In keeping with the religious bent on today’s blog posts let’s go with Bobbie Pierce.
Bobbie is twenty years old and has been going to Ambassador's Bible Chapel in Newberry Township, Pennsylvania for years; he was even baptized there. But now Bobbie is out, because he came out.
Pastor David Slautterback stood before his congregation last week and announced that he and the church elders had removed Bobbie Pierce from the church's membership because he failed to change his mind about his sexual orientation. Slautterback says he wants Pierce to repent for his sin and to return to fellowship at the church, where he is still welcome to attend as long as he does not cause division or speak contrary to scripture.
Or be gay. Be quiet and gay is okay, I guess, but don’t be gay and speak about it.
Bobbie has called the decision by the pastor to remove him from the church a hateful move, while the not-so-good pastor says Bobbie is the one guilty of hate because he took his story of being kicked out of the church to the media. But he says he doesn’t hate Bobbie, only that he "placed Bobbie under church discipline out of love for Bobbie and regard for his soul."
Oh, bless your heart Pastor, for telling Bobbie that you love him, but he has to get out of the church because he’s gay. I love you, now get out is not love.
Bobbie Pierce took his story to the York Daily Record's Facebook posting the letter he received from the church. He did so because he wanted people to know what was happening to him, and because he wants other gay men and women in the area to know they are not alone.
"I've heard so many stories of someone who is homosexual who has a strict Christian family, who commits suicide."--Bobbie Pierce
He admitted that he has felt that way a few times, but his friends have helped him to feel better. He also says he didn’t choose to be gay, and has done research, looking up scripture and interpretations of scripture online. He believes he is a Christian, and said "homosexuality isn't a sin, it isn't a choice."
Slautterback disagrees, reciting a passage from the Bible to prove his point; like Matthew 5:27–28, which says "Thou shalt not commit adultery, but...whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart."
Um, I doubt Bobbie Pierce is looking on women with lust, Pastor.
But Slautterback thinks Bobbie Pierce can and should change.
"I do not believe that a homosexual person has to be homosexual any more than I believe that a person who is inclined to steal steals."—Pastor David Slautterback
Yes, folks, in the tiny addled mind of David Slautterback, being gay is akin to being a thief.
But, no matter what Slautterback says, Bobbie Pierce plans to continue attending Ambassador's Bible Chapel "to show that I'm going to rise above the hate, or at least I'm not afraid." Bobbie also says he'll keep going because he takes his grandmother, who is in a wheelchair, to church every week. Plus, he said, he's grateful to have some people from the church in his life.
"The members of the church are like a family. That's where I grew up. Even with the non-acceptance of homosexuality, it's still my church where I felt comfortable."—Bobbie Pierce
And though some of the more liberal churches have wrestled with, and accepted, the notion of allowing gay members, Slautterback says that isn’t so for his church:
"I realize the conservatives are in the minority today, it doesn't mean we're wrong. Those kinds of (conservative) churches by and large are not wrestling it. This (homosexuality) has been a sin since the scriptures were written."
Here’s one thought for you, pastor, about your judgment; I’m gonna leave you with one of my favorite quotes by comedian Lynne Lauer:
“The Bible contains six admonishments for homosexuals and 362 admonishments for heterosexuals. That doesn’t mean that God doesn’t love heterosexuals. It just means that they need more supervision.”
Think on that.