An interesting article appeared in the Religion News Service website regarding president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Dr. Albert Mohler’s new book, We Cannot Be Silent: Speaking Truth to a Culture Redefining Sex, Marriage, and the Very Meaning of Right and Wrong. Mohler seemingly takes a hard stance against Christians who would consider attending a sodomite “wedding,” even if it were their own children. He is quoted as saying in his book:
Christians should not attend a same-sex wedding — even of their own child — because it signals “moral approval” of the union…At some point, attendance will involve congratulating the couple for their union. If you can’t congratulate the couple, how can you attend?
This point, I would agree with fully. Admittedly, I haven’t read his book (it hasn’t been released yet), but he doesn’t address the issue of attending the reception afterwards. Now, you might be thinking, “of course that’s what he means, that’s the only logical conclusion from his statements.”
But last year Russell Moore, head of the SBC Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), said during a conference on “The Gospel, Homosexuality, and the Future of Marriage” said he would attend. The Wall Street Journal quoted him as saying in response to this question, “What if you get invited to a same-sex wedding ceremony?”
In that case, I would not attend the wedding. I would attend the reception…[A Baptist could say] I love you and I’m here with you. I disagree with you, but I love you.
But does attending the reception really say anything different than attending the ceremony? Does attending the reception really say, “I disagree with you, but I love you?” No, it doesn’t, and it’s well known that actions speak louder than words.
Now, if we use Dr. Mohler’s logic, at some point, your attendance at the reception is also going to involve congratulating the couple for their union. I mean, unless you’re going to go specifically for the reason of calling them to repentance–but in that case, you should do so at the ceremony. Your presence at the reception is going to signal, exactly as Dr. Mohler pointed out, moral approval. And if you can’t congratulate them, how can you attend?
Further, Dr. Mohler blasted Joel Osteen in 2011 for saying during an interview on CNN that he could not officiate a gay wedding, but that he would attend one. Mohler says,
This is beyond mere incoherence. It is moral and theological nonsense. More than that, it is a massive statement of ministerial malpractice…You cannot celebrate what you say you know to be sin. You cannot honestly say that same-sex marriage defies the law of God, and then join in the celebration of that ceremony.
And Dr. Mohler is absolutely right. It is absolutely utter theological left-leaning liberal nonsense that a Christian could even consider attending either a gay “wedding” or reception. Nonsense!
Like I said, I haven’t read the book, and I’m not sure if I will, but perhaps he does directly address this issue in it somewhere. However, Dr. Mohler’s quickness to jump all over Osteen, but ignore the comments of Dr. Moore is rather peculiar. Could this just be a passive-aggressive attempt at addressing Dr. Moore? Maybe, as Dr. Mohler is known for addressing his own that way. He recently addressed the issue of Openly Secular, an atheist organization that his colleague, Danny Akin did a promotional video for, in a passive-aggressive way.
So, while it appears to be a clear-cut theological position presented by Dr. Mohler here–one in which I would fully agree with–the problem seems to be in addressing those in our own camp. While Osteen is an easy target, as he isn’t a Southern Baptist, and he’s well known and disliked by conservative Christians, Dr. Moore is Mohler’s baby. Perhaps Mohler has talked with Moore about this over a cup of coffee? I don’t know, but what I do know is that we seem to have two opposing views within the leadership of the SBC, and nobody willing to address it.
So, Dr. Mohler, what about the reception?
[Contributed by Pulpit & Pen]
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