Save the Preacher from Lying
For the past few weeks, my neighbourhood church has had the following sign displayed:
"LIVE YOUR LIFE SUCH THAT
THE PREACHER DOES NOT HAVE TO
LIE AT YOUR FUNERAL"
It's a long-winded way of saying "Be good!" But is it an effective way of saying it?
Does anyone think that what the preacher might have to say at their funeral would have any weight in making the choice between good and evil?
When other factors are taken into account such as reputation and possible jail time in the current life, and the threat of eternal damnation in the afterlife, I somehow think the possibility of a preacher lying at a funeral does not carry much significance.
In any event, why should the preacher feel any requirement to lie about the deceased? I've been to funerals where the clergyman has skated over the issue by saying something like "I didn't know the deceased that well, but here is what his family and friends had to say..." Alternatively, the preacher can opt right out of the eulogy and let family and friends do it.
Regardless of how the deceased lived his or her life, there is no need for the preacher to lie... at least about the person in the coffin. It is not that part of the service where the preacher has to lie. But, it is highly likely they aren't telling the truth when they preach with absolute certainty about a deity and an afterlife.