Church Weddings and a Funeral
August 31, 2007 3 Comments
The recent controversy involving Rev. Gary Simons and his church’s refusal to hold funeral services (which I blogged about here) for a deceased homosexual sent shockwaves throughout the media. To no one’s surprise, people ignorant of Scripture waxed poetic on the hatred and intolerance of Evangelical Christians towards that particular lifestyle and its practitioners.
Dr. Albert Mohler covered this topic on his radio show. The episode is titled, “Marrying and Burying: What’s Appropriate for Church Weddings and Funerals?”
Mohler agrees with the church’s decision to back out of a service in which none of the church’s staff would preside over and in which the homosexual lifestyle would be promoted via a series of pictures which were deemed inappropriate by church staff.
However, Mohler argues that the church should have turned down the funeral on the grounds that the deceased was not a member of the church. This is his quote (approx. 14:40 in the broadcast),
Let me suggest something that may be counter-intuitive to many Americans, even to many Christians.
No one who is not a member of the church deserves (just as a matter of right) a church funeral or a church wedding.
No member of the church deserves a church funeral or a church wedding when that person is not in fellowship with the church and when such a thing would harm the testimony of the church.
For what it’s worth, I agree 100%. Hypocrisy is still something which the majority of people detest and rightly so (it seems that the list of detestable things as far as society is concerned is ever-shrinking).
However, sometimes folks who rile at the hypocrisy of Christians (Ted Haggard et. al) get married in “Christian” ceremonies but have no intention of living the life they pledge to live before the priest/pastor and the witnesses.
For example, the priest/pastor asks if they intend to teach their children about Christ, when the couple and everyone else is well aware that this will not be the case. I have been to weddings like these, sadly weddings of friends and family. This is not to say that later on, they can’t be born again, some are and praise be to God that He enlightens them.
They are beautiful ceremonies but based on what one knows about the couple and what they are pledging to regarding service to God, these ceremonies are quite frankly, shams and the worst of hypocrisies. It must escape those who abhor Christian hypocrisy, that they themselves are guilty of the same thing.
Of course, the churches who permit this are also to be held accountable.