Marriage: Should Ministers Officiate for Unbelievers?

This from the Gospel Coalition…

This pastor says, “No, a minister should not officiate a wedding for unbelievers.” 

This pastor says the opposite. 

It’s kind of a tough call. Both pastors make some very legitimate points. Marriage is given as a common grace covenant. Unbelievers get married all the time, and some even have long and happy marriages. The first author has a good point in that it is a pastor’s responsibility to look out for his flock. But if they’re unbelievers, they’re by implication not part of his flock and his officiating the marriage would seem to fall under the umbrella of evangelistic outreach.

The second author makes this case in that unbelievers are given marriage as part of God’s common grace. His conditions make sense in that it is an opportunity to witness and you are given the opportunity to give a Biblical account of what marriage is. You might not have that opportunity if you refuse to officiate the marriage.

The second author also seemed to have more Scriptural support for his position. It seems like an issue that could pretty easily go both ways. In the end, the glory of God is the deciding factor and I think both authors make a good points that are supported by Scripture. What are your thoughts?

SDG. Knowledge Ignites.


2 thoughts on “Marriage: Should Ministers Officiate for Unbelievers?

  1. I think that this issue must ultimately fall to the minister’s discretion. If he is violating his conscience, then he is sinning. Marriage is something that all people participate in, not just Christians.


    • Attaboy Stan, always speaking it like it is. I actually have a very limited knowledge on the subject and have no idea… I was just pointing out that that church looks like Fair Oaks Pres., a church that we went to and at which my stepmother was the wedding planner…


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