NEWS - Mega-church Cancels Memorial Service

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NEWS - Mega-church Cancels Memorial Service

Postby natman » Sat Aug 11, 2007 9:09 am

As a moderator on these forums, I hesitated to post this article because the underlying topic usually generates a firestorm of heated debate. However, as a Christian that desires to get the message out that we are all sinners in need of repentance and God's grace, felt I had to say something.

The article talks about a church that basically reneged on it's agreement to host a memorial service at it's facilities after it discovered that the deceased was homosexual.

Now many here that know me recognize that I stand as hard against the "practice of homosexuality" as just about anybody. But, the truth be told, I am just as much of a sinner, albeit in other ways. If the church refused to perform the ceremony based solely on the fact that the deceased was a practicing homosexual, in other words, a sinner, then they should also deny services to all of it's members as well.

Now, if they are refusing to have the service because the deceased was not a member of the church, that is another matter. However, it appears that the deceased's sister was a member, keeping in mind that memorial services are for the surviving family and friends, not for the deceased.

Here is a link to the article...
[Texas Megachurch Cancels Memorial for Gay Navy Vet]
SON-cerely,
Nathan Powers

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Postby jochanaan » Sat Aug 11, 2007 2:56 pm

It appears they were more concerned about appearances than realities; the firestorm apparently erupted when the dead man's partner was listed in the obituary. I'm with you, Natman; that's taking anti-homosexuality too far. Their "principled" stand may just have driven a grieving woman away from the LORD forever. :cry:
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Postby arom » Sat Aug 11, 2007 5:42 pm

Ouch - while I am strongly anti-homosexual, it is not for me to judge a person for his sins.

That is God's domain.

I cannot imagine a situation where a Pastor should refuse to do a funeral. At the very least it is an opportunity to witness.

7 When they persisted in questioning Him, He stood up and said to them, "The one without sin among you should be the first to throw a stone at her." (John 8:7 HCSB)


Should a pastor refuse to give a funeral to an alcoholic? A murderer? An adulterer? I am sure they do such funerals every day. We are all simple sinners saved by the Grace of God.
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Postby Martin » Sat Aug 11, 2007 6:44 pm

Like arom and others, I am also strongly opposed to homosexual behavior and will never be convinced that it is a "normal" alternate lifestyle. I do, however, agree fully with what arom has to say about judgement. That is, indeed, God's sole domain.

After reading the article it appears to me that the church first agreed to the service (nullifying the point that the young man himself might not have been a church member), but changed their minds after learning of his homosexuality. It looks to me like the church reneged on their end of the agreement because the deceased's obituary listed his "partner" as a survivor.

Arom makes a good point about the responsibility of clergy to perform funerals without being judgemental. As has been stated in this thread, who among us has not sinned in the eyes of our Lord?

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Postby natman » Sat Aug 11, 2007 8:36 pm

arom wrote:Should a pastor refuse to give a funeral to an alcoholic? A murderer? An adulterer? I am sure they do such funerals every day. We are all simple sinners saved by the Grace of God.


What about a lier? What about someone who stole a paperclip from the office?

All sin worthy of spriritual death under the law. :cry:
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Nathan Powers

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what about us...?

Postby nuzoegirl » Mon Aug 13, 2007 5:15 pm

I had a thought that brought a chuckle, we Villagers, have an alternate lifestlye would this same pastor refuse us a decent service when he found out we were nudists??
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Postby natman » Mon Aug 13, 2007 5:57 pm

I am not siding with the pastor in his actions, but I think there is a significant difference between simply living a naked lifestyle and living a homosexual lifestyle. One is defined over and over again in scripture as sinful while the other isn't even mentioned at all.
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Postby Desert Hiker » Mon Aug 13, 2007 8:04 pm

None the less, Nathan, we do experience much of the same hostility from so-called Christians, and their leaders. Many modern churches, and much of main stream Christianity has donned their rose colored glasses, and taken to living their lives in fragile little "Christian bubbles", and trying to hold themselves up as "Kingdom Era" Christians before their time. and when someone shows up with a needle, and bursts their bubble, they get very angry, and defensive--to the point of being offensive.

And of course, while inhabiting these bubbles, they are self assured that the way they see things is the "absolute truth", and all others are pagans, and liars. This self righteous mentality lends itself easily to declaring themselves as "holier than thou". And since it is uncomfortable to talk of the sin in their own lives on the same level as anyone else's, they pick on stuff that few among them have done--as though the sin of others is somehow worse than theirs--after all, "even I would never do that!" And of course the hatred, and derision spewing forth from these camps spurs resentment from those so accused of being worse than all other sinners.

In the long run, this lends itself to even well meaning Christian people being actively "anti-sinner"--a truly un-Christ like way of behaving. Jesus was never "anti-sinner" or said hateful remarks at even the most calloused of sinners, and He never refused to respond kindly when asked to perform a service, or even a miracle by anyone. On the other hand, he did become very agitated at the religious elite, and despised their self righteousness. Hmmm...seems to me that history is repeating itself, and yes Jesus is quite angry, but not at the sinners--no He is mad at these people doing this stuff in HIS name :oops: :x

So, when a "pastor" refuses to perform a ceremony on a deceased man, because he does not approve of the way he lived, or because he does not believe he was a "Christian" in his earthly estimation--or any other nefarious reason, he is spreading hate, not love, division, not unity, resentment, not welcomeness, unforgiveness, not grace, hardness of hearts, not understanding and openness. In fact is there one single Christ like quality that this kind of action displays?--No, not one.

The same is true when we refuse fellowship with anyone--Jesus dined with sinners, and walked with the scourge of the earth--even made disciples of them. Dare I say that Jesus would upset the status quo today, every bit as much, or more than He did then. Just imagine these same Pastors, and their reactions when the Man called Jesus would hold gatherings and welcome homosexuals, and drug addicts, and even pedophiles to Him--and tell them He has forgiven them :shock: :o :? :x

It is easy to preach about grace, and love--another thing entirely to live it.
Peace In Christ, Sam

Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart...--Job
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Postby nudjohn » Mon Aug 13, 2007 10:40 pm

He could have easily used the situation to preach repentance.
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Postby jochanaan » Tue Aug 14, 2007 12:50 pm

nudjohn wrote:He could have easily used the situation to preach repentance.

But gently, gently... When someone is grieving, they're very fragile, and even a careless word may send them on the way of rejection that may destroy their soul.

Sam: AMEN!!!
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