From Allie Martin and One News Now.
“The pastor of a Texas church that refused to host a memorial service for a homosexual says the entire story has not been reported in the national media.
Gary Simons is pastor of High Point Church in Arlington. Last week, Lee Sinclair — an employee and also a member of the church — called a church staff member to let them know his brother, Cecil, was in critical condition and in the hospital. Cecil Sinclair, who was not a member, died a short time later.
The church offered to host Mr. Sinclair’s memorial service for free. However, when the family submitted photos for a memorial service video, Pastor Simons says church staff became concerned.
“One of the female staff personnel had called me — I was on a family vacation — and said, ‘We have some inappropriate photos here and we don’t know what to do.’ And I [asked], ‘Well, what do you mean inappropriate?’ [She responded] ‘Well, openly homosexual.'”
Also, friends and family wanted a local homosexual choir to sing at the service, as well as an open mike so anyone attending the memorial service could speak. In addition, ministers of the church would not be allowed to direct the service or to have control over what was said or emphasized. “Basically, they were asking us for our place of worship — but they were going to celebrate what they wanted to celebrate,” says Simons. “And of course homosexuality is not something — [according to] our principles, based in the Word of God — that we celebrate.”
Consequently, the pastor says, the decision was made to retract the offer to host the memorial service because the event would have been a celebration not of the Navy veteran’s life, but instead of the homosexual lifestyle.
“We had to live by our principles,” says Simons of that decision. “We would hypocritical if we didn’t stand by what we believed concerning homosexuality. We believe the Word of God does not condone homosexuality. But at the same time, we made a strong attempt to practice the love of Jesus.”
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