It is a given that many fervent followers of the Bible are still hung up on the whole “human sexuality fact sheet,” but the lengths one North Carolina Baptist church has gone to lash out at a former member go truly above and beyond the already-high bar of ignorance set in Jesus’ name.
Or, as the leadership at First Baptist Church in Bostic, NC calls it, “Christian love and genuine spiritual concern.”
Upon learning that one of their former members, Kelly Toney, is in a — gasp — loving, committed marriage with another woman, the church took it upon themselves to intervene.
It didn’t matter that Kelly hadn’t actually attended the church in a decade and a half. Details, details.
The letter calls for Kelly to see the light, admit her sins, divorce her wife — essentially turn her happy, loving life completely upside-down so that it fits with one subjective interpretation of an ancient text. There’s just so much logic to it we don’t know what to do.
“If there is no willingness on your part to receive this appeal and display repentance and abandonment of this area of open immorality,” the church writes, “then the Church will have no choice but to take appropriate and prayerful action to address the standing of your fellowship with this Body at such a time that will be determined by the leadership and members of this congregation.”
The sad part is on some twisted level they think they are acting on a force of good, and that’s a delusion we can’t imagine will unwind itself easily.
In a message posted on Outsports, Kelly writes that while she attended the church with her family as a child, she parted ways with the congregation as she came to terms with her identity, seeing the disconnect between the two forces.
“Not once did I receive a letter saying I’ve been missed or to get back involved in church over the past 15 years,” she writes.
But once the church discovered Kelly’s marriage, they decided the Christian thing to do is meddle.
Here’s the fully letter she received: