Recently I attended a funeral for a church lady of whom it was said that she displayed unconditional love. In the song which followed we directed to sing these words: “He will never, never leave me or forsake me here, while I live by faith and do His blessed will.” The deceased was credited with unconditional love while God will never forsake me if… I ask myself this question, could the dear departed wife and mother, no matter how saintly, out-love God. Could she display unconditional love for her family and friends while God can only love under strict circumstances? How can we possibly believe that a human can outdo God Almighty in the love department? Preposterous!
Yet again this is an example of how at funerals our real theology comes into sharp focus. When a family grieves a loved one, those in attendance at the funeral are generally ready to give the deceased the benefit of the doubt as to their eternal destiny. Better not to delve into the issue of their church membership or salvation status at a time like that. It’s too late anyway, right? We should just mouth our words of comfort and leave the rest up to God. Now I am all for leaving everything up to God, both before, during, and after the funeral. Things left up to God are in good hands. Things left to man, not so.
If the evangelicals really believed their own orthodoxy most funerals would be anything but comforting for all those involved. In fact, they would be a surreal, horrific, emotional disaster. Forget about celebrating a life. Forget about abating grief. Oh, to just forget, period.
Instead, forget the false doctrines that place us in this impossible position of believing that God can be so small. Forget what has been historically taught and begin to believe in a Big, Big God. In fact, demand for yourself a Big God because God will always be bigger in love than we could ever imagine.