Should I Attend My Friend or Family Member’s Gay Wedding Ceremony?

I was recently asked, “Can you think of any particular Bible passages that might help us think through the above question?” I answered as follows:

My mind goes to 1 Cor 10:25-29.

“25 Eat whatever is sold in the meat market without raising any question on the ground of conscience. 26 For “the earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof.” 27 If one of the unbelievers invites you to dinner and you are disposed to go, eat whatever is set before you without raising any question on the ground of conscience. 28 But if someone says to you, “This has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for the sake of conscience— 29 I do not mean your conscience, but his.”

Paul seems to say, if your participation in something gives the unbeliever the impression that you condone something wrong, don’t do it.

Of course, loving the gay friend or family member is imperative, as well as showing love to their partner. And if your unbelieving friend or family member has an event that’s super special and meaningful to them, your presence at the event communicates that you care about them. I think that’s why most people find this to be a difficult question. Attending such a special event feels like a way of saying, “I love you.”

The question here though is, is it possible to attend a homosexual wedding ceremony without your very attendance implicitly acknowledging it as a wedding ceremony–which Biblically speaking it is not (a gay marriage is an oxymoron and not an actual marriage whatever the state says). In other words, you aren’t just attending an event which happens to involve a wedding you disagree with that you can somehow distance yourself from while remaining in attendance. The event itself *is* a wedding you disagree with. It’s comparable to the unbeliever in 1 Cor 10 saying, “This meat is offered to my god.” Can your attendance at an event that claims to be a wedding be perceived in any other way than you recognizing the event’s legitimate claims to be what it purports to be? In other words, is it possible to attend what others are calling a “wedding ceremony” while simultaneously saying, “But I don’t think that’s what I’m attending”? Then what are you attending, and why are you attending it? Or, is it possible to attend while making it clear to those around you, or at least those who know you, that you disapprove of what the very event you are attending claims to be?

Someone might respond, “But aren’t we all sinners? I wouldn’t not go to someone’s wedding just because they are a sinner.” Of course! But the issue with a so-called “gay marriage” isn’t that its participants are sinners. It’s true, every marriage involves sinners! The issue here, though, is that the “marriage” itself is sinful.

I can celebrate a legitimate marriage between two sinners, because the marriage itself is still a good God-given thing. I can’t celebrate an illegitimate marriage that in itself is an affront to God’s design.

Logos 10 Reviewed: Should I Upgrade?

I received a free advance copy of Logos Bible Software 10 in exchange for this honest review.

As you’re probably aware (that is, if you’re the sort of person who’d be reading this), Faithlife released a new version of their Logos Bible Software last week. If by chance you’re not familiar with Logos, in my opinion, it’s bar none the most powerful Bible study tool currently in existence. It’s where I’ve chosen to build my Biblical and theological library. When you own books in Logos, they’re no longer just books; but they’re integrated with a host of tools and research functions that not only enhance the value of those books but empower your study of scripture.

So what’s in the new version of Logos? And is it worth upgrading?

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The Church’s Exercise of the Keys of the Kingdom: What Sort of Authority Does the Church Have?

God has created various institutions within creation. To each one he gives particular domains of authority (e.g., parents/fathers over the home, elders the church, the government the state, etc.), and particular ways of enforcing their authority fitting to their particular type of authority.

In other words, not all institutions exercise or enforce their authority the same way. For instance, God has authorized the state to wield the sword (Rom 13). In other words, the state can coerce its citizens by threat of material punishment. The church however is a voluntary society. It doesn’t coerce; rather it persuades. People willingly believe and join, submitting to Christ’s rule.

But Christ did not leave the church without a means of exercising and enforcing its authority. Whereas he gave the state the “sword,” he gave the church the “keys of the kingdom” by which to state who is in and who is out of Christ’s kingdom (see Mt 16:18-19; 18:15-20; Jn 20:23).

The church is like an embassy of heaven that issues passports declaring who belongs to Jesus. Word (teaching, preaching) and sacrament (baptism, Lord’s Supper) are the means by which the church positively exercises this authority, persuading people to believe and obey (Word) and then marking off those who do (sacrament). And church discipline is the way the church negatively exercises this authority—declaring that one in fact is not a citizen of Christ’s kingdom.

But the church can’t make anyone believe and obey. The church doesn’t possess that sort of authority. We can only persuade (Word). And when persuasion fails and someone is unrepentant, which is characteristic of an unbeliever, we declare them so (church discipline). That’s the only authority we have; more importantly, the only authority Christ has given us, and so we dare not overstep those bounds.

Narnia’s Nikabrik, a Parable of Contemporary Evangelicalism? | “We Want Power. And We Want a Power that Will Be on Our Side.”

“All said and done,” he [Nikabrik] muttered, “none of us knows the truth about the ancient days in Narnia. Trumpkin believed none of the stories. I was ready to put them to the trial. We tried first the Horn and it has failed. If there ever was a High King Peter and a Queen Susan and a King Edmund and a Queen Lucy, then either they have not heard us, or they cannot come, or they are our enemies–“

“Or they are on the way,” put in Trufflehunter.

“You can go on saying that till Miraz has fed us all to his dogs. As I was saying, we have tried one link in the chain of old legends, and it has done us no good. Well. But when your sword breaks, you draw your dagger. The stories tell of other powers beside the ancient Kings and Queens. How if we could call them up?” ….

“Who do you mean?” said Caspian at last.

“I mean a power so much greater than Aslan’s that it held Narnia spellbound for years and years, if the stories are true.”

“The White Witch!” cried three voices all at once….

“Yes, said Nikabrik very slowly and distinctly, “I mean the Witch. … We want power: and we want a power that will be on our side. … They say she ruled for a hundred years: a hundred years of winter. There’s power, if you like. There’s something practical.”

—C.S. Lewis, Prince Caspian in The Chronicles of Narnia (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2001), pp. 393-394.

As I read the above section from C.S. Lewis’ Prince Caspian this evening, I couldn’t help but think of how it unfortunately seemed to parabolize much of the current posture of contemporary, American evangelicalism. We’re pragmatic over principled. Over against the “foolish” call to cruciformly, we’re entangled in a love affair with the corrupting influence of power. We want power — who cares if that power happens to be the “White Witch”?

Luckily, Prince Caspian and crew have the wherewithal to see through Nikabrik’s proposal, and they dismantle his plot right then and there. May we have the foresight in this moment to revive our call and do the same.

Using Logos in Pastoral Ministry (September 8th, 2021)

Join us for a special online seminar hosted by yours truly in partnership with Logos Bible Software. The topic is: How to best use Logos in ministry — pastoral and more.

Logos Bible Software is currently used by over 6 million people worldwide. In this free seminar, you will learn how Logos can help you accomplish Bible study and ministry tasks effectively and efficiently.

We’ll be joined by National Presenter for Faithlife and Logos Bible Software, Matt Stack. You’ll be able to ask questions, and together we’ll explore ways to utilize Logos in your ministry.

To access the special 25% discount offer, visit here — available through to Sept. 10, 2021. And email Matt with any questions you might have.