Is it Biblical to go to a Catholic funeral? Or to go to a Catholic wedding? I would like to hear your thoughts brother.
I Corinthians 10:27 says, “If any of them THAT BELIEVE NOT bid you to a feast, AND YE BE DISPOSED TO GO; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake.”
There are times when you may be “disposed to go” to a wedding or funeral for people “that believe not.” The word “disposed” is defined as “to incline, prepare, to put in place, arrange, to come to terms.” (Merriam Webster’s Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary). It is very difficult (hard to come to terms with the thought of having) to attend a wedding or a funeral at a church that preaches a false gospel (like the Catholic Church), or at a church that is just very liberal (like a lot of Baptist churches are getting). You may be “disposed to go” because of respect for the person (it may be a funeral for your father or mother, etc., or a wedding for very close family). But this does not mean that every funeral or wedding can be attended.
It is not scriptural to attend a wedding reception where people are drinking alcohol. Proverbs 23:20 says, “Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh.” A “winebibber” is someone who is imbibing (drinking) alcohol. God tells us not to be among a crowd that is doing that. If the host asks why, then it is a good time to tell him/her why we cannot attend (tell them in a courteous way, not in a “holier-than-thou manner). We have attended some weddings where we did not go to the reception for this very reason. If you are honest and humble about the whole thing, people will end up respecting you for your stand (usually, though, you will find that out some time later, so you just have to follow the Scripture; be humble; be consistent; and be patient).
It is also not scriptural to put yourself in a place of much immodesty. Matthew 5:28 says, “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” Sadly, this includes many weddings today. Pray for wisdom in this matter when invited to a wedding, and pay attention when you enter the church. Often, there are bride’s maids out in the entryway before the wedding. If they are dressed immodestly, you may just have to go back home. It is better to walk back out of a hallway, than to have to get up after the service has started and leave.
One of the hard things about attending a wedding where one or both persons are not saved (or it seems very questionable that they are), is the reception line after the wedding where you are expected to congratulate the groom and the bride. As a Christian, if it appears that a Christian is marrying an unsaved person at the wedding, then you cannot really congratulate the couple. II Corinthians 6:14 says, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” How can you congratulate someone for disobeying God’s Word? We cannot. What we can say is, “We will be praying for you and your new home together.” And that is exactly what we should do. Pray for their salvation. Pray that God would show them the truth. Pray that they would yield their lives to Christ.
At a funeral with a false minister preaching a false gospel, it is good for the family (your family) to talk about the errors afterwards, that were spoken publicly at the funeral. Make sure that you then talk about the verses (look them up and read them) to make sure that the family understands the truth from the Bible. The experience may even help you when dealing with people in your witnessing, because you actually heard it from one of their ministers.
Our family sat in a Lutheran funeral a couple of times for distant family members. We came home and talked about the errors taught in those funerals. It has actually helped me in witnessing, because I know exactly what the Lutheran ministers are teaching. They are not teaching that Jesus’ blood takes away all of our sins, but that the water of baptism is also necessary to get your sins washed away. That is a false gospel. Ephesians 1:7 says, “In whom WE HAVE REDEMPTION THROUGH HIS BLOOD, THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS, according to the riches of his grace.”
There may be weddings and funerals where you are disposed to go, and there will probably be some where you have to refuse to go. We recently declined going to a wedding at a Baptist Church. Some family did go, and came back and told us how immodestly the girls in the wedding party were dressed (very low cut dresses and tattoos all over their bodies), and how the young men in the wedding party had their pierced earrings. Needless to say, we were very happy that we had not gone to that wedding. Pray about each invitation that you receive, and look to the Lord for guidance.