinnacle of perversion. Homosexuality is a sin among many sins. Would we dare come together to celebrate theft, greed, drunkenness, domestic violence, sexual assault, or murder? By no means. Why then would we choose to celebrate the sin of homosexuality by joining as a witness to same-sex unions? Just because society has sanitized this sin by giving their approval of it does not take away God's condemnation of it.
4. Genuine conversion requires repentance and a turning from the lure of homosexuality and its lifestyle. One can be a Christian and struggle with homosexual tendencies, but one cannot be a Christian and live unashamedly in a homosexual lifestyle. As already noted, those who practice homosexuality will not inherit the kingdom of God. In light of such a clear pronouncement and reality, our counsel to same-sex partners will always be the same: to divorce. There are no redeemable properties in a same-sex union. To continue in the homosexual lifestyle after genuine conversion is impossible. To attend a wedding one day only to encourage divorce the next day is hypocritical, confusing and unloving.
While the question at issue deals specifically with homosexuality, let us not think too narrowly or single out homosexuality by treating it as the only sin that will damn a person. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 tells us, "Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God." What follows in verse 11 though is a sweet reminder; a reminder that should grant you hope, regardless of your struggle. There it says, "And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God."
Before conversion, we were all cut off from the Kingdom. But praise be to God, that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us, thereby making a way for us to be saved by grace through faith (cf. Romans 5:8, Ephesians 2:8-9). While none of us are who we would like to be, may it be said of us that we are not like we used to be. Those in Christ are a new creation, God's workmanship, not created that we might continue in sin, but created for good works (cf. Ephesians 2:10).
Let us delight in the law of the Lord and value the words of God more than the opinions of men. And let us remember that such were all of us, sinners in need of saving. Let us speak the truth in love and allow the overflow of our affections for Christ to flood our every encounter.