Interview with

Founder & Teacher, desiringGod.org

Audio Transcript

Pastor John, if one of your family members invited you to their so-called same-sex marriage ceremony, would you attend it?

Just contemplating that thought is heartbreaking. My answer is no. I wouldn’t. And that would be a kind of shattering of the cornerstone of a father’s broken heart at that moment. And here is why. (I assume that is what they really want to know — not just whether I would go or not, but why. Why wouldn’t you?)

Real Marriage

One, it is not a wedding, because it is not a marriage. Therefore, attending it as a wedding is to be false like everyone there is being false. There is no such thing as a so-called same-sex marriage. God has defined marriage as a covenantal union for life between a man and a woman as husband and wife. This isn’t that. Therefore, this is not a marriage and this is not a wedding. I am not going to lie about it by going.

“God has defined marriage as a covenantal union for life between a man and a woman as husband and wife.”

Joined in Heaven

Two, this union, if you can dare to call it that, is not being joined in heaven. Jesus said, “What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matthew 19:6). This is what makes weddings awesome. They are not human accomplishments. God joins a man and a woman. Marriage is made in heaven, Jesus said (Mark 10:9), not between two people merely, or a pastor or a judge. This pairing of two men or two women is not being joined in heaven. And to give the impression that it is, is an offense to heaven.

Love and Hate

Three, this blessing of this event would be hateful. It would be hateful for me to do it, because it would be confirming a life and a lifestyle that will lead to hell. The apostle Paul said, “Don’t be deceived. Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who practice homosexuality nor thieves nor greedy nor drunkards nor revilers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9–10). They won’t.

So to celebrate this lifestyle is to celebrate the destruction of human beings, and that is hateful. It would be like gathering to celebrate theft, gathering to celebrate drunkenness, gathering to celebrate swindling. It would be like saying, “Let’s all have a meeting and celebrate greed.” Or, “Let’s all have a meeting and celebrate adultery.” Anybody that joins in celebrating sin is sinning. I shouldn’t sin.

Christ’s Bride

Four, this ceremony will defile the drama of Christ and the church. God designed marriage to display Christ’s covenant to his bride, the church. To celebrate a brideless union as marriage is to distort and deface the parable of the most beautiful act in the world.

“God designed marriage to display Christ’s covenant to his Bride, the Church.”

Embracing the Prodigal

And five, I wouldn’t go because the weight of sorrow and love and revulsion would probably overwhelm me. I don’t think I could probably get through the ceremony. And the last thing I would say is: My not going is not my drawing away from my child, but his drawing away from me. I am where I have always been, arms wide open to the home-coming prodigal, ready to forgive anything.


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