Same-sex marriage has been the law of the land in the United States since June 26, 2015. So far, Preachers who hold a conscientious, Scriptural objection have not been forced to perform such ceremonies
But could that change?
Apparently, Prime Minister of Sweden, Stefan Löfven, is prepared to force religious leaders to perform same sex marriages.
The Christian Institute and numerous other media outlets report that Löfven announced that ministers of the Church of Sweden should be required to marry same-sex couples, regardless of their opinions on homosexuality and homosexual marriage.
“No priest in the Swedish Church can refuse to marry same-sex couples,” stated Löfven. “If you work as a midwife you must be able to perform abortions, otherwise you have to do something else. It is the same for priests who do not want to perform same-sex marriages,” he added.
Although Sweden legalized same sex marriage in 2009, ministers in the Swedish state church have been allowed to opt out of performing weddings, baptisms, and funerals for any reason.
Although it is not yet mandatory, Sweden’s national broadcaster SVT reported that the prime minister is in support of requiring all ministers to perform ceremonies for homosexual couples.
The prime minister indicated in an interview with a church magazine that if a priest cannot bless a homosexual marriage, they should consider another vocation.
“We Social Democrats are working to ensure all priests will consecrate everyone, including same-sex couples,” Löfven told Kyrkans Tidning magazine.
Löfven, who is not religious, defended the political incursion into the practice of religion, saying “the church must stand up for human equality.”
In all religious matters, the question should be “What does the Bible say?” The opinions, pronouncements, and edicts of politicians are irreverent in such matters.
(1) Homosexual behavior is a sin.
We have repeatedly written about this violation of God’s will for marriage numerous times. You can refer to previous posts for the Biblical arguments against homosexuality. (Rom. 1:20-32; 1 Cor 6:9-11)
(2) Preachers are obligated to condemn sin.
Paul exhorted the young evangelist, Timothy, to “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage — with great patience and careful instruction.” (2 Tim. 4:1-2)
Furthermore, he wrote to another preacher, Titus, reminding him there was a time to “sharply rebuke” those who deny God and engage in “abominable” and “disobedient” activities (Titus 1:10-16)
(3) Ministers of the Gospel are entrusted to proclaim its message.
Our work is not to engage in social engineering, political activism, or cultural change. It is spiritual. It is to be a messenger of Truth. A proclaimer of the Word of God. A herald of the Gospel. (1 Tim. 1:8-11).
The Gospel is God’s Good News for a lost world. Our attitude should be the same as the Apostle Paul. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek” (Rom 1:16)
(4) Pastors, preachers and all Christians are forbidden to fellowship error, ungodliness, or immoral lifestyles. (2Cor. 6:14-20)
We are to be an example “in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity” (1 Tim. 4:12). We cannot entangle ourselves with the immorality of the world. Participate in their sins. Or sanction their ungodliness.
(5) It is right to refuse compliance with governmental authorities who require disobeying God.
When the Apostles were commanded by the Authorities not to preach any more in the name of Jesus, Peter responded, “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Ax 5:29)
Currently, religious leaders are not required to perform homosexual wedding ceremonies. But if the law changes, let us strong, courageous, and shining lights as we stand for Truth and proclaim the Word in this “crooked and perverse generation.”
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman