Invited to a gay "wedding". Do you go?

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Re: Invited to a gay "wedding". Do you go?

Postby RickD » Sun Mar 20, 2016 9:48 am

Jac wrote:
I think separating the question between the divorce and the remarriage is a good thing. Lots of people in my family have gotten divorced. Several have asked me about it. I remind them that even on the harshest interpretation, divorce is not the unpardonable sin. And to really push it, I think a lot of people get divorced long before they get a judge to sign a legal piece of paper. What, do we think that just because people don't get the paper signed that they have not "put asunder what God has joined together"? I tend to think the legal divorce is just a "natural" consequences of the spiritual divorce that happened long before.

I absolutely agree. Just as a legality, in terms of the state, isn't what makes someone married, the legality, in terms of the state, isn't what constitutes being divorced.

So whatever the case with your BIL's difficult marriage, you don't have to judge. He was clearly hurting a long time, as was the ex-wife. You can feel compassion for him. You can also feel compassion for his longing for companionship. Someone once said that it isn't good for a man to be alone. And I hear that. So there's no need to judge or condemn his desire to remarry. Having said all that, does it justify his actual remarriage?

Agree with all you said here, as well. And whether or not it justifies his remarriage, that's what I'm struggling with. And, where he is spiritually, affects my decision too. If he's not a believer, I can't hold him to the standards of what a believer should do.

Strictly, of course not. Is it, again, the unpardonable sin? Of course not. And there's no need not to wish him happiness. There's no reason to make it an issue of fellowship. But do you need to celebrate the remarriage? I wouldn't think so, and perhaps you and your son can grow closer through this. Maybe sharing in his pain would let him see that what he's feeling is normal, that he's not weird. Maybe his own pain is rooted in something a lot deeper than just "Uncle Bob got divorced and that sucks." I'd encourage you to remember your obligation to your own wife and kids and their well-being just as much if not more than that of your BIL. But yeah, definitely not simple. This is tough stuff. You get emotions and relationships involved, it's always tough, and often there's no good answer at all. Just least bad answers. We humans tend to be complicated things, and sometimes, I think our desire to simply stuff into easy black and white answers is more about an attempt to soothe our own anxieties than it is about anything else. :(

One problem is that my wife is pretty close to her brother. So, this whole thing effects my relationship with her.

I understand the not judging part. I understand the not an unpardonable sin part. But is this an issue that I feel is strong enough to take a stand on? And if I decide it is, do I take that stand at risk of alienating my wife's family, and my wife?

And if I decide that I want to take a stand, but decide later on that it really wasn't something that I should've done, I can't take it back.
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Re: Invited to a gay "wedding". Do you go?

Postby Jac3510 » Sun Mar 20, 2016 10:09 am

It sounds like more than anything else, you need to have an honest as possible conversation with your wife. You are married, after all, and you don't want to (spiritually) put asunder what God has united. That means, in practice, you don't want to alienate her (I'm not so concerned with alienating her family -- that's important, but really it's only important insofar as she's more interested in her relationship with her family than she is with you, and that get's into really, really deep waters). But at the same time, she has to not alienate you. Suppose you go out of respect for her--which, while problematic, wouldn't the worst thing in the world. Jesus ate with tax collectors and sinners, after all. It could be a practical way of showing her how much you love her. So suppose that's your justification, the least bad choice if you will. Fine. Does it create any sense of bitterness or hostility in you towards her. That's an intensely personal question, I know. But you know better than me that sometimes our spouses do things (and do things to us) that annoy the snot out of us. I tend to think it's important for you to know, on a very deep and emotional level, that she cares as much as or more for you as she does for her brother. Perhaps if you know that--I mean, really know it, not just in the abstract but even in this case--then your decision to go to support her, even if you disagree with her views, would be something you are doing for her . . . not something she is demanding you do for her. Or perhaps you just couldn't get around your own objections. There is actually a thing therapists deal with called moral injury. It's a formal diagnosis (or, at least, there are therapists that formally diagnose it, and there was serious conversation in the mental health field about including in the DSM-V -- I don't know if it made it in or not, tbh), and it's where a person has been forced to do something that violates their moral codes. Creates real issues in a lot of areas! And what about y'all's son? How is she dealing with his feelings? So maybe the least bad option is for her to either go without you or for her to make up an excuse why she can't go.

Again, I'm not saying any of this is simple. In your BIL's case, if I may sound just a bit harsh, this is the problem with sin. It puts other people in very unfair, hurtful situations. That's something I think that's lost on us often . . . we tend to think of right and wrong in individualistic terms and forget that one of the primary reasons that sin is sin--that it is unnatural--is because what it does to the community. And humans are by nature communal creatures, so sin violates not just our natures from an individualistic perspective but from a communal perspective as well.

Definitely praying for you, brother!

edit:

Here's a good article on moral injury if you're interested. The context is in vets returning from war, but the application is much deeper and, I think, highly generalizable.
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue

And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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Re: Invited to a gay "wedding". Do you go?

Postby Hortator » Sun Mar 20, 2016 11:14 am

To give a short answer (I can give a descriptive one later if you wish) I would say, I really don't know. If I were to boycott a wedding (it would be a boycott in my opinion, because I love weddings and want to go to them) because of the moral misconduct of the attendees, and for lack of a better word, sin of participants, well, wouldn't I have to boycott every wedding? Who is without sin?

I guess in my mind I haven't figured out where I "draw the line" as to where I will stand by somebody in their life, or, as cold as it may sound, have to cut them out from my life. I mean, if I cut out anybody that has sinned, then I'd have no friends. But, you have to have an objective moral standard. You just. have to.

I suppose that's the bottom line. I haven't found a good rule of thumb for myself yet, though I will be more than happy to hear others and draw a conclusion.

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Re: Invited to a gay "wedding". Do you go?

Postby Jac3510 » Sun Mar 20, 2016 11:48 am

For me, it isn't about whether or not the people are sinning per se. It's about whether or not the wedding is valid. Strictly, I don't oppose same-sex marriage because it's a sin. I oppose it because it's invalid. It is a sin because it is invalid, so I would say the reason I oppose it and the reason it is a sin are related, but that relation is one of correlation, not causation. And so it is in this case. It sounds like the BIL in this case is about to enter into an invalid marriage, and therefore, I couldn't celebrate that with them--literally, there is nothing to celebrate. It's just a legal fiction.
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue

And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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Re: Invited to a gay "wedding". Do you go?

Postby PaulSacramento » Mon Mar 21, 2016 5:30 am

I don't think that I would, simply because it would be an act of condoning something that I don't agree with.
Then I think about how Christ sat at the table with sinners and wonder if I should...

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Re: Invited to a gay "wedding". Do you go?

Postby Philip » Mon Mar 21, 2016 10:35 am

Paul: I don't think that I would, simply because it would be an act of condoning something that I don't agree with.
Then I think about how Christ sat at the table with sinners and wonder if I should...


Yes, but Jesus didn't sit in the pubs with sinners to make them feel good about their beliefs and practices. I can guarantee you that he spoke truths or asked them questions that challenged them, even offended them. When they might have boated of their drinking binges, lustful activities, I can't see Jesus just ignored them. Even remaining silent to such talk would have offended them, as His silence would have been read as disapproval.

So, IF you went to a gay wedding, do you sit their with a countenance of expectant happiness for them, or do you have a serious look showed worry about the trajectory they would appear to be on? And the difference between attending a wedding of two adulterous heterosexuals getting married is, unless you know the details, they may have repented of their pasts, they may have set themselves right with God - you just don't necessarily know. And as Jac said, who has the time or ability to investigate all of that. But a homosexual couple wishing to marry is clearly flaunting that they fail to honor God's instructions for marriage - even if they think He is actually honoring it. So, with the homosexual "marriage," you KNOW their minds are not trying to follow the Lord - or they falsely think they are - and so a Christian's presence there is a bit like making a public declaration that you hope, through this UNION, you will find a long life together and happiness. Does any mature Christian wish A) the union is life-long, or B) through such a union, you want them to find satisfaction and happiness? I doubt I could muster as much as a smile at such an event. And I surely wouldn't want someone to believe, as a Christian, I thought a homosexual union was just fine.

To add: I can think of certain situations of a heterosexual union that I might not want to attend. One difference is that two heterosexuals could seek God's forgiveness and make that marriage a Godly one. But this can never happen in a homosexual union. Again, with a heterosexual marriage, you just don't necessarily know the backstories, but you CAN be prayerfully optimistic about their future.

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Re: Invited to a gay "wedding". Do you go?

Postby Hortator » Mon Mar 21, 2016 1:04 pm

Jac3510 wrote:For me, it isn't about whether or not the people are sinning per se. It's about whether or not the wedding is valid. Strictly, I don't oppose same-sex marriage because it's a sin. I oppose it because it's invalid. It is a sin because it is invalid, so I would say the reason I oppose it and the reason it is a sin are related, but that relation is one of correlation, not causation. And so it is in this case. It sounds like the BIL in this case is about to enter into an invalid marriage, and therefore, I couldn't celebrate that with them--literally, there is nothing to celebrate. It's just a legal fiction.


Jac, you say that a homosexual marriage is a contradiction of sorts, and is logically null. So in your mind, would you think of instead as going to a very ceremonial formal party with a dress code, good food and "YMCA" cranked to full blast? :ebiggrin:

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Re: Invited to a gay "wedding". Do you go?

Postby RickD » Mon Mar 21, 2016 2:43 pm

Audie,

Your post, and Philip's response has been split to a new thread here:
http://discussions.godandscience.org/viewtopic.php?f=10&p=197031#p197031

I wanted to keep this thread for Christians and Theists to respond to.

Thank you
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Re: Invited to a gay "wedding". Do you go?

Postby Jac3510 » Mon Mar 21, 2016 2:53 pm

Hortator wrote:
Jac3510 wrote:For me, it isn't about whether or not the people are sinning per se. It's about whether or not the wedding is valid. Strictly, I don't oppose same-sex marriage because it's a sin. I oppose it because it's invalid. It is a sin because it is invalid, so I would say the reason I oppose it and the reason it is a sin are related, but that relation is one of correlation, not causation. And so it is in this case. It sounds like the BIL in this case is about to enter into an invalid marriage, and therefore, I couldn't celebrate that with them--literally, there is nothing to celebrate. It's just a legal fiction.


Jac, you say that a homosexual marriage is a contradiction of sorts, and is logically null. So in your mind, would you think of instead as going to a very ceremonial formal party with a dress code, good food and "YMCA" cranked to full blast? :ebiggrin:

Haha, on one level you could certainly say that. But more sadly, when I say there is "nothing to celebrate," I don't literally mean that nothing is happening. Something is happening: an invalid, illicit union. There is a corruption being performed, witnessed, and celebrated. The "marriage" that results doesn't strictly exist. The marriage is a legal fiction. But what does exist is the corrupted union between the two individuals, and corrupted unions ought not be celebrated. By way of analogy, suppose you came to my house and my wife served you a wonderfully prepared meal of all your favorite foods, all cooked to presented with absolute perfection. That'd be worth celebrating, right? And then suppose you came back the next day and she presented you the same meal, only now all the food was poorly cooked, if at all; suppose it was moldy, rotten, and spoiled, such that the sight and smell made you nauseous. Would that be something to celebrate? Of course not. Now, strictly, what is placed in front of you is not food at all. It's more akin to poison now (due to the corruption in what was originally food), and you could prove that if you forced yourself to eat it. Watch the effect it would have on your body and you'd realize that in a hurry! But just because there is, strictly, no food in front of you, it doesn't follow that there is nothing at all in front of you, no matter how much the kitchen chef declares by fiat that it is, in fact, food--and food that ought to be celebrated. And so it is here. These unions are real, but they are corrupted, and their corruption is bad both for the individuals and for society. Rather than celebrating them, we should mourn them.

edit:

This is also why the argument that interracial marriage used to be banned and was wrong so it's wrong to ban gay marriage--this is why that fails. Interracial bans were never considered invalid. Validity has (and never had) anything to do with race. There are very strict criteria for what makes a marriage valid. Now, it is certainly the case that there are some strictly religious conditions that may be placed on religious individuals over and above those standard conditions that make a marriage valid. As a Christian, I insist that one such condition is that Christians would do better not to marry non-Christians (although if they do, they should not seek afterwards a divorce!). That's the whole don't be unequally yoked thing. And yet I wouldn't say the marriage between a Christian and a non-Christian is invalid. So someone might say that bans on interracial marriages (or other such points) could be seen as secondary, societal/religious conditions. Those are relative to the society in which they are found, and a society is free to adopt them or cast them aside as they see fit. The point here, though, is that the union of two males or two females is not a secondary, societal/religious condition but rather a primary, ontological condition. No society may rid themselves of that condition no matter how much they would like to do so.
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue

And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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Re: Invited to a gay "wedding". Do you go?

Postby RickD » Fri Apr 22, 2016 11:24 am

Just to add to the dilemma...

My bil's wedding is next weekend. My son does not support him getting divorced and remarried so soon. So in protest, he wants to go without dressing up. I told him he doesn't have to wear a shirt and tie. Just a nice pair of shorts, and a nice polo type shirt. He wants to wear what he wears to school, gym shorts and a t shirt. In his mind, not dressing up is showing that he doesn't approve of the wedding.

He thinks that by me making him wear nicer shorts and shirt, that I'm not letting him do what he believes in.

I told him that I do agree with him in principal, but I'm not going as so much of an approval of the wedding, but for my wife.

We have three other weddings this year, and my son is willing to dress up for all of them.

Not sure if this is something I let him do, and he can deal with the consequences later. Or put my foot down for the sake of my wife(his mom). Honestly, if not for the sake of my wife, I probably wouldn't go.

Thoughts?
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Re: Invited to a gay "wedding". Do you go?

Postby IceMobster » Fri Apr 22, 2016 1:06 pm

Support your wife, of course. Otherwise no sammiches... Would you really risk that? :shock:
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Re: Invited to a gay "wedding". Do you go?

Postby Philip » Fri Apr 22, 2016 2:28 pm

Rick: Not sure if this is something I let him do, and he can deal with the consequences later. Or put my foot down for the sake of my wife(his mom). Honestly, if not for the sake of my wife, I probably wouldn't go.


He should do what YOU want him to - he's not an adult, he's still in your charge - that is, unless you don't care what he does or doesn't. My sons often mistake my household for a democracy! :pound: Not as long as there is a King Philip around! :mrgreen: But I do allow them to make most of their own decisions, unless I think their decisions will cause me our our household problems.

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Re: Invited to a gay "wedding". Do you go?

Postby RickD » Fri Apr 22, 2016 2:53 pm

Philip wrote:
Rick: Not sure if this is something I let him do, and he can deal with the consequences later. Or put my foot down for the sake of my wife(his mom). Honestly, if not for the sake of my wife, I probably wouldn't go.


He should do what YOU want him to - he's not an adult, he's still in your charge - that is, unless you don't care what he does or doesn't. My sons often mistake my household for a democracy! :pound: Not as long as there is a King Philip around! :mrgreen: But I do allow them to make most of their own decisions, unless I think their decisions will cause me our our household problems.

The underlined is how I feel as well. I like him to make his own choices, to let him understand that choices have consequences. Except if I believe what he's doing will cause harm to him, or someone else. Or, if his choice will cause other problems, like getting his mom unnecessarily upset.

I just don't think this is one of those times he needs to take a stand. Even though I agree with him.

Not to mention that his uncle who's getting married, is extremely stressed out at the moment, because his son almost died from a heroin overdose. He's worried that his son is going to kill himself. So, this is just another reason for my son to suck it up, and swallow his pride.
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Re: Invited to a gay "wedding". Do you go?

Postby Philip » Fri Apr 22, 2016 3:10 pm

Not to mention that his uncle who's getting married, is extremely stressed out at the moment, because his son almost died from a heroin overdose. He's worried that his son is going to kill himself. So, this is just another reason for my son to suck it up, and swallow his pride.


Rick, I'll pray for your nephew - that's terrible. I'll pray for you all. Guess there's little hope your BIL will postpone the marriage?

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Re: Invited to a gay "wedding". Do you go?

Postby RickD » Fri Apr 22, 2016 3:21 pm

Philip wrote:
Not to mention that his uncle who's getting married, is extremely stressed out at the moment, because his son almost died from a heroin overdose. He's worried that his son is going to kill himself. So, this is just another reason for my son to suck it up, and swallow his pride.


Rick, I'll pray for your nephew - that's terrible. I'll pray for you all. Guess there's little hope your BIL will postpone the marriage?

The heroin od was over a month ago. http://discussions.godandscience.org/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=40893&p=196723&hilit=Heroin#p196723

No. I don't think there's any postponing of the wedding.

I really get what my son is trying to do. I'm even proud of him for wanting to take a stand on something that troubles his conscience. I really don't want this to stop him from doing what he believes is the right thing to do.

I just don't think this is the right battle, at the right time.
1 Corinthians 1:9
9 God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Audie wrote:
"Christianity is not a joke, but it has some very poor representatives."


St. Richard the Sarcastic--The Patron Saint of Irony


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