You Were Gay? No Christian Funeral For You.

There are a few things I despise about my religion that is Christianity. Wait, let me rephrase. There are a few things about people who call themselves Christians that I despise. One particular thing I don’t like is Christians who automatically are repulsed when they find out someone is a homosexual.

In Arlington, Texas, a megachurch called HighPoint was to conduct a funeral for a fallen veteran named Cecil Howard Sinclair.

The church new Sinclair was gay before agreeing to the funeral, but backed out after some questionable videos and photos depicted him as being openly gay. The Pastor (Reverend Gary Simons) claimed that nobody in the church knew he was gay until just before his funeral. My question is, so what?

I know there are some Christians out there who will argue that anybody who is gay cannot possibly be Christian. However, it is not for us to judge who is Christian and who is not. Granted, some people are obviously not Christians, but I don’t believe homosexuals fall into this category as an absolute.

Simons was quoted as saying:

We did decline to host the service — not based on hatred, not based on discrimination, but based on principle.

Which principle would that be? Because you won’t find it in the Bible. Do not give Christian funerals to homosexuals? Where is that written?

Simons was also quoted saying:

Even though we could not condone that lifestyle, we went above and beyond for the family through many acts of love and kindness.

Well, the church could have performed one more act of kindness and had a funeral regardless of sexual orientation. Granted, the church probably had to “protect” its Christian image or risk losing funds from the Sunday offering plate. However, the church, by reaching out to this guy and his family, would have shown immense love and appreciation towards all homosexuals and potential non-Christians.

Refusing this guy was beyond a bad move and I am disgusted.

19 Comments

  1. I had the same initial impression, but then found out about the “other side” of the story. This particular church was not initially informed about the nature of this event, realized it was not something they would be able to do well, and secured an alternative church and service at their own expense. This was also a Christian church and funeral. But this church is getting nailed, possibly sued over it.

    The “evangelical” church SHOULD be non-religious enough to be skilled at ministering in this way, but I think it was better for this church to realize they were not ready to do effectively, and secure another location. I’m sensitive to the plight of people outside the church, but am growing more careful about believing and making judgments based on the media.

    .02 CBB

  2. retroman,

    If you don’t mind, could you refer me to any article representing the other side? Your comment might show up in moderation for including links, but I’ll get to it as soon as I can.

    I’d definitely like to read the other side and perhaps revise this post or make an update. I let this one sit on the shelf for a few days before writing it to cool down and do a little research, but I admit that I didn’t look at how the church views the situation without media bias.

    Thanks for keeping me in check.

  3. Ron –

    I get updates from the “Family Research Council” which is a pretty conservative thinktank. The website is http://www.frc.org. I spent about 5 minutes on there looking for the email that I got from them with the “rest of the story”. Like many conservative groups, they can get so fixated on protecting the “rights of Christians” that they slip into a major political spirit-type thing, which can make me a bit irked. Didn’t Keith Green sing a song about “laying down our rights?”.

    Brief example of this is here in Philly there is a guy who shows up at gay rallies and town meetings to preach the message of holiness and sin, focusing on the gay community. Unfortunately there is no love or tangible concern, only harshness, as well as an antagonistic spirit. End of the story is that he and his group gets thrown in jail (the “Philadelphia Five”) and clamoring for their rights, and the FRC people, and Christian lawyers like Jay Seculow get on the bandwagon (the guy *should* have his free speech of course). Meanwhile nobody in the christian community understands that this guy is just torquing people off in a de-churched city (and misrepresenting the heart of God)… Kindness leads people to repentance!

    My response to this fiasco is to pray for this dude because I believe he is a Saul-to-Paul type figure in the city. This is because nobody else in the church has done anything about the issue except just throw up their hands. It’s tough to come to this conclusion but tougher to move to a city where the church isn’t doing much effective work.
    CBB

  4. 3rd time does it – here’s the story, at least from the “right wing” angle. Let me reiterate that I hope that the “church” can learn how to reach out to “outsiders” effectively and lovingly in the future. Jesus did!
    http://www.frc.org/get.cfm?i=WU07H07

  5. Thanks retroman,

    Just got around to reading the article. Interesting read and definitely presents an opposing view point. I can definitely see where the church is coming from now. It wasn’t necessarily the issue of the man being gay, but of the attitude of everyone towards homosexuality in general. A church’s position of course would be to conclude that homosexuality is a sin, but the funeral would be celebrating this “sinful” behavior.

    In this case, I still think the church should have done the funeral if not to simply show a willingness to reach out to a community that churches typically frown upon.

  6. …Shoulda, coulda, woulda… it would indeed be good if this church had found a way to reach out in this way. Particularly since it hosted Tony Perkins of the FRC. I’ll keep tracking this story / lawsuit!

  7. When I first read this story elsewhere, the way I understood it was that they were willing to perform the funeral service as long as they could conceal (i.e. lie about) his sexual orientation; but his family, realizing it was an important part of who he was in life, wanted his sexuality to be openly and honestly addressed. The church refused because they felt by acknowledging who he really was they would be “endorsing sin” (hmm, wonder if that dead guy had a surviving lover, and how that would make him feel…?).

  8. “Even though we could not condone that lifestyle, we went above and beyond for the family through many acts of love and kindness.”

    i googled this verse, and i could not find the scripture refrence. i would be intrested to see where you got it. not saying that you invented this verse, but i would like to see it in context.

    Yes, the above verse is also true. But its ALSO true that when you accept Jesus Christ into your heart you must change your sinful life style. This includes and is not limited to homosexuality. So if a homosexual accpets God, but does not change his life style and continues sining, then what was the point of accpeting Jesus? No change has happend in him, his convertion was not sencier, and he is still going to Hell to pay for his sins.

    Also, the reason it is not our place to condon the homosexual life style is because God already has.

  9. The organized religion side of Christianity tends to single out homosexuals as being particularly heathen in comparison to the rest of the “sinful world.” I choose not to attend church for personal reasons, though my mother attends “religiously.” The church she attends is very evangelical; speaking in tongues, jumping up and down, waving hands and shouting. When I found out that they were staging a boycott against the movie “Brokeback Mountain” I was very confused. This wasn’t simply a boycott though. The pastor, who I hold in high regard, requested the members of the church call our local movie theatre requesting they don’t show the movie. My question is, where is this “rightious force” when blatantly evil movies like the “Devil’s Rejects” are released? The “Devil’s Rejects” contains extremely graphic violence and depicts the satanic murderous lead roles as being vigilante heroes. But God forbid a movie about a couple of gay guys having sex in the mountains is released, then the whole Christian community comes out in full force to save the children or some crap like that. I think the Christian community seriously needs to get it’s priorities straight! America has an ongoing war in Araq and religious “Christian” fanatics have an ongoing war with homosexuality. The end!

  10. Being gay and christian is somewhat hypocritical. “I like the same sex, but believe in a religion that despises such a thing.” Christian belief is that homosexuality is a sin…not, “Hey, if we are wanna look good in everyone’s eyes we need to set aside our own beliefs to make sure no one gets mad at us.” A gay man should not even be looking for religion in christianity because everything he stands for is wrong and according to the bible they are going to hell anyway, no matter how many times they attend church. The way i see it, if a religion begins bending the rules of their beliefs to benefit people who obviously do not follow those beliefs, then there really isnt much substance to that religion in the first place. What could be next? Maybe they can allow openly pedofilic or bestial sinners be clergymen for thier church just so people will think they are reaching out to “outsiders”.

  11. It is a shame how they did that family, We are all sinners, but i agree with some people he is more concerned about is fellowship sending in the money so he can drive the big old Benz, Lexus or BMW and live in his big mansion.

  12. Well, they shouldn’t have expected the church to give. Considering they themselves were trying to provoke the none guy members of the church with an “openly gay men’s chorus”.

    I still have no idea why a man would want to engage in an unproductive act anyway.

  13. 👿 this is rediculas. i am not a christion because of such beleifs. according to you guys and the bible god made everyone, even gay people. if he is any gos worth while why would he make some one go to hell because he “messed up”? i have nothing against gay people, they r part of our modern community so we had beter accept them. some people are so closed minded they dont bother to see what is in front of their own noses. just because some people thnk this is normal and some do not? normal is whoever you are, if a gay person beleives in god and worships him and truly is a good person, why would god be inconsiderate enough to send them to hell??

  14. Jade,

    Not all Christians think like the pastor of the church. And you make a good point: being gay doesn’t automatically make someone a non-Christian.

    Let’s hope more Christians can be accepting of alternate lifestyles.

    Just to make myself clear, being gay is not part of a Christian lifestyle, but at least Christians can be as accommodating as Jesus was when he dealt with prostitutes and tax collectors.

  15. As a Christian… I agree with Jade.
    We must love one another. In my heart, I believe God is of a loving and forgiving nature. We must not fear Him. And as the Bible was supposedly written 40 years after Jesus Christ… I believe that we should not take everything by the literal word. There are many morals to be followed, and I do not see the moral in sending gays to hell. Considering that the societies in which the Bible has been passed down in have had great fears of what is different, such as a man loving another man or a woman loving another woman or a person loving both sexes, it is quite possible that some things have been left out of the Bible or changed. And who would have historical proof? I don’t, no, of course. But it is very much possible. You can’t deny it. Humans are imperfect beings, and have been known to sin. Gays could be good loving people, not murderers, who believe in God, Jesus Christ and his teachings, and may act on His behalf by expressing his love WITHOUT sinning as much as a straight person may. THAT is what it is to be Christian. I personally am friends with a gay Christian. To be homophobic (afraid of homosexuals) is just as horrible as being racist.

  16. lesbianlovingchristain

    October 16, 2008 at 8:17 am

    I am in a very loving relationship with my girlfriend. We attend church every Sunday. We give to the church in various ways. I am saved by my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I love my family, I have two sons and a very supportive family, whom also attend church with my girlfriend and I. I have a job in which I care for people who are hurt and help them on the road to recovery. I do not steal, lie, murder, etc. But I am told that I am going to hell, by people who don’t know the first thing about me.. or my family for that matter. I have turned to God in everyway possible. I love God. Why … if He loves me the way I love Him, would He send me to hell for my girlfriend and I loving each other unconditionally. Just because we have the same parts in our pants????? What I’ve been taught is that love has nothing to do with flesh, but of the Spirit. This church sounds to me like they are not loving in the Spirit of the Lord, but in the fleshy pockets of the congregation.

  17. It really bothers me when “Christians” group gay or lesbian peolpe with murders or child molesters,like we have so much in common! The fact that any church i sstill debating this issue makes me sick,they are sinning just by uttering the words that we will burn in Hell for being this way. I too do not attend church for the reasons alot of people who are gay do not. Every time I encounter someone who claims to be a Christian they tend to be the rudest most judgemental people I have ever met. Noone lives a life without sin,wether it be in thought or action we all sin. The thing is we will all have our judgement day so let that individual deal with that their self. God loves all those who he created so for peoplpe to say that anyone i sgoing to that burning place is crazy! When you accept Jesus into your life and your heart that does not mean that you can never fall,that is how we learn! I just believe that all people should have the same rights and that noone should have the right to decide wether you can be married or wether you are going to Heaven. Like I tell my 8 year daughter, treat people the way you want to be treated,I believe there are alot of adults who need to go back to the basics and learn how to respect all human beings!!!!

  18. Thank you! Very interesting information in this blog, I will return often.

  19. I re-read this entire conversation. I read a lot of strong but differing opinions, most claiming to be Christian but were 180 degrees from each other!

    This is a classic example of why non-Christians have an attitude towards Christians and the Christian faith. In so many words, someone will make the comment “He / she will burn in hell because of his / her lifestyle….”. But that same Christian will get drunk on Friday night, or will scream at someone for cutting him or her off at a light, or will “trash talk” a member of the opposite sex, etc, etc. You’ve all seen it, I have.

    My personal opinion is that I am 100% against homosexuality, but does this give me the right to judge someone else who is? No! But I do believe it is a sin! It’s just not my job to pass judgement on that individual, which is exactly what half the posters in this blog did!

    Does this give me the right to say a Gay person does not have a right to join my Church? No, not any more right that I would have keeping an alcoholic or drug addict from joining my Church! It’s a shame that this Church made a “business decision” to not do the right thing.

    I would expect a Gay person to work on his or her sins but it would be understandable if the person was not be able to overcome them. Some issues run too deep and although we all try to improve, we all fall short…..

    Tom

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.