When Should a Pastor Say ‘No’ to a Wedding?

Brian Croft | February 19, 2016


Should a pastor conduct the wedding of two non-Christians? What about a Christian marrying a non-Christian? Are there any circumstances in which a pastor should not marry two Christians?

These are questions I hear all the time from other pastors. What makes it permissible to conduct a wedding in this or that situation, and when should a pastor say no

I’m keenly aware there are many strong opinions on each version of the marriage question, and lively disagreements about which couples evangelical pastors should marry. And with last year’s Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage, the debate of course does not end there. 

Assuming agreement that marriage is between one man and one woman, I suggest the following boundaries within three common templates.

1. Christian marrying a non-Christian.

Most agree, as I do, that Scripture does not permit a Christian to marry a non-Christian (e.g., 1 Cor. 7:39; 2 Cor. 6:14–18), so it’s unwise for a pastor to perform a wedding in this circumstance. Though many of us know examples where the unbelieving spouse was eventually converted, I would never encourage a believer to marry an unbeliever. And therefore I would never encourage a pastor…


To read the rest of this article, visit https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/when-should-pastor-say-no-to-wedding.