Christian radio network drops Alistair Begg after advice on attending same-sex weddings

Alistair Begg

(CP) A conservative Christian radio ministry has dropped pastor Alistair Begg from its programming lineup after he suggested Christians could attend same-sex weddings to "build bridges" with the culture at large.

Begg, 71, serves as senior pastor at Parkside Church in Cleveland along with his radio ministry "Truth For Life," carried by nearly 1,800 radio stations nationwide.

The controversy stems from recently resurfaced comments Begg made in a podcast for "Truth For Life" in September, in which Begg discussed his new book, The Christian Manifesto.

As part of the podcast, Begg touched on a specific question he said a grandmother asked him about her grandson, who she said was "about to be married to a transgender person," and whether she should attend the wedding.

"We field questions all the time that go along the lines of, 'My grandson is about to be married to a transgender person, and I don't know what to do about this, and I'm calling to ask you to tell me what to do,' which is a huge responsibility," Begg said.

"And in a conversation like that just a few days ago — and people may not like this answer — but I asked the grandmother, 'Does your grandson understand your belief in Jesus?' 'Yes.' 'Does your grandson understand that your belief in Jesus makes it such that you can't countenance in any affirming way the choices that he has made in life?' 'Yes.'

"I said, 'Well then, OK. As long as he knows that, then I suggest that you do go to the ceremony. And I suggest that you buy them a gift.'"

Begg went on to explain that Christians not attending such a ceremony could reinforce "judgemental" stereotypes the culture holds about the Church.

"I said, 'Well, here's the thing: your love for them may catch them off guard, but your absence will simply reinforce the fact that they said, 'These people are what I always thought: judgmental, critical, unprepared to countenance anything.'

"And it is a fine line, isn't it? It really is. And people need to work out their own salvation with fear and trembling. But I think we're going to take that risk. We're going to have to take that risk a lot more if we want to build bridges into the hearts and lives of those who don't understand Jesus and don't understand that he is a King."

While the podcast first aired in September, Begg's comments recently resurfaced on social media and brought scrutiny on the longtime pastor and Scottish native.

Within days, American Family Radio (AFR), the radio ministry of the American Family Association, announced its decision to "no longer air" "Truth For Life" after more than a decade.

The statement read: "Recently, it came to our attention that Pastor Begg made statements that were unbiblical and fail to line up with the decades of faithful adherence to Scripture that listeners have come to expect from him. In essence, when the question was asked of him whether or not a family member should attend an unbiblical wedding ceremony between two homosexuals, Pastor Begg counseled Christians to attend and take a gift."

"At American Family Association, we believe it to be an act of unfaithfulness to God to attend a ceremony that celebrates any union outside of the biblical model of marriage as being between one man and one woman. Members of our leadership team held a call with Alistair Begg's team and were unsuccessful in convincing them of his error."

"As a result of this, we will no longer air Pastor Alistair Begg's 'Truth for Life' program."

Despite the announcement, AFR remained listed as a partner on the "Truth For Life" website as of Thursday.

AFR did not immediately respond to a request for comment by The Christian Post. This story will be updated if a response is received. A representative of Truth For Life said Begg has no response to AFR's decision.

In 2022, while teaching from the Apostle Paul's letter to the Romans, Begg tackled the question of same-sex marriage.

During his two-part sermon series on homosexuality entitled "God Gave Them Up," Begg argued against the notion of same-sex marriage as compatible with Scripture.

"It is not an alternative lifestyle," he said at the time. "It is an unnatural decision. It is an expression of rebellion against God."

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