Was the Minister Inappropriate

LincolnSpector

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Something happened that offended at a memorial service I attended recently. I'm wondering if I'm just thin-skinned.

Some background:

It was a real tragedy in the family. A 33-year-old woman died of breast cancer less than a year after being diagnosed.

Her father is my wife's step-brother, and ethnically Jewish. Both him and his wife (the deceased's mother) are completely secular.

Soon after her diagnosis, the young woman became a Christian. That didn't bother me in the slightest. I can understand why a religion with such an emphasis on life after death would appeal to someone in her condition.

So here's the issue:

As is appropriate, her minister officiated over the memorial service. He kept emphasizing that the really important thing was that she died a Christian, and therefore went to heaven. That was his primary theme.

I'm sure her parents felt comfort hearing she was in heaven, but the emphasis on guessing the "right" religion struck me as a slap in the face to every none Christian there--including the deceased's grandmother--a Holocaust surviver.
 

A Cup Of Tea

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For me it depends on the dialogue between the minister and the family in preparation for the service. Did the closest family voice objection after the service?
 

Quirkybird

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Something happened that offended at a memorial service I attended recently. I'm wondering if I'm just thin-skinned.

Some background:

It was a real tragedy in the family. A 33-year-old woman died of breast cancer less than a year after being diagnosed.

Her father is my wife's step-brother, and ethnically Jewish. Both him and his wife (the deceased's mother) are completely secular.

Soon after her diagnosis, the young woman became a Christian. That didn't bother me in the slightest. I can understand why a religion with such an emphasis on life after death would appeal to someone in her condition.

So here's the issue:

As is appropriate, her minister officiated over the memorial service. He kept emphasizing that the really important thing was that she died a Christian, and therefore went to heaven. That was his primary theme.

I'm sure her parents felt comfort hearing she was in heaven, but the emphasis on guessing the "right" religion struck me as a slap in the face to every none Christian there--including the deceased's grandmother--a Holocaust surviver.

Totally inappropriate, imo!:eek:
 

LincolnSpector

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For me it depends on the dialogue between the minister and the family in preparation for the service. Did the closest family voice objection after the service?

They didn't do it in front of me, and I didn't ask. For me to ask would have been very inappropriate.
 

Namaste Jesus

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On the surface, even though I am Christian, it does seem to be inappropriate as their were non-Christians in attendance. On the other hand as Tea points out, we don't know what, if any dialog took place between the family prior to the service.

Thing to remember though, the departed was Christian and being saved through Jesus is the primary belief. So, with that in mind, for the Minister to stress this point, while perhaps not appropriate to all in attendance, was at least respectful to the beliefs of the one that had passed.
 

Nick the Pilot

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"...for the Minister to stress this point, while perhaps not appropriate to all in attendance, was at least respectful to the beliefs of the one that had passed."

Any time any Christian begins to even suggest to a non-Christian that the non-Christian will go to hell because the non-Christian has chosen to not follow Jesus, the Christian is being very rude, offensive, and inappropriate.

Any time a Christian clergy man or woman is leading a mixed religious service with non-Christians in attendance (such as at a funeral with non-Christians in attendance) and the clergyman gets anywhere near insinuating that a non-Christian will go to hell because the non-Christian has chosen to not follow Jesus, the Christian clergyman is being very rude, offensive, and inappropriate.

It is one thing to say, "the dearly departed is now in heaven," but it entirely different to (repeatedly) say, "the dearly departed is now in heaven because they were Christian," especially when there are non-Christians in attendance.
 

Namaste Jesus

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I can see your point Nick. Simply being Christian is not going to get you into heaven. Nor is not being Christian going to get you an automatic ticket to hell. There's a lot more to it than that and if the Minister suggested otherwise that would be inappropriate. Of course, neither one of us was there and really don't know what exactly was said or how it was phrased.
 

iBrian

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It's simply a facet of being Christian. However, different churches may place different emphasis on the fact.
 

Nick the Pilot

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"It's simply a facet of being Christian."

--> Brian, are you saying that being obnoxious is "simply a facet of being Christian"? Or do you think such proselytizing is not obnoxious?
 

Irene

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I can understand why you took offense. But at the same time, if the family of the deceased is content with the service, there is not much others can say after all. Abrahamic religions, sadly, do have a tendency to be exclusionary of each other, but it all depends on the practitioner.
 

iBrian

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"It's simply a facet of being Christian."

--> Brian, are you saying that being obnoxious is "simply a facet of being Christian"? Or do you think such proselytizing is not obnoxious?

Like I said, a Christian priest emphasising that Christians go to Heaven is an integral part of Christianity. I am sure this is not a shock to most Jewish people.

I would presume that if anyone had a problem with this, they might raise it with the priest before the service - but, ultimately, it is the dead women's wishes to be respected.
 

Nick the Pilot

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The fact that Christians think only Christians go to heaven is one of the reasons I am not a Christian. I believe that all good Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, etc., go to heaven.
 

Namaste Jesus

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The fact that Christians think only Christians go to heaven is one of the reasons I am not a Christian. I believe that all good Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, etc., go to heaven.

Not all Christians believe that way Nick.

Most Christians, at least the ones I'm familiar with, believe that Jesus died for our sins so those sins may be forgiven and that this followed by repentance and leading a good life is but one path leading to heaven.

It is indeed unfortunate that some have mistranslated and misinterpreted the Bible to mean otherwise.
 

Frrostedman

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The fact that Christians think only Christians go to heaven is one of the reasons I am not a Christian. I believe that all good Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, etc., go to heaven.

What is considered good, and who defines it in the end.
 

Frrostedman

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Not all Christians believe that way Nick.

Most Christians, at least the ones I'm familiar with, believe that Jesus died for our sins so those sins may be forgiven and that this followed by repentance and leading a good life is but one path leading to heaven.

No offense intended at all, but, the Christians you associate with are not like most Christians in this regard. Jesus is the way and the life, and no one can see the Father (i.e. get to heaven) but through Christ. That's what the bible says, so it follows that most Christians, being bible-believers, do not subscribe to paths (plural) leading to heaven. One path. One way. Jesus Christ. That's the majority Christian view.

:)
 

Nick the Pilot

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"...most Christians...do not subscribe to paths (plural) leading to heaven. One path. One way. Jesus Christ. That's the majority Christian view."

--> Yes, that's right.
 

Nick the Pilot

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Frosty, you asked,

"What is considered good, and who defines it in the end."

--> Behavior is good if it accelerates our progress towards (heaven). Bad behavior is behavior which moves us further back on the path to (heaven).
 
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