DUELING OBITUARIES--THE DIVISIVE CHRIST

GARY W. SUMMERS

   

Ordinarily, Steve Blow, columnist for The Dallas Morning News, writes human interest stories, many of which are well done. In personal correspondence, he is a kind and gracious man, and we have no personal ill will against him whatsoever. When he writes about homosexuality, however, he betrays his clean-cut image and his own religious background, choosing to side with the liberal news and entertainment media. The latest evidence of his defense of those who practice "vile passions," which the Scriptures say are "against nature" (Rom. 1:26), is found in his June 5th column: "Dueling Obituaries Reveal Depths of Tragedy."

The column involves the true story of the death of a 27-year-old woman, whose departure brought about two published obituaries in the paper--and who had two funerals conducted in her honor! At the time of the column's publication, no one knew why this young woman (a nurse) was traveling the wrong direction on a freeway, which caused a collision that killed her and three others. Was she inebriated? Did she suffer a heart attack? Or was she dissatisfied with her life and chose oncoming traffic as a means of suicide? Perhaps answers will be forthcoming. Or they may not.

One obituary listed a "life partner" among the survivors; the other one failed to mention that individual. "One service was at the predominantly gay Cathedral of Hope, the other at Prestonwood Baptist Church" (19A). [As a side point, Cathedral of Hope is a misnomer if there ever was one. Those who are without Christ (and those who deliberately and perpetually violate His will are) have no hope (Eph. 2:12; 1 John 5:16-17).]

Blow's bias is seen in his assessment of the situation:

The story is one that's familiar in the gay and lesbian community: one parent who can accept a child's homosexuality, and another who can't (19A).

If this does not seem like a great deal of spin is being used, try the following substitutions.

The story is one that's familiar in the pedophile community: one parent who can accept the molestation of children and one who can't.

The story is familiar in the prison community: one parent who can accept a child's murderous proclivities and one who can't.

If these sound absurd, that is precisely the point; the same passage that condemns homosexuality as a sin also condemns sexual immorality (fornication, which includes homosexuality, pedophilia, bestiality, etc.) and murder. Why does Blow agree with the latter two but seek to sanctify homosexuality?

Furthermore, what exactly obligates a parent to accept evil conduct in a child? Many people are dumbfounded and amazed to discover that the Catholic Church has been protecting sexually deviant priests; in many cases they knew that certain priests had been molesting young boys; yet those in charge protected these perverted priests legally and religiously. Would the columnist dare to write: "The story is a familiar one in the clerical community: One bishop who can accept a priestŐs homosexuality, and another who can't"?

Blow's comment about the parents' disagreement viewing their daughter is only valid if what she had done was a matter of option--not a clear violation of the Word of God. If her father had not wanted her to be a flight attendant or an explosives expert, he might have a valid thesis, but he ignores the Bible's teaching against homosexuality and proceeds as if everyone should accept the practice. In fact, the thesis of the article is that people should accept homosexuality, but since he starts with that as an assumption, it is scarcely startling that he reaches such a conclusion.

At the age of 22 the woman now deceased announced that she was a lesbian. Her mother's response was, "Good for you!" (19A). While this reaction proves that her mother has no morals (she might have said the same thing if her daughter had announced she was joining a Mafia hit squad), it certainly does not prove rightness. Her father had a much more sound, Biblical approach. He communicated his love for her via a written message, calling her to repentance.

Blow, however, even displayed this action in an unfavorable light by quoting the lesbian lover's version of it: "He wrote this astronomically long letter that talked about how he was a Christian and how he wanted his daughter in heaven with him" (20A). If, in fact, the father wrote an astronomically long letter to her, why is he not credited with loving her enough to do so? Police officers (her father's occupation) are probably accustomed to making brief reports; a long letter was probably out of the ordinary for him. One can only imagine the grief of a parent who is mortified to find that his daughter had chosen to conduct herself in such an evil manner. Fathers whose daughters choose to live with a man outside of marriage should be just as appalled and shocked.

The once-close father and daughter would see each other only a few times over the next five years (20A).

This is truly a sad situation, but it is time that parents and others stand up to the entertainment media philosophy, which states that, "If you don't accept this perversion, you are an intolerant bigot." No. Those who refuse to accept and tolerate sin are standing with their principles and convictions--something the world will never understand (James 4:3-4).

Lot is the prime example. He is called a righteous man (2 Peter 2:8), but he apparently was one of those non-judgmental types that we are all encouraged to be. He was "oppressed with the filthy conduct of the wicked" (2 Peter 2:7), but he did not take his family and leave that homosexual paradise. Part of his family was destroyed in the fire and brimstone God sent upon it; his wife turned into a pillar of salt; and his two daughters plied him with wine, seduced him, and bore children who founded idolatrous nations (Moab and Ammon). Such are the rewards of tolerance!

The father did not respond to requests for an interview by Mr. Blow. Perhaps he was familiar with the unfavorable columns he wrote concerning the Baptists' stand against homosexuality. Most people do not believe that the news media gives a fair representation towards "Christendom," which is generally true. They will highlight dissension amidst religious sects, the evil that sometimes infiltrates into various groups (such as the pedophile priests), homosexual churches, and the bizarre practices of certain cults (even if they were formed at the prompting of blue men), but they seldom present much favorable toward those who live by faith and adhere to Biblical principles. Since righteousness does not interest most people, it would probably prove to be a waste of valuable newspaper space. Most people have seen how the news media treats those subscribing to religious principles; it is not hard to fathom that the father would choose to be silent.

Two Funerals

This woman's parents were divorced when she was only seven. They had cooperated in the raising of their daughter, however, and remained amicable until the revelation of her homosexuality. Although death often draws people together (temporarily, at least), in this case closeness did not occur. The two could not agree on funeral arrangements. Although Blow does not give specifics, he does say that the two could not come to agreement.

The final results imply that the mother wanted the funeral at the Cathedral of Hope, and the father did not want to conclude his daughter's life in such a den of sinfulness. We cannot blame him, if in fact his ex-wife insisted upon it. Or maybe they just could not agree on the color of the casket. At any rate, two funeral services were held.

The one at the Prestonwood Baptist Church was conducted on Thursday in the presence of an empty casket. The other funeral was conducted at the "Cathedral" on Friday. The mother included this comment in her daughter's obituary: "Melodi will be present for the service" (20A), which was an inaccurate "cheap shot." Melodi's spirit returned to God Who assigned her a place in torment with other unrepentant sinners who chose in their lives to defy God. Only her body remained behind to be buried, where it will remain until the day of resurrection, when it will come forth--to the resurrection of damnation (John 5:28-29). Those who encouraged her in her sin will also be required to give an answer for their behavior.

All sides of the family did manage to attend the graveside service that afternoon. But bitterness was thick in the air. Divisions had even developed among Melodi's many friends.

"It should have all been so simple," her stepfather...sighed this week. "It should have been about Melodi" (20A).

Sorry, pal. Melodi made her own decisions. She had to live with them--and die with them. If a pedophile priest had died in a car accident, would it not have affected his funeral--even where he might have been allowed to be buried? When John Gotti died, was everyone supposed to gather around his casket and sing, "For he's a jolly good fellow"? Some in the news media probably did. All manner of tributes sprang up in praise of the man, as if he were some kind of celebrity hero, rather than a thug.

Blow's column ends with another quotation from the lesbian lover. Apparently, at the graveside, some of Melodi's friends brought rainbow flags with them (the rainbow has been adopted as a homosexual symbol).

"The whole meaning of those flags is to not judge, to not discriminate, to not hate. We stood under those flags and did that" (20A).

These final words of the article were predictable. We would be gravely disappointed (shocked, actually) if an article in favor of homosexuality did not include something about "judging" somewhere in it. Why is it that only people who are guilty of sin talk about not judging (them, in particular)?

Of course, the motive for rejecting homosexuality could not be one of principle, or righteousness, or of humbly submitting to the will of God--oh, no. Our non-"judgmental" friends have determined that all who oppose them are motived by HATE. Will they attribute hate to God? God hates all sin, and He will take vengeance on those who sin with eternal fire--particularly mentioned are those who have "gone after strange flesh," those who "defile the flesh," and those who "reject authority" (Jude 7-8).

Yes, God and those who follow Him are guilty of HATE. If writing "astronomically" long letters which express love, anguish, and a plea to give up that which is sinful is hate, then we are guilty. If telling people that they do not have to live in such an unnatural manner, that they can change, that they can repent and be forgiven by God is hate, then we are guilty. If Paul could write that homosexuals (and others) would not inherit the kingdom of God but that people can change and repent of that sin (1 Cor. 6:9-11), then he is guilty of hate. If the Innocent Son of God could endure the cross, despising the shame (Heb. 12:2), and pour out his soul unto death (Is. 53:12) so that people could be cleansed from sins like homosexuality, then the loving Savior is guilty of hate.

Or maybe homosexuals and their sympathizers just refuse to accept the Truth. In the same passage where Paul calls homosexuality a vile passion and against nature, he writes that those who became such first suppressed the Truth in unrighteousness (Rom. 1:18). Like many of those with advanced degrees today, people previously have professed themselves to be wise, when they were actually fools (Rom. 1:22). Like their Old Testament contemporaries, they "exchanged the truth of God for the lie" (Rom. 1:25). The Bible does not foster hatred, but neither does it authorize sinful behavior; rather it repudiates it (which one should expect from a holy God).

Division

The dual thesis of this column is that one should accept the sin of homosexuality and that division over this sin is tragic. Those who do not know or abide by the Scriptures seem to think that all division is bad and that all tolerance is good. Particularly is division bad in this instance, they aver, because Melodi's family and friends could not even be together in remembering her.

The Bible does not teach that a family divided is bad. On the contrary, Jesus said:

"Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to 'set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.' And 'a man's foes will be those of his own household'" (Matt. 10:34-36).

...or a daughter against her father. Sometimes, the division is not over Jesus per se; it may be over Jesus' doctrine or (as in this case) Jesus' morality. When a child is raised to love God and respect the Bible but then departs from those precepts, stubbornly and rebelliously persisting in ungodliness, she is the one who caused the division--not the father.

Of course, it may be that he had no religion when she was younger and only came to it after the divorce. If this were the case, the father had found something better than what he had, but the daughter was not interested: in either case, Jesus is the focal point of the division. Ultimately, we all (fathers, mothers, daughters, sons, newspaper columnists) must ask, "With whom do we stand? Do we take what the Bible teaches as authoritative in all matters of morality? Or do we side with the popular culture of the day?"

Standing up for Jesus is the right thing to do, and it does not mean hating mankind. We all ought to despise SIN, which makes people miserable now and causes them to be lost in eternity. No true Christian, however, hates sinners. We all know how appealing sin is and what we have had to overcome in our own lives. We cannot apologize for labeling the evil actions of others by their rightful names, and we must continue to present the truth concerning the judgment to come (Acts 17:31). Therefore, we continually call on those who are alienated from God (and without hope) to repent.

*Send comments or questions concerning this article to Gary Summers. Please refer to this article as: "DUELING OBITUARIES--THE DIVISIVE CHRIST" (06/23/02).


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