Christian radio station American Family Radio has ended its collaboration with pastor Alistair Begg following his response to a grandmother who he advised to attend her grandson's wedding to a transgender person. “Your love may surprise them, but your absence will reinforce their idea of you,” he said.
Last week, Christian radio station American Family Radio (AFR) announced the axing of Cleveland's Parkside Church senior pastor Alistair Begg's Truth for Life show. This decision follows comments deemed “very controversial” by the pastor on LGBTQ+ marriage, which sparked an irreconcilable disagreement between the two parties.
Ed Vitagliano, vice president of the AFR, confirmed the news to American Family News pointing out that although "Begg is an excellent Bible teacher, his show will no longer air on their network." “We certainly wish him the best,” he added.
According to Christian today, the remarks alleged against the pastor concern an exchange with a grandmother on marriage. It was during an interview about his new book that the pastor recounted this exchange. This elderly lady wondered if she should attend her grandson's wedding to a transgender person. He then advised her to attend, saying that her absence would only reinforce negative prejudices. “Your love may surprise them, but your absence will reinforce the idea they have of you,” he stressed.
In one sermon Sunday January 28, Pastor Alistair Begg tried to explain his approach. He clarified that his advice was not intended to be "general recommendations for all Christians", but was specifically intended to help a grandmother "strike a delicate balance" between expressing her opinion and maintaining a relationship with her grandson. son.
“My response to a grandmother I have never met was in no way a blanket recommendation for all Christians to attend LGBTQ+ weddings”
His comments sparked strong reactions in the Christian community in the United States, with several pastors rebelling against these comments. This is notably the case of Carl Trueman, professor of biblical and religious studies at Grove City College who wrote in the Catholic publication First Things that “participating in a ceremony to show love or avoid offense is a form of blessing.”
Salma El Monser