Dunedin, New Zealand, my city - my people

Monday, January 27, 2014

Ashamed to be a follower.... yesterday.

I went to a funeral yesterday in a Church, I will not tell you the denomination of that Church. The funeral service was opened by the clergy person involved, with a brief prayer. Though the deceased person was religious it was obvious her big family was not. A son was invited to come and give a tribute which he did. Then a person from the Church gave a tribute, but took the opportunity to point out that the woman was "saved by the blood of Jesus like we all can be." We sang a hymn then the clergy person gave a sermon... thankfully quite brief, but essentially it was presenting this version of the gospel... we can be "saved by the blood of Jesus" - "all our sin and stumbling washed away, because Jesus paid the price".  Now I question that theology, and I squirm whenever I hear it. I will save that topic for another post... but... I just think it is inappropriate, uncouth and does the Church and the Christian faith a disservice to take the opportunity of a funeral to hit people over the head with the gospel! It is like saying to the grieving family, "Now we have got you in Church because your loved one has died, you are a captive audience so we will give you double barrels of religion!"  

I think it is unhelpful for those grieving! It is not ministering to their needs! It is not loving in the way Jesus loved! It is not "being all things to all people" as Paul did. It is not pastorally helping the family through the grieving process. It was a pastorally "cold" service. It was offensive and I felt deeply ashamed of the Christian Church. It was in my book, blasphemy!

I suspect Jesus would have been angered as he was angry at the religious zealots of his day for their religion which did not truly love people. 

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