Yesterday while at the Hairdresser, they were talking about a friend of theirs whose wife died and they had no ends of problems trying to find a church to have the funeral. They went on to tell me that they had approached the church I became a member of and used to attend for about 15 years, who denied them having the funeral there because the woman was a Informal Commercial Importer (ICI) or what we commonly call "higgler" in Jamaica. They thought that because of the person she was when she was alive, it would not be in the best interest of the I don't know what of the church, but they would not be able to accomodate a woman who lived in the same community where the church is situated because the patrons would smoke, drink, curse, etc. on the church compound.
IMHO, the church is there as a community service to its members and the community in which it is located. I find such demonstration of hypocrisy absolutely wrong. It goes against basic christian principles to deny those you think to be "unfit" of utilizing a community service. What they have in essence done is decided that this person is not worthy of a spiritual burial in their place of worship because of the life the person led while they were alive. Does the church have the right to decide that? Is this not the church "judging" an individual? Christianity should be about embracing non-christians. Jesus himself said in the bible that he comes not to save the righteous, but the sinners. The epitomy of Christian behaviour was demonstrated by Jesus through the people with whom he interacted while he was on earth. The "low lifes" of society were the persons he would be seen with and criticized heavily for. The modern day church is now turning its back on the example set by "the big man".
It is because of several hypocricies I witnessed and eventually became the victim of why my desire to be a part of that church community became non-existent. I know that I shouldn't let the behaviours of others prevent me from participating in the fellowship which is also very important. However, I refuse to become caught up in the double standard that I see in every church. I am content in my one-on-one interaction with God and in smaller groups of which I am a part. And then the church wonders why people do not readily come to be a part of the happy life they preach about. Until they realize that what will draw people to them is the way in which they live their lives, the Christian fellowship they share with every single individual they come in contact with, and not the acts of shun, judgement, condemnation and condescension (I acutally searched dictionary.com to see if this was spelt right ... and it was!) that they so frequently demonstrate.