Pastor Alistair Begg Says Christians Should Attend Gay Weddings So They Don’t Come Across as ‘Judgmental, Critical’

Alistair Begg is the senior pastor at Parkside Church near Cleveland, Ohio and is perhaps best known for his syndicated radio program, Truth for Life. He has authored and coauthor of several books, including Preaching for God’s Glory, Name above All Names, and the Christian Manifesto. With a reputation as a sound teacher, he can occasionally be found on the conservative preaching circuit, and is a speaker at the upcoming Shepherds Conference alongside John MacArthur and Steve Lawson.

During a recent program of Truth for Life, Begg offers a scenario where a Christian woman called in saying that her grandson is about to marry a ‘transgendered person’ (either another man who has ‘transitioned’ to a ‘woman’, or a woman who has ‘transitioned’ into a ‘man’) and wants to know if she should attend the wedding.

Noting that “people may not like this answer,” Begg says that as long as grandson knows that she believes it is sinful and she does not agree with it, then she SHOULD attend the ceremony, and even buy them a gift, because if not, her absence will simply reinforce the fact that she is “judgmental” and “critical.”

Bob: I think every pastor who preaches, every author who writes a book like this, comes away thinking, “I hope my readers or my listeners will think differently as a result of their interaction with this, will feel differently and will act differently. As you think about this book and your prayer for this book, what do you hope will be different? How do you hope people will be different after they have read this book and they’ve meditated on this sermon?

Alistair: Well, first of all, you know, I hope that I will be different. The old song that we never sing—you know, “It’s not my brother nor my sister, but it’s me, O Lord, standing in the need of prayer”—I mean, that is foundationally the case. And so I hope that that would be multiplied. I hope that our church family, those who choose to read this book, that it might have an impact among us. Because learning to say, “I’m sorry,” learning to say, “Please forgive me,” learning to say, you know, “I’m not at my best at the moment; can you come alongside me?” learning to say, “Yes, I know that these people believe a very different agenda, that their lifestyle is orientated in another direction,” and learning to say, “But I have no basis upon which I could argue that I myself would not be where they are were it not for the amazing grace of God, were it not for his compassion towards me.”

And in very specific areas this comes across. I mean, you and I know that we field questions all the time that go along the lines of “My grandson is about to be married to a transgender person, and I don’t know what to do about this, and I’m calling to ask you to tell me what to do”—which is a huge responsibility.

And in a conversation like that just a few days ago—and people may not like this answer—but I asked the grandmother, “Does your grandson understand your belief in Jesus?”

“Yes.”

Does your grandson understand that your belief in Jesus makes it such that you can’t countenance in any affirming way the choices that he has made in life?”

“Yes.”

I said, “Well then, okay. As long as he knows that, then I suggest that you do go to the ceremony. And I suggest that you buy them a gift.”

“Oh,” she said, “what?” She was caught off guard.

I said, “Well, here’s the thing: your love for them may catch them off guard, but your absence will simply reinforce the fact that they said, ‘These people are what I always thought: judgmental, critical, unprepared to countenance anything.’”

And it is a fine line, isn’t it? It really is. And people need to work out their own salvation with fear and trembling. But I think we’re going to take that risk. We’re going to have to take that risk a lot more if we want to build bridges into the hearts and lives of those who don’t understand Jesus and don’t understand that he is a King.

Bob: John tells us he was “full of grace and truth,”and we have to figure out how we can be full of grace and truth at the same time, don’t we?

Alistair: Yeah. Yeah, our words should be “full of grace” and “seasoned with salt.”

Bob: Yes.

Alistair: It’s so easy to get that upside down. And when a pastor does, then that will take on a role in a congregation as well and flavor it. And so, you know, “Let not many of you become teachers.”


h/t Evangelical Dark Web

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41 thoughts on “Pastor Alistair Begg Says Christians Should Attend Gay Weddings So They Don’t Come Across as ‘Judgmental, Critical’

  1. Well considering that John MacArthur is on record as saying “No, it’s not sinful for a cake maker to make a cake for a gay wedding… I actually think that we need to show love to everyone and do good to all those outside the kingdom as well as inside”, I think Alistair will fit right in at this year’s Shepherd’s conference.

    What’s kind of funny to me is how John Piper, someone who is known for being squishy in other areas, doesn’t seem to be as confused as everyone else when it comes to this subject. When he was asked “if one of your family members invited you to their so-called same-sex marriage ceremony, would you attend it?” he replied with “My answer is no. I wouldn’t.” https://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/would-you-attend-a-gay-wedding

    1. Thanks for providing those examples of pastors who have taken opposite positions on something that should be an extremely easy moral decision. It demonstrates just how morally confused even Christians are in this age; and as you showed, the tragedy is that that moral confusion goes all the way to the top. I expected a decision like Begg’s from a known leftist like Pope Francis, but couldn’t have predicted either Piper’s or MacArthur. Come, Lord Jesus!

    1. I think he is a minion of the devil and he will spend an eternity in hell fire if he doesn’t repent.

      1 Corinthians 6:9 – Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

      1. Alistair Begg’s is wrong—as all Christians are at times. He is not a minion of the devil! He is a brother in Christ who has stumbled. Pray for him and yourself!

  2. I have admired this pastor and learned from him for the last several years. But this statement, if true, is absolutely breathtaking in its illogic. It is not anywhere close to being biblical, and way, way over the line.
    I get his overall point, and agree we should work on not coming across as critical and judgmental. But there are moral decisions so outrageous that God REQUIRES us to oppose them. Two men, for example, dressing up, convincing some leftist lesbian “pastor” to “marry” them, then going home and playing house, is something that, like it or not, regardless of how the world decides to react, we must stand up and oppose. I am sickened by the number of pastors who insist their flocks surrender on these matters. Begg has joined their forces and taken an active, open, public role in their dirty work. It is shocking to read this. I would have lost my home in a bet that he wouldn’t have come down on the side of the compromisers. I would LOVE to ask that pastor if we are also required to go to cannibal banquets, orgies, and abortion procedures, so that we don’t look judgy. I would like to inform Allister that the world will LOVE him for caving, but they will continue to hate him and us. He accomplished nothing by this disgusting statement, and has done the Kingdom of God enormous damage. There are no words yet invented to describe how offended and appalled I am by his publicity stunt.

  3. Whatever happened to tough love? Have we all become so compromised with ‘inclusion’ and ‘equity.’ that we can no longer stand up for what is right? If my grandson did this, I would tell him I love him and that he was throwing his life away and selling his soul at the same time. I would not support any of it! Telling the TRUTH IS LOVE!! I give up on ALL these pastors! They are on a slippery slope which leads to the lake of fire for those that trust what they say. IMO

  4. In the End Times, “Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold” (Matthew 24:11-12). My bible says homosexuality is a sin. Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because of it. This Pastor can’t change what the bible says! He may say that Jesus never condemned same sex marriage but Jesus did so. Jesus did speak explicitly about sexual immorality in general and the nature of marriage. He denounced the former (e.g., Matt. 5:28; 15:19) and defined the latter according to Genesis 2:24: “For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh” (Matt. 19:5 AT; par. Mark 10:7–8). Jesus affirmed the covenanted union of one man and one woman as the only normative expression of human sexuality. It is incredible to suggest that these words from Jesus have no bearing on the question of homosexuality. They surely do.

  5. Why would a Christian care that the world thinks Christians are judgmental and critical “? What does God think about us as Christians? Isn’t that more important than what the world thinks of us? Did Jesus accept sin? ”Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.”“
    ‭‭John‬ ‭5‬:‭14‬ ‭NIV‬‬. ”Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”“
    ‭‭John‬ ‭8‬:‭10‬-‭11‬ ‭NIV‬‬

  6. I heard this interview when it was first broadcast in September and couldn’t believe what I heard to the point where I looked up this sermon on youtube. There were a few comments that held my same opinion so I knew I wasn’t alone. I have always loved Alistair Begg but in the past few years I’ve had this nagging feeling that he goes out of his way to not confront any modern-day issues purposely to avoid having to take a side. Usually when this happens to a pastor it’s because of one of their children (or grandchildren) have turned to compromise and they will lower their standards in order to remain in fellowship with them.

    1. I agree, this happens in Congress as well. Professed Christians who change lifelong positions because their son or daughter came out. They are doing a disservice to their relative or friend by not telling them they love them and want them to turn to Christ and away from unconfessed sin.

  7. I am sad and disappointed to hear of this. I am praying that he will repent of this.
    If my Christian walk was open to the world I would be charged with unbiblical thinking in the past . As I’ve grown I have been corrected and have repented of unbiblical thinking. And that’s what I want. Only the truth. And that people love me enough to share biblical truth with me.
    I’m sure we all have been corrected at one time or another in our life. Let’s please pray together for his repentance.

  8. Marriage is clearly outlined in scripture between one man and one woman. It’s a life long covenant. There is no “marriage” outside of these bounds. Over the years, the church has allowed no fault divorce, and remarriage to flourish. It should be no surprise that we’ve descended into such depravity.

    Apparently, Aliaster Begg, has cast God’s Word behind his back in favor of being nicer than Jesus. He has forgotten that Christian’s should judge. We are to judge according to the scripture. If God calls something sin, we should too. We should never share in the sin of another, but rather call them out to repent and believe the gospel. If they fail to do so, we are to dust off our feet, and move on.

  9. Does attendance = endorsement? Not necessarily.

    Let me give you a real-life example. I am a prison chaplain. Twice a year, inmates may get married. This is usually to prepare for release. An offender might marry a long time girlfriend in order to be able to live with her while on parole. I do not officiate. The parties must arrange their own officiant. My job is just to process the paperwork and supervise to make sure policy is being followed. I do not know one chaplain that enjoys this part of our job.

    Once the supreme court legalized same-sex marriage, policies were updated to allow same-sex marriages in the prison system. Policy does not allow a person to be housed in the same facility as their spouse.

    So it happened. One of our inmates wanted to marry an inmate at another men’s facility. We can do weddings between facilities using the video court system. The coordinator for religious programming for the department was quick to inform me that I could object and remove myself from the process. The warden would then need to pick someone else for it.

    I had to think and pray about this. My job is not to officiate. I am not proclaiming before God this couple to be man and husband. I am not giving legal approval. I am just there to make sure policy is followed. What if I removed myself. That would just make one of my co-workers do something that is not their job with forms and policies they know nothing about. Is that how I want to treat my co-workers?

    In the end, I did my job, including supervising this sideshow. A Buddhist woman officiated.

    I tell this story to point out that a person’s decision to attend such an event may take many factors into account and does not automatically mean an endorsement of the union.

    1. When you attend a wedding your not a spectator your a participant. You are there as a witness to the union and also there to affirm it. If your reasoning works for you so be it, but please don’t for one minute believe it’s a biblical.

      1. I am curious as to which verse in the Bible says that by being in the room while a wedding takes place, I am endorsing that wedding.

        Would I endorse it? no. Would I celebrate it? no. Would I officiate it? no. Did I have to stand in the room and make sure policy was followed, yes

        By the way, please learn the difference between “your” and “you’re”

        1. Marriage is honourable in all,…. Some read these words as an exhortation, “let” it “be so”; others as an assertion, it is so. “Marriage” is the union of one man and one woman in wedlock, whereby they become one flesh; it is a joining together of male and female in this relation, and of two only, and of such as are not within the degrees of blood forbid by the law, Leviticus 18:6 and of such as are fit for marriage: and this is “honourable”, as it was instituted by God, and has been honoured with the presence of Christ, Genesis 2:22. And it is so in the ends of it, being to procreate children, multiply the earth, build up families, preserve a legitimate offspring, and prevent fornication and all uncleanness; and it is so, when the duties of the relation are performed on both sides: and it is honourable “in all”; in all things, in all respects, upon all accounts; “every way”, as the Arabic version renders it; or as the Ethiopic version, “everywhere”; it has been honourably esteemed of among all nations; it becomes persons of all ranks and degrees, quality, and order; and it is honourable in all that are lawfully married, and do not violate the marriage contract, or defile the marriage bed: hereby are condemned such who despise marriage, that they may give a loose to their wandering and insatiable lusts; and such who, under a pretence of greater sanctity and perfection, reject it as unlawful; and the Papists, who deny it to men employed in sacred work:
          and the bed undefiled: the Arabic version reads, “his bed”; and the Syriac and Ethiopic versions, “their bed”; the bed of such whose marriage is honourable; which is not polluted by admitting others into it, or by acts of fornication and adultery: “but”, or “for”, as the Alexandrian copy reads,

          whoremongers and adulterers God will judge; the former of these may be rendered “fornicators”, as it is by the Vulgate Latin version: fornication is a sin committed by single persons, unmarried ones; and though it was reckoned among the Gentiles a thing indifferent, yet is contrary to the law of God, and is a work of the flesh, and makes unfit for the kingdom of God, and brings down the judgments of God both here and hereafter. And this is in opposition to marriage, which is appointed to prevent it. The sin “adulterers” are guilty of, is a sin committed by persons, who are either one or both in a married state, and so is directly a pollution of the marriage bed: this was punishable with death by the law of God, and light of nature; and though men may make light of it, God will judge and punish such as commit it, both in this life, with diseases, poverty, and disgrace, and in the world to come, at the great day of account; for however secretly it may be committed, God, who is omniscient, sees it, and will bring it into judgment; nor shall any be able to escape the righteous judgment of God, for he is omnipotent, as well as omniscient. The Jews say,

          “whoever lies with another man’s wife, shall not escape “the judgment”, or damnation of hell.

          Marriage is from God and is between one man and one woman. Anything else is a lie. Therefore there does not exist gay marriage of transsexual marriage. For a Christian to attend such an evil event would be to bear false witness and blaspheme God.

    2. I’m sure God is going to really appreciate that you ‘did your job’ ….

      But did you do His will. ???

      1. I believe I did. I did not endorse the union in any way, and I do not believe that my involvement has led anyone to think otherwise.

        My main concern was not whether this wedding would take place. It would whether I stepped aside or not. I am not the gatekeeper there. The county issues marriage licenses, not me. The law says that the opportunity to marry must be offered to inmates, not me. My main concern was the practical effect of my stepping aside. It would have burdened someone else with a task they would neither care for nor be prepared for. Is that loving to my coworkers? I do not believe so.

        I do not believe that my case is very similar to the one in Begg’s interview. In that case, Begg advises attending and bringing a gift as long has the grandmother’s convictions have been made clear. I understand what he is saying, but if attendance could be misconstrued as an endorsement, then there is more to consider.

  10. Attend the mockery of marriage? Thereby giving EXPLICIT approval for a lifestyle/behavioral choice that is anathema to Christian values. I don’t think so.

    Read Paul’s letter to Rome (Romans 1) again.

    As my former Army grunt friends would say, “Eff that noise.”

    “You do you” and “don’t judge” is how we (the west) got into the cultural mess we’re in where children can be chemically and surgically castrated when a mentally ill parent – or a mentally ill doctor – demands it be done or government will take the child from the parents if they refuse the genital mutilation and irreversible puberty blockers.

    It’s how we got to “Minor Attracted Person” so we wouldn’t seem so “judgey” to those who SHOULD have a millstone tied to their neck and be pushed into the deepest ocean as our Lord and Savior advised.

    No, Alistair, you’re wrong on this one. And I’ve been a fan for over 20 years.

  11. Son of man, I have appointed you as a watchman for the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from My mouth, warn them from Me.
    18 “When I say to the wicked, ‘You will certainly die,’ and you do not warn him or speak out to warn the wicked from his wicked way so that he may live, that wicked person shall die for wrongdoing, but his blood I will require from your hand.
    19 “However if you have warned the wicked and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his wicked way, he shall die for wrongdoing, but you have saved yourself. Ez 3 & 33. The Watchman

  12. These so-called pastors who are afraid to take a stand for biblical truth care more about fame and fortune than teaching god’s doctrines. Would they say Jesus would attend a sinful wedding of lost degenerates and bring them a gift? These famous false prophets are slandering the name of our Lord. What a shame people follow them instead of God’s Word.

  13. The Scottish preacher seems to have forgotten that he will give count for this along with everything else in his life. Wouldn’t want to be in his position when this issue comes up. Let’s pray God grants him repentance for this, and he has the courage to publicly state it.

    We have to stop being afraid of what other people will call us when we stand for truth, including that there is no such thing as homosexual marriage, transgenderism and such.

    I just attended the first part of a Christian marriage seminar last night, and the teacher/seminary professor was squeamish about referring to Black people and using the politically correct term, “African-American.”

    I wanted to ask if he knew that Elon Musk is literally an African-American but Kamala Harris is not in that she is half-Indian and half-Jamaican in the hopes that would get the message across.

  14. While your grandson may ‘know’ you do not approve of this union, what are all the others in attendance going to think.

    And baking a cake is a far cry from assenting to an activity by your presence.

    Let’s hope The Shepards Conference tells Begg to recant or stay home

  15. Words are important: “attending” and “participating” are very different. When you arrive at a wedding as a result of accepting an invitation you are participating in the event.

  16. look at 3 of the speakers at the upcoming ShepCon and note all have ties to TGC
    Begg, Piper, H.B. Charles
    each one of them should not be allowed any kind of platform at Grace Church, Master’s Seminary or any other venue that claims Biblical authority

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