Proving once again that plenty of Christians still don’t have a clue what Jesus was talking about, a Dallas-area church’s members have been publicly shamed by a gay man who was ejected from their community after revealing his sexuality to them, Pink News reported. On the one-year anniversary of his being cast out of the community, Jason Thomas posted his response to the Elders on Facebook
In its original letter, Watermark Community Church told Thomas that it had exhausted its attempts to help him see the error of his ways. In a letter dated October 9, 2015, the Elders wrote: [I]n our attempt to shepherd you, we have recognised a destructive pattern that prohibits us in caring for you and playing the role you desire for us to have in your life (1 Peter 5:1-4; Acts 20:28). Specifically, your desire to actively participate in a same-sex relationship with another man, and your unwillingness to heed biblical counsel from your church to turn from that relationship, has made it exceedingly difficult to shepherd you during this time.” The verses selected to justify their actions argue that elders are responsible for guarding the community of believers.
Thomas was told that if he wished to remain a part of the community, he would have to submit to a series of actions. These included: “1. Faithful attendance of Re:Generation targeting the above issue, while following counsel to not be in a dating relationship during that time. 2. Meet with a Watermark staff member who shares in the same struggle (same sex attraction) who has found freedom, healing, and victory through our Savior Jesus Christ (just let Brandon know when you’re ready to meet with him.” (Notice that the Elders “outed” a member of the church who may not have wanted to have his sexuality revealed to Thomas.)
A year later, Thomas posted his response on Facebook in which he told Watermark that he had never been happier, thank you very much, and told the church that it should subject its own behavior to scrutiny. He wrote: “Here we are a year later and you are still doing to others what you did to me. You are tarnishing the name of God to Christians and non-Christians alike; you should be ashamed of yourselves! Do not forget, Jesus was a angry with people just like you who said certain groups of people were not worthy to be followers of Him.”
Thomas is clearly disappointed that in its year away from him, the church failed to reflect on how it has made life for its gay members hell, and how its actions make God look bad in the larger community. He says that while he was struggling to understand his sexuality, the church “turned its back on me.” He also insisted that Jesus would take his side in this battle, telling the church Elders that they are not worthy to be Jesus’ followers.
George Herbert once said that “Living well is the best revenge.” Thomas lets the church know that it has failed in its attempts to ruin his life: “Thank you for removing yourself from my life! I am who God made me to be. I cannot change my sexual orientation and nor would I want to. I now have internal peace and happiness unlike ever before.”
Embarrassed by the onslaught of the attention, Watermark church issued a statement, which is reprinted in the Dallas News. The statement insists that it continues to love all its members, but then says that a member can lose their standing when they stop trying to “resist sin” and “refuses our help, care, and encouragement.”
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