John MacArthur rejects Alistair Begg's advice for Christians to attend LGBT weddings

“It is not loving to help someone celebrate stepping into the fury of God's judgment”

Reverend John MacArthur recently dismissed Reverend Alistair Begg's comments suggesting that Christians should attend LGBT weddings.

Responding to a member of Congress who asked for his take on the controversy during a question-and-answer session at his Grace Community Church in Los Angeles last weekend, MacArthur also suggested that Begg's advice would tarnish the otherwise faithful 40-year ministry of the Christian radio personality

Begg, who serves as senior pastor of Parkside Church in Cleveland, Ohio, sparked a backlash when comments he made last September about his popular “Truth For Life” a podcast resurfaced on social media and went viral last month.

While discussing his book The Christian ManifestoBegg mentioned in the podcast how a grandmother asked him if she should attend the wedding of her grandson, who she said was marrying a transgender-identifying individual.

Begg said he advised the woman to attend the wedding and buy a gift to avoid reinforcing “judgmental” stereotypes about Christians.

“Well, here's the thing: your love for them might catch them off guard, but your absence will just reinforce the fact that they said, “These people are what I always thought: judgmental, critical, unwilling to stand up to anything, ” he. said.

“And it's a fine line, isn't it? It really is,” he continued. “And people have 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 King.”

Days after his comments caused an uproar, American Family Radio (AFR) announced it would no longer broadcast “Truth For Life” after more than a decade. Begg was also rubbed by the website of the Conference of the Shepherd, which is a ministry of Grace Community Church of MacArthur.

MacArthur noted last weekend that although he has “great love” for Begg and their friendship goes back 45 years, he disagreed with his advice.

“I also want to say that you shouldn't judge a man by his weakest moment,” MacArthur said. “We will all have a moment of weakness. Having said that, I have to disagree with the answer he gave to the question.”

MacArthur explained that he believes there are “many reasons” why a Christian should decline to participate in a gay or trans marriage, and rejected Begg's argument that attending would be compassionate.

“My answer to that is the most loving thing you could do would be not to go and condemn the relationship; that's love,” he said. “It is not loving to help someone celebrate stepping into the fury of God's judgment.”

“This is no time for you to celebrate, thinking that your affection for someone is the means of their salvation,” he continued. “They will come to salvation when the Lord exposes their sin. That is why the Holy Spirit – John 16 – condemns about sin and justice and judgment. And what should be said to someone is: 'This is wrong, this is against the commandment by God, this is not marriage.”

MacArthur went on to argue that same-sex marriage “is not marriage at all” because it goes against God's design for the institution.

“It's blasphemy against God, just like transgender life and homosexuality,” he said. “That is the message to give in love.”

MacArthur doubted whether he personally would have the ability to “survive” sitting through a wedding ceremony that he believes to be sinful while giving the appearance that he is being helpful. To do so, he said, would be “aiding and abetting the celebration of something that defies God's design and [is] the very tip of the spear, at the moment, of the corruption of that whole culture.”

MacArthur also expressed confusion as to why Begg even waded into the subject, given its potential for damaging his ministry and reputation.

“Especially if I was inclined to suggest it at all [attending an LGBT wedding] might be all right, I'd never say that, because you'd have to count the cost of that,” he said. “And how do you count that? The price for that is truly epic. It's truly epic.”

“And there's a lot more about [Begg] that is wonderful and faithful – and his ministry, he just passed 40 years of pastoral ministry in that church. It was a great party. And now he's going to be defined by that,” he added.

Begg, who has been in pastoral ministry since 1975 and became senior pastor at Parkside in 1983, said in sermon last month that he feels no need to repent for his advice. In the message based on Luke 15 and entitled “Mercy against Condemnation”, he warned about the “tendency to Pharisaism” which is “alive and good in all our hearts.”

He also noted how little attention his decades of teaching on biblical marriage received compared to one podcast episode.


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