If you have a Muslim friend, I don’t believe you should attend a Muslim’s marriage to a second person. I have attended a Muslim wedding for the first.
Here is the difference between a Muslim wedding, a Hindu wedding, and an LGBT wedding.
When two secular people get married, man and wife, they are not violating what God has established and defined as marriage. When Adam and Eve first got married, they were not “Christians”. Adam and Eve were God’s creation, and it’s through Adam and Eve all of us have come. So, the marriage between Adam and Eve is not a special ordinance of the church, it is a creation ordinance for all of God’s creation, because, at that point, Adam and Eve were representing all of God’s creation. So even though somebody may use a false religion to actually bring two people together, the result of what they are doing is not against God’s design. But when you bring two people of the same sex, now even from the creation ordinance standpoint, they are violating it.
The second thing is Jesus says one man, one wife permanently until one of them dies or there is a divorce, then you can marry somebody else. But when a Muslim takes a second wife, he is violating God’s order. There is the religion and the design still being according to God’s order, but in those two I have just said, the LGBT one and taking a second or third wife, it is not just the religion, the design has been violated, and so I don’t think we should attend.
Should you show them love? We better. The Bible says owe no man nothing except the debt of love. Now how do we show it? There are different ways. I can write a wonderful letter to my LGBT friend who is getting married to another LGBT person and say I am happy that they are coming to a place where they are happy. It’s true if you see your friend happy, won’t you be happy in some sense. Now, you can be unhappy for a longer sense, but you can identify with them. There are ways you can identify with a situation without necessarily endorsing it.
I remember during END SARS, I spoke a lot to people and said with the way the END SARS protest was going, I identified with the emotion of it, but I disagreed with how it was being taken. So, you can identify with a part of something without endorsing the entire thing. So, look for creative ways to show love to your friend whilst you also demonstrate the conviction that you have because in both instances you are showing them love. One of them, they can feel the love, the other one, they don’t like it but that is actually what they need. You must show love to God first and in showing love to God, you are showing love to other people
Question: Would attending it even though you don’t necessarily support also be a way of expressing love?
Attending is powerful. Here’s what I’m not going to do on a Friday with a Muslim friend I really like, I’m not going to attend their mosque with them. I can’t show love by attending because attending is a strong form of endorsement. It’s not just that I don’t endorse it in my heart, I am actually a witness to it. There is a reason why marriage is personal, but it is never private. We call witnesses, and the witnesses are saying, I saw this thing, and there is a measure of endorsing it.
I’ll end with this, and it extends to all our unbelieving friends. Please stop being an undercover Christian. Do you know what an undercover Christian is? You want to show that we can relate with the world, I’m not those kinds of Christians that are “holier than thou.” I have the liberty to drink. I can go to the nightclub, I can do all of these things, and you never actually talk about what it is that you believe and why you believe it. Tolu Moody, my pastor friend that preached for us said, many times, we don’t say it’s because of Christ.
Why don’t you do this thing?
Us: “I don’t really feel like it.”
Why don’t you have sex?
Us: “You see, celibacy is a value that I just have.”
Do you understand? We go super generic. So, you have been going on with this friend in this super generic way for two years, the friend drops the LGBT bomb. You have never discussed it before, and now you say you don’t want to attend, of course, the person would say, “you don’t love me” because they never understood but if you demonstrated conviction and yet love, and they’ve accepted it, by the time you are not showing up, it is not news to them because they already know your views. And so, a lot of times, we find it challenging because we’ve withheld the explicitness of who we are for too long, and we’ve not found creative ways of being explicit and yet being inclusive as well.
Femi Osunnuyi is lead pastor of City Church, a gospel-centred urban church in the city of Lagos. Because of his passion for church planting and leadership development he also serves on the Lead Team of Acts29 and the Advisory Team of City to City Africa. He is happily married to Tosin and is father to Tofunmi and Timilehin.