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.