Gerald Harris, Editor of The Christian Index, the Baptist state paper of Georgia, wrote a pastoral essay for Baptist Press that offers sober, practical counsel for pastors who inevitably minister at memorials for people who possessed no Christian testimony. He writes:
"...some pastors are torn between integrity and compassion and in an effort to add comfort to the family they become universalists -– giving the family some hope that their loved one may have been granted eternal life by a gracious and benevolent God."
Any pastor who has served long has been tempted to soften the reality of afterlife, making it more emotionally palatable for the hurting families. I have sat in that chair more than once and I have to say, there is a thumb tack sticking me every time.
Log on and read Dr. Harris' entire essay. He makes good biblical sense while offering seasoned, pastoral experience.
With that, I am...