I had a very strange experience this week, that I hope someone can help me to better understand. As a rule, whenever the funeral home calls needing somebody to preside over a funeral, if I am available, I say YES. I do that because I feel it is better for me to preach grace in the time of loss for a family, rather than have someone else preach how the loved one is gone forever --- forced to spend eternity separated from God. (In other words, in Hell.) I don’t think any family needs to hear that at any time!
This week I conducted a funeral for a young man who committed suicide. And to add to the family’s misery, he had never been baptized. The family was Roman Catholic, but of course the Catholic Church would not do the service, since this young man was cursed to go to Hell. This is where I came in. Why this was so strange, and the part I don’t understand is while the Roman Catholic church turned their back on them, and said that the young man was going to hell, the family still put a rosary in his had, and repeatedly genuflect over the coffin.
Somebody help me here! If the “church” said I was going to hell, why would I still honor the church in the service? Are those rituals that are jammed down our throats as children so ingrained that we cannot even recognize the hypocrisy in them?
Out faith must make sense, we should not have to check our brains in our relationship with God, otherwise, at some point we will realize the disconnect, and that is exactly what we will do with God.