Image via WikipediaI recently attended the celebration of life ceremony of my best friend, who recently died from a bacterial infection while camping in Hawaii.
I spent many years of my life discussing the deep questions with my friend, and both of us left the church together. His family did not take it the same way as my family. Both of his parents and other siblings constantly chided him and urged him to return to the fold.
My friend refused to see the world in such morally black and white terms that Christianity presented to him. When he died, his family wanted so badly to believe that he would be in heaven with them, that they began saying he had went back to Christ days before his death.
The family decided to hold a celebration of life ceremony at their long-time church. What started out as a celebration of stories and memories turned into the pastor explaining that our dear friend had returned back to Christ and that others should follow him. The pastor explained our friends struggle with faith in Christ, but said that he (our friend) eventually discovered he was wrong and decided to embrace the truth of Christ.
Having spent the last weekend with him, and hearing him discuss his lack of faith, made me angry to see this pastor turn the philosophy of a good friend into a propaganda tool for those attending the ceremony; who came to simply celebrate the life of another.
In the end, my friend's life and world view was wrongfully twisted to uphold something, he never believed in. I am not sure if I should contact the pastor to let him know how I felt by his actions, or just let it be my friend's family's final say.