The Church ‘Gay’ Vet (Cecil Sinclair) Memorial Flap: It’s the Behavior, Stupid!

If you think the homosexual activist movement and liberal media are going to lay off churches and religious groups as they promote legal rights based on homosexual sexual behavior and gender confusion (“transgender rights”), read this terrific piece by Paul Edwards.

By all indications, High Point Church in Arlington, Texas, had the right balance of love/compassion and Biblical truth, but it didn’t matter: the pro-homosexuality crowd and “mainstream” media still went after them. (Even FoxNews.com misled readers with its headline for the story.) Here is the church’s official statement on the Cecil Sinclair affair.

TAKE ACTION by CLICKING HERE to send the church a supportive e-mail and by sharing this story with your family, friends, pastor, priest or religious authority to educate them on the threat that pro-“gay” activism poses to people of faith and our freedoms.– Peter LaBarbera

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From radio talk show host Paul Edwards’ “God and Culture” blog:

The Gay Vet Memorial Flap: It’s the Lifestyle, Stupid!

By Paul Edwards

Posted August 14, 2007

The Main Stream Media wants you to believe that a conservative evangelical church deep in the Bible belt has refused to bury a Gulf War veteran because he was gay. Some in the Christian media want you to believe that the church hasn’t shown the love of Jesus to a dead man’s family. Neither is anywhere near the truth.

Here are the facts. High Point Church, a non-denominational church in Arlington, Texas, had been praying for Cecil Sinclair after Cecil’s brother, Lee (the only member of the Sinclair family who was a member of the church) requested prayer for his brother who had been awaiting a heart transplant. When Cecil Sinclair’s health became critical last week, the family called a staff member from the church to be with them at the hospital. In the hospital, in the moments immediately following Mr. Sinclair’s death, the family asked the staff member if the church would be open to holding a memorial service for their loved one. The staff member assured them the church would be available to help the family in any way appropriate, a response any pastor would give in that situation.

Cecil Sinclair was not a member of High Point Church, yet this church selflessly and sacrificially ministered to his family in the wake of his death, preparing and delivering food for the family and one hundred relatives and friends, along with many other expressions of kindness. The church offered to produce a video retrospective of Mr. Sinclair’s life for use during the memorial service. When the family provided the pictures to the church it was then that the church learned of their intention to make the memorial service a celebration of Cecil Sinclair’s gay lifestyle. One of the photos provided by the family “showed a man with his hand touching another man’s genitalia,” along with other inappropriate photos, according to a statement on the High Point Church website.

The family also requested that “an associate of an openly homosexual choir” officiate at the service and that the homosexual choir sing during the service. “It became clear to the church staff that the family was requesting an openly homosexual service at High Point Church – which is not our policy to allow,” the statement on the church’s website said. After initially agreeing to host the memorial service, the church informed the family it could not do so based on the direction they were taking service. The church then secured – and paid for – another location for the memorial service, which the family declined. The church also produced the memorial video without the inappropriate photos.

High Point Church did not refuse to host the funeral of a gay man, as is being widely reported in the main stream media. The church refused on biblical principle to allow a celebration of the homosexual lifestyle in its sanctuary, a decision most theologically sound churches would make under similar circumstances.

It’s not surprising to me that the main stream media would misrepresent the facts. But the response of some in Christian media has been even more disappointing. High Point Church and its leaders are being accused by Christians of not showing love to the family by not hosting a celebration of his gay lifestyle. I suppose visiting Cecil in the hospital, sitting with his family after he died, preparing meals for the family, paying the rent on an alternative venue, and producing an appropriate memorial video don’t qualify as “showing love” to the family? Others are calling it a “missed opportunity” for the church to reach out to the gay community. Still others have suggested that because homosexuality is a sin like any other sin, the church’s decision not to host a gay man’s memorial would prohibit it from holding memorial services for anyone because, after all, we are all sinners.

These people are missing the point. The church did not refuse to host the memorial service because Cecil Sinclair was gay. They refused to host the memorial service because the family was turning it into a celebration of the man’s sin – his homosexual lifestyle. Churches and ministers bury sinners every day. But we don’t highlight their sin on the big screen while we are doing it. We exalt Christ. We proclaim the gospel. And we celebrate the triumph of the cross over sin and death, none of which the family had in mind for Cecil Sinclair’s memorial service.

High Point Church’s principled and biblical decision was the right one, as is evidenced not only by just how unpopular it is with the main stream media, but also by the knee-jerk and ill-informed response of today’s culturally-savvy, but biblically illiterate Christians.

Listen HERE to Paul’s interview with Pastor Gary Simons of High Point Church. There are comments to Paul’s column on his “God and Culture” blog.

This article was posted on Wednesday, August 15th, 2007 at 2:15 pm and is filed under A - What does the Bible say about homosexuality?, Bible, D - GLBTQ Pressure Within Churches, E - Praying for the Lost, News, The Bible, Churches, & Homosexuality. You can follow any updates to this article through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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