The Rev. Sean Smith, pastor of Bethlehem Ev. Lutheran Church in Mason City, Iowa, joins the Rev. Dr. Phil Booe to discuss why pastors must sometimes refuse to officiate funerals.
It has been said, “funerals are for the living, not the dead,” and that pastors should never refuse to officiate a funeral. In this special free-text episode, Pastor Sean Smith disagrees. He then takes us to the Scriptures and the confessions to explain why presiding over the funeral of some people bears false witness. Other questions will be addressed: Do all people go to heaven? Can a person fall away after their baptism? Do I need to go to church to be a Christian? Aren’t pastors who refuse to officiate someone’s funeral judging them? What harm can there be in officiating the sermon of someone whose faith is unknown?
Thy Strong Word, hosted by Rev. Dr. Phil Booe, pastor of St. John Lutheran Church of Luverne, MN, reveals the light of our salvation in Christ through study of God’s Word, breaking our darkness with His redeeming light. Each weekday, two pastors fix our eyes on Jesus by considering Holy Scripture, verse by verse, in order to be strengthened in the Word and be equipped to faithfully serve in our daily vocations.
Thy Strong Word is graciously underwritten by the Lutheran Heritage Foundation. Through the mission gifts of people like you, LHF translates, publishes, distributes and introduces books that are Bible-based, Christ-centered and Reformation-driven. Learn more at lhfmissions.org.