A North Carolina church tracked down a former member and sent her a letter expressing their disapproval over her same-sex marriage, Queerty reported.
The letter, signed by the pastor and deacons at the First Baptist Church in Bostic, called on Kelly Toney to “display repentance and abandonment of this area of open immorality,” adding that failure to do so would leave the church “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 church insisted that the message was not intended to “condemn or cast down” Toney.
“If it is received and seen in any way other than in the outreach of Christian love and genuine spiritual concern, then the true nature of this letter has been misinterpreted,” it stated.
Toney responded in a letter of her own sent to Outsports, stating that neither she nor her wife, Lori Ann Toney, have attended First Baptist in 15 years. She also said that she has never received a letter asking her to return during that time.
“My then-fiance and I have never stepped foot into that church!” Toney wrote. “I’ve never asked anyone of them to compromise their beliefs! I’ve only asked to love me for me and the loving person I am!! We decided to ask a friend of ours that was ordained to marry us! We got married outside and nowhere near a church!!”
She also said that before leaving First Baptist, she revealed her sexuality to some members of the church without getting a negative response.
The church has received several 1-star ratings on its Facebook page after reports of its letter to Toney, as well as several critical posts.
“Do you also revoke membership to those members who eat at the Red Lobster? What about the ones who have to work on the Sabbath? Anybody there wear mixed fabrics or a gold wedding band that is being kicked out ? Do your women cut their hair and have membership revoked?” read one comment. “No, I didn’t think so. Your blatant ignorance of the loving acceptance that embodies the story of Christ is the worst kind of ignorance. You sit in judgement against the guidance of the very book you profess to uphold.”