March 26, 2017

August 28, 2013

Can I go to my Friend’s Gay Wedding?

Three brief answers to contemporary questions:

Can a Christian attend a friend’s gay wedding?

Not if said Christian truly loves his or her friend…love “does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.”(1 Cor 13:6).

What about a professional Christian photographer…can one participate in the wedding by taking wedding photos?

No more than a Christian nurse or doctor can take part in an abortion…not unless you are willing to change sides and take an active part in the individuals’ self destruction and our culture’s hatred toward God.

What about those who live in New Mexico where such participation seems to have become mandatory?

Don’t think that these types of laws will remain localized. We will all face this sort of legal force in the near future. Here’s the answer we must give to all such threats: “be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”(Dan 3:18)

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May God grant me, and each of you, the courage to live up to the Lord’s standard, regardless of the earthly consequences. Amen.

Keith Töpfer

[1] Posted by Militaris Artifex on 8-28-2013 at 10:32 AM · [top]

I presume that answer to the next question is also a “No”, and that would be, “Do you send them a wedding present?”

If anyone answers that in the affirmative, I wonder what present would be most appropriate? An ornamental plaque suitable for the bedside table with an inscription from Romans I might be nice.

[2] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 8-28-2013 at 10:35 AM · [top]

First of all, Pray.

Second, realize it is one thing to refuse to offer incense to Caesar when it is theoretical.  It is much more difficult when you are facing real penalties.  Christians will need to support each other and be ready to understand when some Christians fail.  I hope and pray that when I come to the test I can do as well as Paul and the other martyrs, but I have not yet been put to the test.

[3] Posted by Br. Michael on 8-28-2013 at 11:23 AM · [top]

This is where you have to separate the “sin” from the “sinner”.  Your “friend” may not understand…frankly probably won’t understand.  Love them and pray for them anyway.

[4] Posted by B. Hunter on 8-28-2013 at 02:46 PM · [top]

Could a court force a professional Christian photographer to go with a couple (same-sex, opposite-sex, indeterminate-sex) to take consummation photos?

Nah. Couldn’t happen.

Not yet, anyway. See:

[5] Posted by Ralph on 8-28-2013 at 04:34 PM · [top]

Good heavens, Ralph.  I thought I was beyond being shocked.  Soon they will be taking the photographer along to the marriage bed.

We have a “gay” man in our extended family.  We long ago decided that we will not attend any marriage or commitment ceremony.

[6] Posted by Katherine on 8-28-2013 at 05:24 PM · [top]

My own daughter believes she is “gay” and I fear this testing with all my heart. I won’t go, know that I couldn’t possibly, but how my heart breaks at the thought of having to say it to her, wondering all the time if she’ll ever speak to me again. I covet your prayers for the both of us.

[7] Posted by amccoy37 on 8-28-2013 at 06:19 PM · [top]

Dunno, Katherine, photos of Arthur and Catherine of Aragon’s wedding night might have proved handy when Henry VIII went to divorce her later on, leading to no English Reformation and no Anglican Church and, worst of all, no Stand Firm.

[8] Posted by MTDave on 8-28-2013 at 06:29 PM · [top]

What about a professional Christian photographer…can one participate in the wedding by taking wedding photos?

No more than a Christian nurse or doctor can take part in an abortion…not unless you are willing to change sides and take an active part in the individuals’ self destruction and our culture’s hatred toward God.

I am not sure I would agree with this for a couple of reasons (and I assume here the photographer is acting purely in a professional capacity).  Taking part in an abortion is definitely participating in the death of an innocent human being.  Photographing a same-sex wedding doesn’t involve the death of an innocent human being.  But that aside, there is another reason.  Could a Christian photographer take photos of, let’s say, a Muslim haj (not knowing any other such holiday) or perhaps a pagan betrothal ceremony? 

If the photographer is forced by the law to do this, I think that there most definitely is a clear distinction between being forced to participate in killing another human being vs. being forced to provide professional services for what is essentially a pagan rite of passage ceremony.

All this being said, I still think that though the law could force a Christian photographer to take pictures of a gay wedding, the law CAN’T force the photographer to do anything above working-to-rule.

[9] Posted by jamesw on 8-28-2013 at 07:48 PM · [top]

amccoy37:  I have a gay nephew who is in the gay lifestyle.  He grew up Christian but has fallen away.  I have discussed this other members of the family and believe that we need to keep two issues distinct:
1. the need for this person to get to know Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord; and
2. the need to live a faithful sexual life (meaning on practicing homosexual behavior)

The second issue isn’t the place to start.  The first issue is the place to begin, because once the person truly accepts Jesus and is serious about being a disciple, then the second issue will take care of itself.  Thus when I interact, I don’t condone the second issue, but I don’t focus on it.  Instead I need to focus on the first issue.

By the way, you might find this book Washed and Waiting to be something worthwhile to read.

[10] Posted by jamesw on 8-28-2013 at 07:57 PM · [top]

By the way, my mom wrote to her gay nephew and basically told him that no matter what she loved him and also wrote that living a homosexual lifestyle was a sin and that she could not in any way condone or support that, but again, she loved him no matter what.  Nephew did not like hearing this, but knew that grandmother meant what she said about loving him, and they continue a loving relationship with communication, visits, etc., but all is open and on the table.

[11] Posted by jamesw on 8-28-2013 at 08:36 PM · [top]

Hi James,

The wedding photographer, I would argue, is more than a reporter or mere onlooker. His task is to help celebrate the occassion and make the memories joyful for the couple. I don’t see how one could accept money to help two people celebrate their own self destruction and the destruction of an institution God made.

As for the Muslim betrothal…I don’t think Marriage is a specifically Christian institution…God gave it to all human beings, so I think there is certainly more leeway…when it comes to a specifically religious celebration, however, I would tend to say that it would be difficult to help in the celebration of a false god.

[12] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 8-29-2013 at 09:46 AM · [top]

Matt:  I agree that a Christian photographer should not seek out the opportunity to positively assist the celebration of a gay marriage.  I was arguing two things.  First, that even if the photographer willingly took part in it, it was still not equivalent to assisting in a killing.  Not saying it would be right, just that it is not equivalent to killing.  Second, and somewhat related, if a Christian photographer is forced under law to photograph, they could do so, because even if the law can force someone to be a picture taker, they can’t force the person to be an enthusiastic picture taker (thus the photographer need not positively assist the celebration).  There is a distinction between photographing such an event and killing.  And to those who would question the ethics of a wedding photographer “working to rule”, then I would respond with “well, why would a gay couple try to use the law to force someone to do something which violates their conscience?”  If the gay couple insists on the latter, they should be prepared for the former.

[13] Posted by jamesw on 8-29-2013 at 12:46 PM · [top]

Why in the world would someone want a photographer who disapproved of the subject of his work? There would be ways to make a statement.

[14] Posted by Pb on 8-29-2013 at 01:24 PM · [top]

I have attended both a Muslim betrothal and Hindu weddings.  We had no problems with attending these.  As some one above says, marriage is universal, and in all cases the people being married under the laws of their cultures were male and female pairs.  We did decline to attend Hindu pujas, that is, prayer services where offerings are made to gods, and of course we did not do Muslim salat (ritual prayers).

A Christian photographer couldn’t photograph a Muslim haj.  The haj is in Mecca, and only Muslims can go there.

[15] Posted by Katherine on 8-29-2013 at 02:23 PM · [top]

I wonder what present would be most appropriate? An ornamental plaque suitable for the bedside table with an inscription from Romans I might be nice.

  Why send a single passage when it is obvious the entire book is needed?

[16] Posted by Jackie on 8-29-2013 at 02:45 PM · [top]

Can a Christian photographer do a wedding, a Church wedding between two opposite-sex adulterers, each of whom has divorced his/her previous spouse?

If Christian photographers are to claim a religious exception to the laws requiring non-discriminatory provision of services, should not they be inquiring into the circumstances of the weddings they cover?

[17] Posted by Real Toral on 8-29-2013 at 04:34 PM · [top]

Hi Jamesw

Re: ” First, that even if the photographer willingly took part in it, it was still not equivalent to assisting in a killing.  Not saying it would be right, just that it is not equivalent to killing.”

I agree in one sense…it is clearly not murder. But I think I was not clear enough in my original post. I did not mean to equate the two. I intended to point to the fact that the same principle underlies the question, though the depth of sin is perhaps different. If one would not participate in an abortion to keep from participating in a wicked act…one should not participate in a gay wedding because it also is a wicked act.

In any case, on another level I disagree. The murdered child will not go to hell. The wedded gay couple is celebrating an act that will in fact, if unrepented, end in eternal torment. It is not murder, but it is perhaps, eternally speaking, something far more dangerous for the couple than an abortion is for a baby.

[18] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 8-29-2013 at 04:36 PM · [top]

How timely.  One of my partners at work who is tres gay just invited us to his “nuptials.”  My other partners are either falling over themselves to participate, or are quietly getting along by going along so as not to be seen as rude/judgmental/bigoted/insert your favorite lib-progressive epithet.  Some have taken it upon themselves to post a sign-up for a group wedding gift.

What’s a bit surprising (though I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised by anything in this realm nowadays) is that most of my work partners who I know to be more conservative, both religiously and politically, are meekly going along.

Looks like potentially frosty times ahead at work!  I am thankful for a very loving, supportive, and equally like-minded wife, Christian friends, and our Lord Jesus in these times.

[19] Posted by Joshua 24:15 on 8-30-2013 at 04:44 PM · [top]


As a Catholic, I want to express my admiration and gratitude for your wisdom and strength.

[20] Posted by Clare on 8-31-2013 at 05:44 PM · [top]

I would think that the Christian photographers in NM should create signs or T shirts to wear during their forced work stating their opposition to the ceremony, or perhaps just stating that they were forced by the state to do this work.

That should take some of the wind out of the gay lobby’s sails, since their primary purpose is to suppress all opposition to their behavior.

I have to believe that the gay couple (activists?) deliberately choosing this Christian photographer to do the pics had to be a set up. Most of the gay people that I know would never advocate forcing a person against their conscience.

[21] Posted by Capn Jack Sparrow on 9-1-2013 at 01:49 PM · [top]

Capn Jack:

What a brilliant idea!

Have T-Shirts made up with quotes from Scripture concerning God’s plan for marriage.  Maybe the cleave passage from Genesis or Jesus’ discussion in Matthew.  How about setting up a subsidiary to do all the wedding photography called One Man, One Woman Photography.  All the professional wedding pics I have seen have the logo of the photographer stamped on them.

Have a lawyer draw up the contracts to state the photographer(s) will wear the uniform currently approved by the photography studio.  Or they will wear identification badges with the company logo.

[22] Posted by Jackie on 9-1-2013 at 04:35 PM · [top]

Jackie, I like it. I think you are on to something here! One of the issues that Christians of goodwill struggle with anyway is the line between good manners and being afraid to present God’s standard. The problem with doing the photography is the illusion that it creates in the minds of the guests and couple that Christians and everyone else is just A-OK with gay weddings.

So this case is pretty clear cut. If forced to photograph in order to maintain one’s livelihood, it almost becomes obligatory to make some sort of statement as we are discussing and manners are less of a concern since you were forced to be there.

The other option is to Rosa Parks the issue by refusing to pay the fine and going to jail. To accomplish this, though, you would have to get rid of your assets so they can’t seize stuff from you to “pay off” your debt. I really believe that we will need to have some folks go to jail so the nation will see what is happening here.

[23] Posted by Capn Jack Sparrow on 9-1-2013 at 05:16 PM · [top]

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