Monday, August 13, 2007

High Point Church Finds Out War Vet Is Gay, Cancels Memorial, Gets Flayed By the Media

I'm not one to defend churches very often, but today a line has to be drawn. On the front page of Reddit Saturday morning was this story about High Point Church:

A megachurch canceled a memorial service for a Navy veteran 24 hours before it was to start because the deceased was gay. Officials at the nondenominational High Point Church knew that Cecil Howard Sinclair was gay when they offered to host his service, said his sister, Kathleen Wright. But after his obituary listed his life partner as one of his survivors, she said, it was called off.
So at first I'm reading this, and I'm thinking "Terrible! Yet another example of Christian intolerance laid out for all the world to see. How awful an example this High Point Church has set for everyone."

But look closer.
The church’s pastor, the Rev. Gary Simons, said no one knew Sinclair, who was not a church member, was gay until the day before the Thursday service, when staff members putting together his video tribute saw pictures of men “engaging in clear affection, kissing and embracing.”

Simons said the decision had nothing to do with the obituary. He said the church offered to pay for another site for the service, made the video and provided food for more than 100 relatives and friends.
In other words , the church went above and beyond to call of duty (no pun intended) to provide services for the funeral of this person who was not a church member. All they asked for was that the funeral not take place on the church. For their kindness and their beliefs, they get a flaying from the media.

His sister, Kathleen Wright, had the following inflammatory remarks to say about the situation:
“It’s a slap in the face. It’s like, ’Oh, we’re sorry he died, but he’s gay so we can’t help you,”’ she said Friday
Liberals are often confused at why conservative Christians think believe themselves to be victimized when the Republicans have ruled for so long. One answer? Ridiculous articles like this. All this church wanted to do was to advocate its beliefs in the privacy of its own congregation. It treated the deceased veteran with care and respect, but declined to host the funeral. Its only crime was defending and sticking by its own ethics. The Associated Press and Kathleen Wright should be ashamed of themselves.

Also, I say this completely unironically: You never hear about the Christian churches that DO graciously host funerals for gay people. Only the ones that cancel them. The media has all sorts of biases but portraying the church in a positive light is not one of them.

Related articles:

The Romeo and Juliet Effect

Premarital Sex: Where Christians Get It Wrong

More Thoughts on Abortion



Ben said...

I agree with your take on this. The media has an agenda that is anti-church. In another article I read from the pastor said, "Can you hold the event and condone the sin and compromise our principles?" he said. "We can't."

Bravo sir, Bravo!

Anonymous said...

Great article, brother. Why wouldn't conservative Christians think that their beliefs are under fire? The media is telling the church that they shouldn't disagree with homosexual behavior. Thou shalt not tell anyone "thou shalt not".

Alan said...

Thank you for your thoughtful discussion on this matter. While the church can, and should, do a better job of reaching out to the world (this, of course, includes the homosexual community - along with everyone else), this type of treatment by the news media makes doing so very difficult. The church did the absolute right thing by refusing to hold the service at their church, but then did the Christ-like thing by offering to help find and fund another location. Tragically, the media doesn't see it that way.