Deel in die ryk seëninge uit God se WOORD! Dit sal ook lekker wees om van jou te hoor! Neem dus vrymoedigheid om kommentaar te lewer (by OPMERKINGS), maar doen dit asseblief altyd op 'n smaakvolle en verantwoordbare manier. Onbeheerste galbrakery sal nie geplaas word nie... Die opinies hier uitgespreek is my eie tensy duidelik anders vermeld. Hierdie webjoernaal is nie 'n amptelike spreekbuis van die NG Kerk in Namibië of die Tsumeb gemeente nie.
Woensdag, 22 Oktober 2014
- het baie begrafnisse (troosdienste) evangelielose en mensverheerlikende seremonies geword?
Sommige begrafnisse het in begrapnisse ontaard! Herdenkingsdienste (lewensvierings!) verheerlik meesal die mens in plaas van die Seun van die Mens. Die oorledene se lof en (dikwels geheime onsigbare en veronderstelde) Christenskap word besing op ‘n manier wat eerlike begrafnisgangers hulle koppe in skaamte laat sak. (sal hulle ooit weer 'n prediker se opinie vertrou?) Party troosdienste het verander in vertonings en vermaak. Die baie kerse voor die kansel moet vergoed vir die gebrek aan evangelie op die kansel... Die leraar word getransformeer tot ‘n sjamaan wat ritualistiese gebede op allerhande plekke moet prewel of ‘n seremoniemeester wat die hoorders moet oortuig om goed te voel oor hulleself en die oorledene. Dit sou dalk kon snaaks wees, maar nou beroof dit baie mense van die geleentheid om die evangelie te hoor... Craig A. Parton stel dit dalk ‘n bietjie sterk (onthou dis vanuit ‘n Amerikaanse konteks, en ek deel ook nie noodwendig al sy sentimente nie), maar hier is heelwat stof tot nadenke... (en sommer ‘n goeie klomp humor...)
Parton : I've concluded that the typical evangelical funeral can go quite a ways to making a person an atheist. I've also concluded that the church needs to reclaim the fundamental truth that Christianity is primarily for dying. Not primarily for living, but for dying; and because it is primarily about preparing to die, it has something profound to offer about living. Funerals need to rediscover death and thus once again have something to say to the living.
Before looking at the causes of the death of the funeral, a true confession about a funeral--oops, sorry, a celebration of life--I recently attended. (I am just getting out of theological therapy from the experience.)
My rescue came from the Christian funeral and burial of my mother, who died on Epiphany. All I can say is thanks be to God for a Christ-centered burial liturgy, for a graveside service providing the godly focus on the death of death, and for a faithful pastor bringing Jesus in his forgiving and saving office to all present.
A Fun-eral from Hell
"Bob" was a prominent evangelical businessman. He surfed. He married. He procreated. He made barn loads of money. And so the assembly was treated to body-length photos of Bob the Action Figure. Of course, this celebration lacked a few things that definitely would be a downer at any celebration--distractions like a dead body or that troubling casket. Come to think of it, the words "dying," "dead," or "death" were real no-nos during the whole celebration, which was led by a man whom my wife refers to now as simply "Mr. Happy Pastor."
Happy Pastor is one of those cool, laid-back, California surfer-dude, Hawaiian-shirted, Plexiglas pulpit, megachurch guys who is well prepared to be a personal assistant to a Hollywood celebrity or to work in a hip music studio as the sound board operator. (En van ons NG ouens probeer hard om hierdie pêrre na te boots...? – Johannes) He has the spiritual gifts of being funny, relevant, and cool. He just was not into bringing the pure gospel of grace and forgiveness of sins in Jesus. He worked relentlessly hard that morning to eliminate any confrontation with the deadly duo of sin and death. Into that vacuum, he put Bob's really cool life and a really cool celebration.
This may come as a shock, but Jesus of Calvary was not part of Happy Pastor's fun-eral. And you do show what is indispensable to you theologically (and in every other way) when you gather that last time over someone who has departed this earth for the next world. What was clearly nonnegotiable was anything upbeat--upbeat stories, upbeat music, upbeat pictures, and an upbeat Pelagian theology. Oh, and a pastor who himself was upbeat the whole time because after all this was not a negative, pessimistic, gaudy, legalistic, liturgical "funeral" but a "celebration of life."
The phrase "celebration of life" is like the words "healing" and "closure," all terms that have the scintilla of truth in them necessary to often mask the primal smell of sulphur.
The obligatory testimonials (the raising up of Bob's good deeds for all to see) were the center of Happy Pastor's fun-time celebration--and they went on ad nauseam.
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