Saturday, August 11, 2007

I am a devout Christian. And because of that devotion, I feel it is my responsibility to hold fellow Christians accountable when they misrepresent my religion. There is a problem in the Christian community. That problem is self-righteousness...the notion that I am better than you because Jesus is my personal savior. It's an attitude that is wholly un-Christian, one that I reject and one that I am highly critical of whenever I see it. Which brings me to the High Point Church in Arlington, Texas.

Cecil Sinclair worked as a janitor in the church, although he was not a church member (probably because he did not feel welcome). He died from post-operative complications and the church agreed to hold a memorial service for their employee, that is until they discovered that he was gay. Apparently, they were concerned about some photos supplied by the sister for a tribute slide-show. Some of these photos showed questionably provocative images of Sinclair and his partner. The church claimed they were unaware of his sexual orientation until the day before the service, and decided to cancel the service so as not to appear to endorse homosexual behavior.

Well, the church is dead wrong. I do believe that homosexuality is sinful behavior. This is my personal religious belief and I have been attacked ruthlessly for it, but my belief is my belief. So, I side with the church in that regard. But, if there is one thing my religion teaches it's that Christians should be careful that we condemn the behavior while embracing the individual. To do otherwise would be construed as intolerance and bigotry, and perhaps rightfully so. It gives Christianity a bad name and I will not tolerate that.

How exactly does holding a memorial service for a gay man amount to endorsing homosexual behavior? I have no idea. The man was a sinner, so what. Are any of us any different? Are any of us any better? No. I wonder if the High Point Church feels the same way. If the photos are offensive or conflict with church teaching, then don't show them. But you can still pay tribute and remembrance to the man who died. I think Jesus would agree with that.

The High Point Church is way off, and if I were a member this issue would effectively terminate that membership. It is my wish that Christians join me in condemning them for their actions not representative of our beliefs. Cecil Sinclair deserves a memorial service, and if the church promised to provide that service then they should have. Shame on them for refusing to embrace a fellow human being, a fellow sinner. Shame on them for misrepresenting Christianity.


Dan Trabue said...

Thank you for your reasonable position.

I wonder, does this church also refuse to hold memorial services for other sinners - liars, the greedy, poor tippers? That'd be the safest thing: only hold memorial services for those who don't sin...

The Loop Garoo Kid said...

I daresay that memorial services would be few and far between.

A thoughtful position Dr. for which I salute you.

ELAshley said...

Not much of a high-point for the High Point Church... whatever happened to the spirit of Matthew 25:34-46 in the today's Church? It's disgraceful.

ELAshley said...

Oh, I noticed Dan has you in his blogroll under the heading: Seeking Common Ground.

He gave up on me. Keep the shield up, and the sword sharp... in short, keep and defend the faith [Jude:3]

Anonymous said...

I agree. It's not important how the man lived. A memorial is a memorial, and if deserved, should be given.

The Loop Garoo Kid said...

robert m.

Of course it's important how the man lived. His sexuality was only part of that and if, as w/ most people, that aspect of his life was, private it should not disqalify him from being remebered in the church in which he worked.

Meanhile, Dr., I learned of a criminal case in Georgia today and solicit your opinion regardiung it as it deals w/ both free speech and distributing obscene material to a minor. Gordon Lee, a retailer in Rome, GA was arrested on charges of distributing material depicting nudity and distributing obscene material to a minor.

The was a piece on Morning Edition, today, August 14, 2007, but there is a lot of material on the intrnet as the incident occurred on Halloween, 2004. Somebody waived their right to speedy trial here.


While We Americans Opine...

Defending doctrine, faith, and notion, Saudi/Wahhabism spreads quickly
throughout the entire world.

Picking Up The Sword & Shield
In The Defense Of Liberty Is Slow. reb

John Washburn said...

EL, I agree completely and thanks for stopping by. I always appreciate someone who cites scripture, and does so accurately and in proper context. I will keep the shield up. Feel free to visit anytime. As for Dan, he frequents this site to opine on certain issues and I have seen my place on his own site. We rarely agree, but his efforts are always respectful and well-intended. The two of us have exchanged ideas on many occasions, and rarely has that common ground been reached, but I like the fact that our debate is done in a gentlemanly manner. If only the folks in Congress could learn how to do things that way.

Reb, we are indeed slow to pick up the sword in defense of liberty. I'm not sure why, other than maybe we don't realize how delicate and precious liberty truly is. In 200+ years, our liberty has been challenged many times, and it will continue to be. Thank you for insight.

Dan, you're right. It appears this church is infested with self-righteousness. It truly disgusts me and, as a Christian, I find it highly offensive. I'm certain you agree. Giving this guy a memorial service hardly amounts to endorsing his lifestyle. I think it was personal and they were ashamed of employing a homosexual.

Loop, thanks for the feed. I posted on it today.