[Out of Ur] 24 Oct 2007--In August, leaders at High Point Church in Arlington, Texas, “cancelled a memorial service for a Navy veteran shortly before it was to start because the deceased was gay.” That is how the event was described by the Associated Press. The report ignited a firestorm of bad press for the church with many accusing the congregation of homophobia.
Initially, High Point Church had volunteered to host the funeral because the dead man was the relative of a church employee. However, the church withdrew the offer when the family asked that a choir of homosexual men (Turtle Creek Chorale) perform at the funeral. In addition, they wanted a homosexual minister to officiate the service. The church’s decision to cancel the funeral was “a slap in the face” according to the man’s sister.
The Dallas Morning News reported that the church’s reason for cancelling the funeral had nothing to do with the man’s homosexuality but that “his friends and family wanted that part of his life to be a significant part of the service.” This contradicted the church’s policy and beliefs.
A statement released by High Point Church said:
The issue was not whether we would hold a memorial service for someone in a lifestyle of sin. We have assisted many families in this regard. The issue was whether we would allow an openly homosexual service that celebrated and emphasized homosexuality in our church. We love the homosexual, but cannot condone the homosexual lifestyle. We could not allow homosexuality to be glorified in this house of worship.