Same Sex Ceremony: Would you attend?

Interesting post over at Out of Ur recently… they ask the question as to whether or not you would attend a same sex wedding ceremony.  They use a quote from Al Mohler that says they he thinks it would be difficult for a Christian to attend:

The traditional Christian ceremony, as reflected in The Book of Common Prayer, asks if anyone present knows of any reason why the couple should not be joined in holy matrimony. That is not intended as a hypothetical question. It is intended to ensure that no one present knows of any reason that the union should not be solemnized, recognized, and celebrated…. To remain silent at that point is to abdicate theological and biblical responsibility. Even if the question is not formally asked in the ceremony, the issue remains. We cannot celebrate what we know to be wrong.

Interesting dilemma.  One I really hadn’t thought of.

To be honest, I don’t know that I’m going to be invited to a same sex ceremony any time soon.

But I bet my kids or grandkids will.

How should they respond?

Mohler says, “We cannot celebrate what we know to be wrong.”

Agree.  But sometimes we do.  It’s just not same sex marriage we’re celebrating.

When one of our kids or a family we know has a kid who has a child out of wedlock, it does put us in a somewhat awkward situation at times.  Do we celebrate this new child who was conceived ‘in sin’?

That seems a little more pragmatic a thing for most of us to talk about than whether we’d attend a same sex marriage ceremony.

After all, we can’t celebrate something we know to be wrong.  Right?

Maybe I’m getting too caught up in the word ‘celebrate’.  But we deal with people everyday that have ugly sin attached to their lives:  they may be divorced, or a drunk, or a liar, or a thief, or a gossip, or a glutton, or may interpret scripture on an issue totally different than we do.

Don’t get me wrong.  Taking a stand is important.  But so is not being a… well a word that I shouldn’t print here.  It seems like a fine line that most of us Christians don’t manage very well.

Do you agree with Mohler’s statement?  And where do YOU draw the line?

Would you attend a same sex ceremony?  Would you ‘celebrate’ at the baby shower of a baby conceived out of wedlock?  Aren’t these kind of the same thing only one is more social acceptable than the other?

Call me crazy.



  • Dillon October 26, 2011 Reply

    ” Would you attend a same sex ceremony? Would you ‘celebrate’ at the baby shower of a baby conceived out of wedlock? Aren’t these kind of the same thing only one is more social acceptable than the other? ”

    Beyond apple and orange comparison. A baby conceived out of wedlock not knowing sin ( other than original ) versus two people in open defiance towards God asking God to bless their union? For me, at least, attending would be granting my approval and acceptance. I would not.

    • Todd Rhoades October 26, 2011 Reply

      Not entirely apples and oranges.

      The baby, is, obviously, totally innocent.

      The parents are not. Right? Living a life of sin. Premarital sex. Many times living together. According to Mohler (I would think), we could not celebrate that. At all.

      OK… back to weddings. Have you ever gone to a wedding thinking that this wasn’t the best match? Or maybe one was a Christian, the other wasn’t. Or that one was divorced without biblical cause? Or that they had been living together or having sex before the ceremony? When the question is asked… is there ANY reason these people should not be joined together… do you speak or forever hold your peace?

      My guess is that we’ve all forever held our peace.

      That’s all I’m saying here.

      It’s quite the conundrum.


      • Matt October 26, 2011 Reply

        Just wanted to follow up in this line of thought. As a matter of fact, I have abstained from attending a wedding where one person was divorced without biblical cause. I didn’t get up in the couple’s face about it, I politely declined. I don’t consider that being an *insert choice expletive here*. In the case of a friend of ours who had a child out of wedlock, we gave her some useful items for the baby, but we did not “celebrate” and attended no shower. We cannot put a seal of approval on open and defiant behavior towards God, but we can continue to love individuals. I don’t know, it’s not really hard to me, but maybe I’m just a simpleton.

  • pastorC October 26, 2011 Reply

    The child, or pregnancy is not the sin. It is the sex that is the sin. So we can celebrate the gift of God in the birth of a new life, because “God works all togethger for good.” Marriage, on the other hand, is instituted by God as a covenant before Him. It is just an added benefit that society recognizes it and honors it as a unity. But when society takes what they did not institute and changes it to not resemble God’s intent, then God has been removed from the equation. Despite this fact, Grace wins. The bible demands repentance for the recognition of grace, and it also says “His kindness leads us to repentance.” So if invited, I would go, and show God’s kindness and love and also speak the truth. If the marriage is not recognized by God, bcz it isn’t the design He has, then what difference is it if a gay couple marries or just lives together and has sex? It is the same sin, whether it is legally bound or not. So I would attend the ceremony, in hopes to further a relationship with the PEOPLE committing the sin, and pray that maybe one day that kindness will lead them to repentance. Boycotting anything, even gay marriage ceremonies, is not biblical and all it does is isolate the people Jesus came to save.

    • Brian November 2, 2011 Reply

      So by your thinking, it is the sex in a same-sex union that is the sin…but as far as the wedding and marriage: “God works altogether for God.” Sounds good to me.

  • Spica October 26, 2011 Reply

    I guess one difference between the baby’s birth and the “so-called” same-sex wedding is that the birth is not sinful. The conception was, clearly, but that’s not what’s celebrated. On the other hand, the same-sex union in itself is the sinful part. I’m not taking a stand on whether we should or not attend any of the two events, I’m still thinking about these. Just giving my opinion on what makes these two events different in my eyes.

    Anyway, didn’t we already have this debate on your blog some time ago ? I kind of remember someone talking about whether or not to attend her niece’s same-sex union party…

  • Peter October 26, 2011 Reply

    If I attend a shower for a baby conceived out of wedlock, I do not necessarily, by extension, voice approval of the means of that conception, only the beauty and wonder of new life.

    If I attend a same-sex marriage ceremony in a church, I am almost forced, by extension, to remain silent when that question is asked and therefore betray my scriptural convictions.

    So, yes, I”m going to the shower. But no, I think I’ll skip this “wedding”.

  • Dillon October 26, 2011 Reply

    ” That’s all I’m saying here.

    It’s quite the conundrum. ”

    I know what you’re saying Todd. My thoughts are take a stand. For something. For anything. We could go down a literal million different roads and be led back to the same place or be forever lost in what if scenarios.

  • lgsal October 26, 2011 Reply

    Yes, Todd, it IS apples & oranges. Attending the baby shower or even sending a gift or a card is not at all the same as going to the gay wedding. When I attend the baby shower, I am celebrating the fact that the mother chose LIFE for her child, regardless of the circumstances under which the child was conceived. The gift I bring is a gift for the child. It is the birth of the child we are celebrating.

    • Todd Rhoades October 26, 2011 Reply

      Yeah, I get it.

      But I think many of your answers would have been different 20 years ago.

      You may have been happy that the girl didn’t get the abortion; but you wouldn’t have bought them a new car seat and gone to the baby shower.

      20 years ago when an unwed girl got pregnant, many times she ‘went away’… literally disappeared for the duration of the pregnancy.

      But now, unwed mothers are so aplenty (and, I might add, culturally acceptable), that most people don’t think twice.

      But they do about same sex marriage.

      My guess is that in 20 years, few will have problems here either.

      Not at all saying it’s right… just saying that I think many of us get caught more in the social pitfalls than the scriptural ones. We let culture decide acceptability.

      Could be that I’m all wet today. It’s happened (once or twice) before.


  • Todd Rhoades October 26, 2011 Reply

    OK… another thought to prove my point. Or 2, actually.

    1. Do you go to a baby shower for an UNWED mother? She chose life, but not marriage. Wouldn’t your attendance condone the continuing sinful behavior?

    2. For those who would go to an unwed mother’s baby shower but not to the same sex marriage… what happens a year from now and they same sex couple adopts a baby. Do you go to THAT baby shower? Using the same rationale… the same sex couple did choose life, and it’s not the baby’s fault.

    Just askin’.


    • Spica October 27, 2011 Reply

      I don’t attend any baby shower, so problem solved ! :-p

  • John Gibbs October 26, 2011 Reply

    I think I would follow Paul’s advice in 1 Cor 5:12-13: “What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside.”

  • Ty October 26, 2011 Reply

    ‘ 1. Do you go to a baby shower for an UNWED mother? She chose life, but not marriage. Wouldn’t your attendance condone the continuing sinful behavior? ‘

    Yes, I would go, although, you need to be a bit more specific about the unwed mother and that qualifies your real conundrum because you can keep creating scenarios of what condition the mother is living in your attempt to keep proving your point which I’m not really sure you have.

    ‘ 2. For those who would go to an unwed mother’s baby shower but not to the same sex marriage… what happens a year from now and they same sex couple adopts a baby. Do you go to THAT baby shower? Using the same rationale… the same sex couple did choose life, and it’s not the baby’s fault. ‘

    This couple is still living in open rebellion in which my morals wouldn’t allow me to attend or support them. I don’t agree with their lifestyle, marriage, or ability to adopt a child. It’s the kind of wishy-washyness of these types of unending rabbit holes rather than any kind of absolute that allowed them to do it in the first place. Sorry, it’s the way I feel.

  • Amy October 26, 2011 Reply

    I think you should all follow the advice of Jesus and love your neighbor as yourself, judge not lest ye be judged, cast not the first stone, and pull the plank out of your own eye before you remove the speck from someone else’s eye.

    Jesus didn’t say a thing about condemning others, creating big self-righteous scenes in the public square, or making other people’s events an occasion to showcase your own knowledge of how to use church law to condemn others.

    Oh wait, yes he did: he said don’t do any of that crap.

    Bunch of Pharisees.

    • Scott Phillips October 26, 2011 Reply

      Sorry, but you’re wrong. Jesus did tell people they were in sin by telling them: “Go, and sin no more.” People like to talk about not judging and accepting everyone, but Jesus upheld morality as well.

      I think there’s a way to lovingly encourage one another toward holiness without being a (word you can’t say here) to people. When Jesus says not to judge because we too will be judged, that just means to be humble and realize you’re not any better than anyone. But it doesn’t mean people can do whatever they want and no one should say anything about it.

      “Jesus didn’t say a thing about condemning others, creating big self-righteous scenes in the public square, or making other people’s events an occasion to showcase your own knowledge of how to use church law to condemn others.

      Oh wait, yes he did: he said don’t do any of that crap.”

      Actually, he kinda did say all that in Matthew 18:

      Dealing With Sin in the Church
      15 “If your brother or sister[b] sins,[c] go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’[d] 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

      18 “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be[e] bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be[f] loosed in heaven.

      19 “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

      Most people just pull that last verse out and think it means Jesus is present anytime people start a prayer meeting. But it’s talking about confronting sin and holding people accountable.

      But, we’re all sinners and we all have baggage that doesn’t reflect God’s holiness. Lots of Christians have pre-marital sex and even live together before marriage. Lots of Christians get divorced, I’m sure plenty of them cheat on their spouses, too.

      That’s why Jesus had balance: hold each other accountable but also remove the plank from your own eye and be humble because we’re all in need of forgiveness.

    • Basil October 27, 2011 Reply


      I love you!!! You nailed it

      Some people just want to use their tortured interpretations of the Bible as a weapon in a game of smear the queer. It’s terribly unoriginal, but that doesn’t seem to stop anyone. Unfortunately, their hearts are made of stone, and for many (though not all), that will never change.

      I doubt any of these of these people have any close gay friends, or would be invited to a gay wedding, because if you were part of a gay couple, would you really invite someone who hates you to your wedding day? Are there any gay couples who are too stupid to know who their friends are?

  • John October 26, 2011 Reply


  • Leonard October 27, 2011 Reply

    I would have gone to a baby shower 20 years ago and I would today. I would assume if I am invited I must know the people well since I don’t usually get invited to parties for my looks or money.

    I would also attend a wedding with a gay couple in most circumstances. Again, I assume I would have been invited on the basis of relationship since I am also not invited to parties for my brains or great fashion sense.

    Anyone who knows me well enough to invite me to a life moment celebration, also knows me well enough to understand where my values and faith lie.

  • Mark October 27, 2011 Reply

    Why not attend the ceremony but bring a large pile of rocks to throw at the sinners? Thats the model Jesus….oh wait. He said “let he who is without sin…”

    Sorry. Strike that idea.

    • Scott Phillips October 27, 2011 Reply

      What do you think would happen if Jesus were to walk into a same sex marriage ceremony? He would simply congratulate them, drink some wine and leave?

      • Mark Hunter October 27, 2011 Reply

        Well, Scott, I’m sure the Gospels will contain some snippet of text that reveals how Jesus would have reacted had he come across a gay marriage ceremony.

        Failing that, I’m sure we can quote something Jesus had to say about homosexuality, full-stop. Or even same-sex attraction.

        • Scott Phillips October 27, 2011 Reply

          That’s called an argument from silence. If Jesus didn’t say it… but when he DID speak of marriage, he talked of a union between a man and a woman.

          Also, anytime Jesus was confronted with ANYONE, they were never the same after meeting him. He didn’t just pat people on the back and say “I accept you for who you are.” He told them about the Father, showed them the hope of heaven and showed them they can have a different life. Look at the woman at the well. He confronted her sin plainly, and offered her the “living water” of himself and a new way of life, to be changed and not continue in sin.

          Anyway my point is that while we should not cast stones and not be hateful toward people and build friendships and relationships with them, we also are still followers of Christ and part of that is sharing our faith with others. It’s going to come up one way or another.

          I think it’s important to focus on telling people about Jesus and his sacrifice and not on specific sins. People tend to focus on issues like gay marriage and abortion, but aren’t vocal about parental or spousal abuse, alcoholism, gossip, lying, cheating, flippant divorce, etc. It’s not consistent.

          One thing that can be consistent though, is to be humble and realize we’re all sinners in need of a Savior.

          • Mark Hunter October 27, 2011

            …and what dd he say about divorce, violence and loving our enemies?

            How’s the America church’s record with those?

  • pastorC October 27, 2011 Reply

    The reality is that grace triumphs over judgment. Homosexuality IS sin! It is apparent in scripture! But so is lying, and I have happily attended weddings of people I KNEW were liars! But, I also understand that the implications of sexual sins are greater, the bible tells us, because it is a sin against both God, and yourself. I don’t think we can ever boycott sinners though!!! I mean, all I have seen on this post is empty debate…people who say “don’t judge…” and then start judging people, saying they have a heart of stone??? Or people who say “I aint going to that wedding with that buncha queers…” but then eat the judgment of your malice speech. This debate is only purposeful if we understand that Jesus came to save people from SIN! And gay people need to hear that message! And they will never hear the message of grace, love, and acceptance if we the “christians” don’t stop allowing their particular sin to intimidate us. And it IS intimidation…because most people wouldn’t have a problem going to a wedding between 2 people who were having sex before their marriage, or people who had been divorced, or people were liars…

    • Scott Phillips October 27, 2011 Reply

      “people who say “don’t judge…” and then start judging people, saying they have a heart of stone???”

      That’s a good point. I find it funny when people want to play the “don’t judge others” card but then proceed to judge others by calling them names, jumping to conclusions like are “hateful” when they are simply disagreeing, or acting holier than thou right back at them.

      • Mark Hunter October 27, 2011 Reply

        Keep it up, Scott. You’re making someone very proud.

        • Scott Phillips October 27, 2011 Reply

          I’m not quite sure what you mean there, but I was making a general statement about when that situation occurs.

      • Basil October 27, 2011 Reply

        “Hearts of stone” is certainly a judgment, reflecting the pervasive homophobia of many churches, and the promotion of homophobia and unequal treatment of gays and lesbians within broader society. When you treat others in a manner that you would find offensive to yourself, then you are engaged in immoral conduct. I think the Rabbi Hillel’s quote is apropos, “Do not unto others what is hateful to yourselves”.

        “Hearts of stone” is also a statement of fact, reflecting the relationship of Christians to the gay community, and the utter failure of self proclaimed Christians to speak out against inequality, discrimination and violence that daily realities for so many gay and lesbian persons. The denial of access to a marriage license (which is a civil law contract) imposes huge financial penalties on gay couples and their children — loss of pension benefits, survivors benefits, health insurance, etc… (the list runs over to over 1000 items). How exactly does it serve Christ if a some kid with two dads can’t see a doctor, because the child cannot ride on his father’s health insurance because his/her family is not legally recognized as a family? How does it serve Christ if a widow can’t access Social Security survivor’s benefits that she needs to survive, because her relationship with her spouse wasn’t legally recognized?

        Going beyond the marriage issue, how does it serve Christ if some woman gets fired from her job because her employer finds out she is a lesbian, and she has no legal redress? Is that going to make her confess the sin of her lesbianism and suddenly start dating Christian men? How does it serve Christ if some teenager who’s gay, or maybe just isn’t sure, get’s the snot beaten out of him because he’s a “fag”, and the “fag’s” school refuses to adopt an anti-bullying policy. (Check out the video clip today of a gay kid being creamed at the Union-Scioto High School in Ohio).

        Do I blame Christians for all this? You betcha! Every time there is a move to try and redress these very real legal and social injustices, it is self proclaimed Christians who loudly oppose any changes in law that “promote the homosexual lifestyle” or “undermine the family” or other some other culture war buzzwords. Countless “family values” politicians make their careers opposing the “homosexual agenda”, and making base appeals to the anti-gay prejudices of Christian values voters. And the rest of Christians – the one’s who say they are not anti-gay…for the most part just stand around like deaf mutes and do nothing (except maybe to complain that they are being “judged”). And so your gay neighbors lose jobs, pension benefits, health care for themselves or their spouses or their kids… And gay teens get bullied until some of them can’t take it anymore, and they commit suicide. For those kids, it’s not a “lifestyle”, its a life.

        Am I being aggressive by throwing this back at you? Is this making you uncomfortable? Good, maybe you can do something about these injustices that you helped create. Maybe you can work to ensure that your sinful gay neighbors are treated just as fairly as your sinful straight neighbors? Maybe you can call your local high school and ask what they do to stop bullying, and if they work to protect gay kids? Maybe you can call you local elected officials and ask if there are legal protections to prevent people from being fired from their job for being gay, and if not, why not?

        Or like Amy said, you stand around and be a bunch of Pharisees. Blind Pharisees at that…

        • Scott Phillips October 27, 2011 Reply

          Wow! What company can fire a person for being gay? That would be a lawsuit waiting to happen. And if so, how does that link directly to Christians as being their fault? I’ve known atheists who are homophobic and think homosexuality is just “wrong.”

          You are really labeling all Christians which is pretty ignorant. There are a lot of Christians and Christian churches that accept gays, allow gay marriage and have gay pastors.

          Politicians will do what they have to do to get elected. There will come a day when the paradigm shifts and both parties will be trying to win the gay vote and shun the religious vote if it serves their purpose of getting elected.

          I don’t condone gay bashing, bullying, prejudice, etc.

          Also, homophobia is not the same as hatred or prejudice. People have every right to believe that homosexuality is wrong as a sin. People should not say hateful comments, not hire for a job based on sexual orientation and other things you mentioned, of course.

          However, all the legal things you mentioned can be obtained through a domestic partnership. So I don’t get the soap box about denying children health care if they have two dads and all that…….they can. Some of what you’re complaining about doesn’t exist anymore.

          • Basil October 28, 2011

            I appreciate gay-affirming denominations/congregations. I belong to one (Quaker) and there are many others. Many denominations (Episcopal, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian) are wrestling with issues of homosexuality in one form or another. Others (Catholic, Mormon, most evangelicals) are not, although in the case of Catholics, there is a huge split between the laity (increasingly pro-gay) and the clergy (desperately lashing out, probably to distract from the child-sex scandals).

            The largest employer in the America (the U.S. military) fired people for being gay until a month ago, when “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” was repealed. I underscore that the repeal was vehemently opposed by large swaths of the “Christian” community. Lots of employers can, and do, fire or discriminate against gay employees. Friends of mine have been fired for being gay. Yes, a few can sue. In most states, it is NOT illegal to fire someone based on their sexual orientation, therefore there are no grounds for a suit. Unfortunately federal anti-discrimination legislation has been bottled up in congress for 17 years, again because of Christian opposition (because Jesus loves those who smear queers?)

            Five states (Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Iowa, and New York) and DC allow same-sex couples to get married. One other state (Maryland) does not allow same-sex couples to marry, but recognizes same-sex marriages from another state. Eight states offer civil unions or domestic partnerships that try to offer equal, or nearly equal, state level legal rights to same-sex couples. Four other states (Maine, Maryland, Wisconsin, and Rhode Island) offer civil unions/domestic partnerships which have limited rights. Some states (New Jersey and California) have found that having civil union/domestic partnership arrangements, while possibly well-intentioned, actually encourage discrimination by putting same-sex couples in a separate category. No states in South, or much of the Midwest offer any rights to gay and lesbian couples – it’s pretty much open season on them in much of the U.S. Same-sex marriages (nor civil unions nor domestic partnerships) are not recognized by the Federal government because of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). That is now being fought in the federal courts on grounds of equal protection. Repeal of DOMA is being proposed in Congress, and opposed by — wait for it — Christians. Surprise!!…oh wait a minute, it’s not a surprise.

            I agree with you that people are free to believe what they want, including believing that homosexuality is sinful. Personally, I don’t care. Theologically, I think it is completely wrong and evil, because it leads self-proclaimed “Christians” to deny that of God that in inherent in all of us, including those who are gay, just because we think that gays are icky.

            However, those religious beliefs are currently imposed upon gays and lesbians through legal discrimination, which places enormous social and financial costs on gay people and their families, including their children (most of whom are actually heterosexual). Moreover, in the wake of anti-gay ballot initiatives, largely funded by “Christians”, there are statistically significant upsurges in anti-gay hate crimes and violence.

            Homophobia is a deadly sin, inciting discrimination and violence which does great harm to others, particularly children. Nearly all of the homophobia in society comes from so-called Christians. If you don’t like it, then start working to change Christian behavior towards gays and lesbians. Denying injustice and inequality is not a tenable answer.

          • Mark Hunter October 28, 2011

            “You are really labeling all Christians which is pretty ignorant.”

            Much the same as evangelicals and their love of slapping labels on entire cross-sections of society. Kinda like what Jesus DIDN’T do…

            “There are a lot of Christians and Christian churches that accept gays, allow gay marriage and have gay pastors.”

            Yeah, but Scott, don’t agree with those Christians and their churches, do you?

  • Leigh October 27, 2011 Reply

    It seems to me that it really matters whether the person who sins claims to be a believer or not. We are not called to condemn sinners who only follow their natural inclinations, but rather, we are called to be standard bearers for those who claim to be part or the body of believers. Paul exhorts us to put hypocrites out of our fellowship. So, I can see not supporting an unrepentant believer for rebellious choices. But, I see no reason to shun an unbeliever for doing what is natural, albeit, sinful. First, let’s introduce them to the saving power of God before we make them adhere to biblical standards.

    • Scott Phillips October 27, 2011 Reply

      Very well said, true.

    • Mark Hunter October 27, 2011 Reply

      “Biblical standards”, such as treating your slave well? How’s your slave?

      • Scott Phillips October 27, 2011 Reply

        A few things on that:

        1. To use your argument, Jesus didn’t say slavery was wrong, so it must be ok right?

        If he didn’t say homosexuality was wrong so that’s a reason to say it’s ok, then apply that to slavery, sex trafficking, rape or domestic violence and the logic doesn’t hold up.

        Jesus’ purpose wasn’t to address every line item of sin. They already had the Law, and Jesus was speaking to a mostly Jewish crowd that knew what was right and wrong. The things he DID address, he felt they needed to hear such as expanding the laws into principles like lusting and hating in one’s heart and to not have love for money.

        2. Slave is better translated as “hired servant.” There of course were slaves against their will also, but more often than not it was indentured servitude: someone who was poor and offered their services on a contract basis. They would actually be more like employees. They signed a contract, or sometimes it was a result of punishment from the justice system.

        Look at the story of the prodigal son when the younger goes back in hopes of becoming a servant. He knew that servants had food and clothes and were provided for, but didn’t have the same rights and entitlement as a family member. Servants could be fired, and could have been free to leave. So Paul is basically telling owners of hired servants to treat them well, which is a very progressive way of thinking instead of mis-treating them.

        3. People have never been perfect, even in the Bible. Looking at American history, we obviously have slavery, Jim Crow laws and the treatment of women. Even at a time when the majority of the country were Christian people who attended church, there were lynchings of blacks and segregated schools and colored only public places. Unfortunately, it can take time (or catalysts) to make things right.

  • Mark Hunter October 27, 2011 Reply

    “To use your argument, Jesus didn’t say slavery was wrong, so it must be ok right?”

    The overall message of Jesus….was there room for slavery or for picking on homosexuality, while at the same time condoning divorce and violence against your enemy?

    • Scott Phillips October 27, 2011 Reply

      Again, not quite sure what your point is. Some things are hard to get the tone or intent in writing.

      Jesus’ purpose was to proclaim the kingdom of God, to be the Messiah and to go to the cross and die for our sins, to make a way for us to be forgiven. Jesus’ goal was not to address every rule, law or moral issue. He spoke mainly to a Jewish audience that knew the Torah, so he didn’t need to recount every law for them. He chose specific things that he felt his audience needed to hear. He performed miracles and prepared his disciples to start the church once he was gone.

      A lot of people today talk about Jesus only as a moral teacher, and view Christianity in the light of a list of moral rules compared to other religions’ list of moral rules. That is not the point of Christianity AT ALL. Christianity is about broken people who are in need of a Savior, in need of forgiveness. People are all sinful and all make mistakes. Israel had a temporary sacrificial system; Jesus became the ultimate sacrifice and showed us the way to the Father.

      Has the Church failed? Absolutely, and many times horribly tragic. Is the Church still God’s idea? Absolutely. His love covers a multitude of sins.

      • Mark Hunter October 28, 2011 Reply

        “Is the Church still God’s idea? Absolutely. His love covers a multitude of sins.”

        Who’s church?


        The Catholic Church?

        The Southern Baptist Church?

        The Episcopal Church?

        The Presbyterian Church?

  • Scott Phillips October 28, 2011 Reply

    I guess it’s not really a discussion. It doesn’t matter what is said, Mark you’re obviously just looking to pick a fight and find the next thing to argue about. Basil, you have a lot of baggage about church and this issue, and the Church has failed for sure in the treatment toward gays whether or not you believe it to be a sin. But in one post you’re blaming Christians and the next agreeing that there are churches that accept and affirm gays so you really can’t label everyone as being hateful or to blame. I don’t like getting into internet fights with people who have an ax to grind and use one discussion as a jumping off point to fight and get heated about other things, too.

  • Basil October 28, 2011 Reply


    Just to be clear, I did not seek to expand the discussion, or even intend to participate. But frequently discussions of same-sex marriage (or any other gay related issue) expand into the Church’s broader debate about homosexuality. Such is life.

    In answer to the original question (attending a same-sex wedding), I go back to my original post: I doubt very many of the people who read or post on this website would ever be invited to a gay wedding, because I doubt very many gay couples would invite people who hate them to ruin their wedding day.

    As I said before, it is very aggressive of me to point out the persistent hatred that a lot of Christians seem to feel towards gays, and the incredibly offensive rhetoric used to malign gay persons and their families (I’ve seen it up close, it’s very ugly). If you have a problem with that, then you should not be questioning me as the messenger. You should be questioning the hostility of your fellow Christians towards the gay community. If you cannot do that, that’s your moral failing, not mine.

    To be extra clear, I do not blame churches that are gay affirming. I do blame churches of various stripes (evangelical, Mormon, Catholic) that are gay-hostile (anti-gay…lots of terms I could use) for the pervasive homophobia in our society and the discrimination and violence that it fosters. I’ve lost patience with dogmatism and flimsy justifications for cruelty. I do not accept the “love the sinner, hate the sin” argument that you can be opposed to homosexuality as big sin, but somehow you are still a friend to gays. That’s just a transparent lie. At what point do we finally accept that God keeps creating some people to be gay, and at what point do we learn love and trust God enough to love all of his creation?

    If a self proclaimed Christian is working for equality for gays/lesbians/bisexual/transgendered persons, within their denomination and/or within society, then that person is part of the solution. If a self proclaimed Christian is not working for equality, because that would be condoning a “sin”(or whatever other flimsy excuse), then they are part of the problem.

    You either walk the walk or you don’t.

  • Scott Phillips October 28, 2011 Reply

    Rick Warren sent out this tweet earlier: “It’s NONSENSE to think anyone who disagrees with u fears u (phobic) or hates u (bigot). U often disagree with those u love.”

    Now, some may fear or hate as well but I think the point Rick is trying to make is that just because someone disagrees and doesn’t condone something, doesn’t mean they hate the person or group of people.

    Now, if someone believes homosexuality to be a sin that does not mean they should treat gays with disrespect, have prejudice against them for work or entrance into a public place or something. I don’t agree with preventing partners to visit loved ones in the hospital and that kind of thing. Bullying and bashing are obviously wrong. I’ve said a few times here in these comments that many in the Church has failed in these areas. It took a long time to come around on civil rights for race and gender, and I think compared to those the progression has been a lot faster for homosexuals.

    But Basil, part of the problem is: we’ve got 2 sides of the issue saying the other is wrong and not interpreting the Bible correctly. Above, you said anyone who says they disagree with the sin but still love the sinner is a liar, and that they are the ones who are wrong about God and the Bible. You also keep saying that anyone who disagrees “hates” gays. I don’t hate anyone. I have had gay acquaintances that I’ve gotten along with very well and currently a co-worker of mine is a lesbian (and atheist) and we have great discussions. She’s a great person and my wife and I have hung out with her and her partner. We agree to disagree on the issue, but can still like the person. It’s not easy, but we even have talks about faith and God and it’s very interesting and engaging.

    I also work in Human Resources where I’ve hired homosexuals. Normally you shouldn’t really know during an interview anyway but sometimes people will mention their partner, list GLBT volunteer organizations on their resume or just come right out and say they’re gay. I’ve seen people do it just to see if it matters to the interviewer as a test. I’ve actually stepped in to discipline employees who were using offensive language or mistreating homosexual co-workers. I don’t hate homosexuals at all, and it’s insulting and ignorant when people accuse someone of that just because they disagree with it.

    It’s evident that homosexuality is only going to continue to be accepted more and more. Christians are called to love people and not hate them, regardless of whether it’s sexual orientation, race, or any other characteristic. People need to agree to disagree and treat others with respect, both sides. There will always be debate. You can’t just call people liars and say they aren’t accepting God or walking the walk when you know that it’s a divisive issue. That approach isn’t going to win anyone over.

  • Basil October 28, 2011 Reply


    I really do appreciate your message, and the spirit it is intended. I would note that Rick Warren has a very tarnished reputation, to say the least, in gay circles because of his support of Prop 8 in California — a massive exercise in stripping people of their marital rights (now being litigated in the federal courts), and because his own church is a hostile place for gays (although the Saddleback website took down their more egregiously homophobic language when it came to light in the media).

    My fundamental point is this: I don’t think homosexuality is a sin. More importantly I do think homophobia is a sin, for all the consequences I talked about above, but fundamentally because I think it extraordinarily cruel to view and treat others as less than yourself. I am willing to throw it back in the faces of Christians, many of whom seem really dogmatic about the horrible sinfulness of gays, to hold a mirror on this and shine a light on the really ugly consequences and ask simply why? I think you might want to ask your Church, your friends, some hard questions: is it really right to deny people equal treatment? Does denying equal treatment — whether it be marriage rights, or employment discrimination, or…, is that supposed to encourage people not to be gay? Is homosexuality like a disease, and do we push people to be “cured” of it, even when the medical community uniformly says that this is neither possible, nor compatible with their mental well being? What does it mean when you say “I love the sinner but hate the sin”, especially to a group of people who continue to be victimized by the Church?

    I am deeply heartened that you have gotten to know your lesbian co-worker and her partner. Is this really an “issue” for them? For you, sins are things you can work on, change, make go away, and when you push those things back, you can give thanks to God, and look forward in hope to your own full redemption. Can they not be lesbian, and if so, what would that mean about their relationship to each other? Do they have to give up their love, their lives together to be released of that sin? If, like nearly all gays/ lesbians, they feel their sexual orientation is something innate and unchangeable, do they feel that they are viewed by you, or other Christians, as being irredeemably flawed? How does that affect them? How does that affect your relationship with them?

    As a general rule, (I’m assuming you just don’t know) you refer to people as gay or lesbian or bisexual or transgender, or the use LGBT, or GLBT as a shorthand, or just gay. The term “homosexual” is really more of a medical term, particularly when homosexuality was regarded as a disease (and people horrible abused in the name of “treating” the disease). You usually only use that word in a more medical or social science context, like in an academic paper. Many/most gays hear Christians, in particular, use the label of the “homosexuals” or the “homosexual agenda”, and it’s seen as being a shade disrespectful. The exact same thing applies to heterosexuals, you don’t generally call people “heterosexuals”, or talk about their “heterosexuality”, people are just straight. Those other people you hired who are not straight, they are just gay.

    We’ve beaten this horse to death (our joint sin). Yours in the light.

  • Jeff T. November 17, 2011 Reply

    Your analogy of a child born out of wedlock is a poor comparison.

    We would still celebrate the child’s birth because we know that the individual child can be redeemed by the Lord, despite the circumstances of his birth. A gay wedding is celebrating a same sex union – something God will not and cannot redeem. He can redeem both individuals involved in the marriage but he cannot redeem the marriage union itself.

    I really don’t understand the confusion on this subject. The Word is EXPLICIT on the subject of homosexuality – God finds it abhorrant. Why are we still discussing this as though God’s Word is ambiguous on the issue? I know it’s unbelievably politically incorrect and I believe we can still display Christ’s love without compromising His Word.

    If there’s a different perspective out there, then let’s have a discussion based around THE WORD and not on our own opinions.

    We can’t judge non-believers for their unrighteousness but neither should we celebrate it.

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