Monday, August 13, 2007

The Power of Love

The case of Cecil Sinclair, a gay man whose funeral High Point Church in Arlington, Texas refused to host after they found out about his sexual orientation, has brought the usual howls of outrage from the usual suspects -- which, as QuakerJono succintly notes, seems inconsistent with their usual disdain for living gay people being associated with any church.

The best reaction I have seen, though, comes from the partner of the deceased himself, Paul Wagner.
Hopefully your reading this helps to make sense of what occurred. I fully understand the church’s right to deny us the use of their facilities. I also served in the military, (US Army, 1987-2002), and I have fought to defend their freedom of religion and freedom of choice.

If just one couple or family can be saved from having to suffer the same as we did, I would consider all this to have been worthwhile. I truly believe all congregations need to have more open communication between all their members, so that the person who had initially welcomed us into their church would have known that is was not acceptable in the eyes of their leaders, and the entire issue would have been avoided.

If we had known from the beginning we were not welcome, or the offer had never been made, we would have just continued making the same arrangements we finally had in the end. Nothing we did for Cecil's remembrance ceremony was changed, other than the location.

Now that is personal faith, turning the other cheek, and selflessness.

And it also drives home the wisdom of Proverbs 25:21 - 22 (and repeated in Romans 12:20):
If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat;
if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.

In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head,
and the LORD will reward you.

Thank you, Mr. Wagner. With your words, you've made the most powerful argument that one possibly can: the ability to respect and show love to those who have rejected you.

The very definition of "Christlike".

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