Should Christians Attend Weddings of Unbelievers?

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To learn more about the origin of marriage and the very first wedding, consider listening to sermons that Dr. Caldwell has delivered from the Word of God in his over twenty-year span of pastoral ministry at Founders Baptist Church in Spring, Texas. These sermons will be helpful for all kinds of questions about marriage, family, and many subsequent related issues. They can be accessed from the links below:

Marriage, Divorce & Remarriage 2018 - 14 Sermons

Marriage 101 2016 - 5 Sermons

Biblical Manhood, Womanhood, Marriage & Family 2014 - 20 Sermons

Additional Sermons and Podcasts On Marriage/Divorce/Remarriage

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Should Christians Attend Weddings of Unbelievers? | Watch this episode on Vimeo

Should Christians Attend Weddings of Unbelievers?

Should Christians attend or participate in a wedding of unbelievers? Can we maintain a clear conscience when we take part and celebrate with them, even if it is one of our children? Can we rejoice and be happy for the wedding couple in some respect?

This week on the Straight Truth Podcast, Dr. Josh Philpot and Dr. Richard Caldwell return to the subject of marriage. Their discussion pertains to attending, participating, and celebrating the wedding and marriage of unbelievers. Biblically speaking, how are we to think about and understand marriage? Does God’s Word indicate that it is only for certain people? Is marriage something to be celebrated no matter who is getting married?

First, Dr. Caldwell tells us the Bible doesn’t indicate that marriage is something real only for Christians. Marriage was designed and instituted by God when He created man and woman; it is something that applies to humanity, not just Christians. Dr. Caldwell provides us with a couple of examples from the New Testament so that we might gain clarity.

Second, Dr. Caldwell asks, how should we think about attending a wedding of unbelievers? He approaches the answer as if it pertains to one of our own children. He reminds us of the importance of practicing evangelism towards them for all of their life; this would be sharing the gospel, being a witness to them, and working for their salvation. As they move towards marriage, this will be no different. However, if our child claims to be a believer and wants to marry an unbeliever, that would be different.

That is a wedding Dr. Caldwell says he could not be part of. But, if we have a son or daughter who is not a believer wanting to marry an unbeliever, we can absolutely be present at their wedding. We can rejoice with and be happy for them, even while a sadness exists in our hearts over the fact that they do not know the Lord. Yet, now we have an opportunity to be a witness not only to our child but to the person they have married as well. Marriage brings its own set of challenges to life that might open the door for gospel opportunities down the road. So, we want to look beyond our sadness and be prepared for those opportunities.

Dr. Philpot asks about a child who decides to live a homosexual lifestyle and then decides they want to marry. How is that different for Christians? Can Christians attend the wedding of same-sex couples? How should we deal with this kind of situation?

Dr. Caldwell says that he could not be a part of that, could not attend, or affirm it in any way; this is something entirely different. The Word of God expressly forbids homosexuality. For a Christian to attend or take part in a wedding of this sort would be to affirm a lie about marriage. It would also be affirming a lifestyle that is sinful, destructive, and unnatural. A union of this kind is a distortion of marriage. The Bible is clear about what marriage is. Genesis 2: it is one man and one woman for life; this is marriage. Legally, and lawfully you can have same-sex marriage, though biblically, there is no such thing.

While our legal system may acknowledge this type of union, God never acknowledges it. Because God doesn’t acknowledge it, neither can nor will Dr. Caldwell acknowledge it as something to be affirmed. He can acknowledge it from a legal standpoint. He won’t tell two homosexuals that got married that they aren’t married according to the laws of our state or country. However, he can say to them in the eyes of God they are not married, that no marriage exists, and that their need is for Christ. This is the truth that has to be delivered to them, and it needs to be done so in the most winsome and loving way that we can. We don’t stop loving them over this. We love them by refusing to participate and refusing to affirm them in what will destroy them.

Marriage is not a civil institution; it is not an arrangement that adults or cultures have constructed for personal happiness in this life. The first marriage took place in the Garden of Eden when God made man and woman. It predates the fall into sin and the coming of Christ, so it is not a 'Christian only' institution either. Marriage is an institution created by God and given for all humanity. As long as a couple meets the biblical requirements for marriage, that being one man and one woman, who are not already married, it is appropriate and honors God for them to marry.

With this we can rejoice, because marriage and love are good things from God. And while the Bible doesn't give us a set of rules or instructions about what wedding we can and cannot attend, it does guide us. It does this through its precepts and the principles we form therefrom. We must turn to the Word of God to gain the wisdom and discernment we need to make our choices. Additionally, there may be times we need to seek godly wisdom and counsel from others to help determine the best course of action.

About The Straight Truth Podcast

The Straight Truth Podcast: Christian Opinions in an Increasingly Secular World. Join Dr. Richard Caldwell, Dr. Josh Philpot, and their guests as they discuss news events, current affairs, and cultural issues from a Biblical point of view. Find the truth at www.straighttruth.net

The Straight Truth Podcast is a weekly opinion show hosted by Dr. Richard Caldwell and Dr. Josh Philpot. Straight Truth is available as an audio podcast on iTunes or as a video podcast through YouTube or Vimeo.  The duration of the podcast is approximately 10 minutes. We release new episodes every Thursday.

The topics discussed in the Straight Truth Podcast are current events, matters that challenge traditional Christian values, and questions submitted by audience members. Dr. Caldwell, Dr. Philpot, and their guests seek to answer these questions with Biblical truths and from a Christian conservative point of view. The Holy Bible is the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God; it alone is and will be the basis and authority of
answering any and all questions.

The Straight Truth Podcast is the perfect podcast for those seeking to strengthen their faith, to be informed on how to broach difficult topics with a Christian point of view, to share their faith with unbelieving friends, to challenge the status quo of their own beliefs by viewing them under the lens of the Scriptures, to interpret current news events from a Biblical point of view, and more.

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Season 18 Credits

Produced by
Juan Carlos Claveria

Executive Producers
Joshua Philpot
David Anders

Hosted by
Joshua Philpot

Social Media Descriptions by
Michele Watson

Graphic Design
David Navejas

DP / EDITING / COLOR
JUAN CARLOS CLAVERIA

Special Thanks to
El Centro Network

Music by
LynneMusic

Motion Graphics
Szymon Masiak

Set Decorator
Molly Atchison

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