Defrocked UM pastors gather at Foundry UMC

Jimmy Creech and Beth Stroud join the Rev. Dean Snyder in addressing the Foundry United Methodist Church.

Jimmy Creech and Beth Stroud join the Rev. Dean Snyder in addressing the Foundry United Methodist Church.

by  Jan  Lawrence*

Washington, DC — Three former United Methodist pastors who have had their credentials removed related to issues around homosexuality appeared together yesterday at a special worship service at the Foundry United Methodist Church in Washington, D.C. Advertised as a service for hope and justice, Frank Schaefer, Jimmy Creech, and Beth Stroud all spoke, proclaiming their belief that GLBT persons should be fully welcomed into all aspects of The United Methodist Church.

Schaefer, who was defrocked this past November for presiding at the wedding ceremony of his gay son, was the featured preacher for the morning, drawing on Luke 8:22-25 and Matthew 14: 25-32 for his text.

“God is asking all of us to step out of the boat of comfort onto the waters …. even if it means we have to risk everything,” Schaefer said in his second address to the Foundry congregation this month.

 His message was simple: God wants us to have faith,” and when we do he will help us face the storm. “When we get distracted and take our eye off of Jesus,” Schaefer said, “God will lift us out of the waters, just as he did Peter in the scripture above.”

Schaefer related how he had risked and lost it all when he said to the jury what he believed God had put on his heart, “I cannot refuse ministry to anyone based on their sexual orientation.” He called these extraordinary times.  Schaefer said that God asks his followers to have faith in situations in life where we don’t believe it is possible. He reminded the congregation that God will never leave them and will sustain them. “God is always going to make sure that we are okay,” Schaefer said.

Frank Schaefer preaches to the Foundry UMC congregation.

Frank Schaefer preaches to the Foundry UMC congregation.

Schaefer spoke about his experience of being thrust into the public eye, meeting people he has never encountered before who thank him for the impact his witness has had on them. He said, “If you follow God’s call, it will have a tremendous impact on people everywhere.” He remarked that he has speaking engagements lined up into the near future and is busier preaching than he was before the trial.

Schaefer told the story of Heather, a lesbian who contacted him recently. She told him that her experience growing up in the United Methodist Church was to learn that Jesus had grace for everyone (murders, prostitutes, tax collectors),… “but, not for people like me.” He reminded the congregation that there was someone else who understood: “My God! My God! Why hast thou forsaken me?”.  His message to Heather and the congregation is that Jesus knows what you are going through and feeling.

The January 26th service also included Jimmy Creech and Beth Stroud, former UM clergy, who previously had their credentials removed for violating the Book of Discipline. Creech was defrocked for celebrating a holy union for two male parishioners from his appointed church, and Stroud for being in a committed, covenant relationship with her female partner.

Creech quoted an author who had remarked that there were many individual heroes of the faith but only a few communities that carry that title, and that Foundry is one of them.  Stroud thanked Foundry for its strong ministry and reminded the congregation that LGBT people are not the only oppressed people in the church, mentioning her fear was that the UMC might become a church where affluent LGBT people are welcomed while homeless LGBT youth of color will still perish.

After the service there was a panel discussion where each of the three guests offered remarks from their experiences and then took questions from the floor.

Bishop Gene Robinson, retired Bishop from the Episcopal Church,  joined those gathered for a few minutes and remarked, “When there are saints in town, I tend to show up.” Creech called the consecration of Bishop Gene Robinson by the Episcopal Church historic and a stamp of blessing on all same-gender-loving couples …. for the whole church, not just the Episcopal church.

Dorothee Benz of Methodists chair of New Directions (MIND), spoke as a representative of the Rev. Tom Ogletree who is scheduled for a church trial on March 10 and 11 in Stamford, CT. Rev. Ogletree is also charged with violating the discipline by performing the marriage of his son and his partner.

*Jan Lawrence is a member of the Foundry United Methodist Church. 

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Join the conversation....

  1. These brave clergy have brought us to what might be the midpoint of the struggle for equality. There will probably be more clergy trials and I don’t think that alone will force the bishops to end the prosecution of gay pastors and same sex weddings. I think the bishops are probably willing to endure a trial or two per year. I believe the next phase must be led by the laity. Individual congregations, like Foundry, can open their doors to same sex weddings. The twist is, they should invite clergy from other denominations to perform them. That way the UM pastors will not be a target for trials and the weddings will be a more visible sign of resistance to the anti gay rules. It will be hard for the bishops to put lay people on trial especially if the decision to host a same sex wedding is made by a committee.
    What do you think?

    • Wes Andrews says:

      These congregations should be allowed to leave the denomination with their property. The clergy who don’t affirm the Biblical definition of sexuality and marriage should turn in the UM credentials, and give these churches which leave the denomination the opportunity to support them. Each year those clergy, Bishops, agency employees who wish to remain in the denomination should be required to reaffirm their commitment to honor doctrine of the denomination that pays them. It is insanity and lacks integrity to work for an organization while at the same time a person doesn’t agree with its core beliefs.

      • DL Herring says:

        Wes, Thank you! Releasing this rebellious “progressive” sect, from the UM trust clause with their respective property, is the best possible solution. Although, after separation all pensions, insurance, and other entitlements must be severed; otherwise the orthodox faithful will still be funding this “new and improved” denomination. The real problem lies with the “progressive ultra-liberal” mindset. They don’t really want a separate denomination. Progressives always want to force others to conform to their own twisted ideas and philosophies. Beware, too, that this gay-marriage issue is just the tip of the iceberg! The liberal element is leading us more and more toward Universal Unitarianism. There are Pastors and Bishops who are on record expressing doubts about the divinity of Christ, doubts about His physical resurrection and return, doubts about the eternal nature of Hell, doubts about the virgin birth. The core of Progressive Methodism is a feel-good religion bringing us a new (another) Gospel as we were warned of in the Scriptures.

      • A biblical definition of marriage is not as easy as it seems. Recall that polygamy was common throughout much of its history.

      • Thomas Coates says:

        So… condemning LGBTQ people is a “Core belief” of Methodism and Christianity?
        I disagree…

        • Wes Andrews says:

          Absolutely not, Thomas.

          All people are created in the image of God and have sacred worth, that’s the witness of Scripture and is reflected in the BOD.
          The Scripture doesn’t not endorse couples living together outside of marriage, but we don’t “hate” those people.
          The Scripture doesn’t endorse lying, but we don’t “hate” people who have lied.
          The Scripture doesn’t endorse people lusting for one another, but we don’t “hate” them either.
          And no, the Scripture doesn’t endorse same sex marriage, but we certainly SHOULD NOT “hate” gays or lesbians, either.

      • With respect to the separation issue, the difficulty of separating pensions is extremely difficult. I am attorney and I’ve worked on a peculiar pension “split” and it is exceedingly difficult, both actuarily and operationally, to divide responsibility for pensions unless it is done on a new hire only basis. Otherwise, you have to calculate who is liable for the X number of years of service in the UMC system, and how many years were spent in this “new system”. In a truely fair split, the UMC would remain responsible for years of service under the UMC umbrella. The next issue is where to put the money funding these staff pensions for UMC service? Typically, this is done by figuring out how much pension is earned by the date of the split, and then transferring a lump sum (covering all pension liabilities) into an account/pension fund where the new organization makes payments to fund any service years after the split. This is critical to avoid transferring the liability without the assets earned over years of service. This payout of “earned” pension funds earned to the new organizations pension plan can be hard to obtain and disagreements over the amount “earned” and how to calculate it are technically challenging issues. I’m also skeptical that the UMC would ever be willing to make that lump sum payment (and I don’t know if the UMC plan is actuarily sound enough to do it). You also have to ensure that pastors who retired in any ” new” jurisdiction are treated fairly, which would probably mean staying within the UMC pension system.

        I am not necessarily against the idea (and I am a supporter of full LGBT inclusion) but the pension system alone could be a real challenge and folks on all sides of the issue should understand that it is not so easy to cut the strings.

        • Mariana
          Good summary. My understanding is that some conferences have unfunded pension liabilities. There might be a way to look this up. This would blow a huge hole in conference budgets if the split occurs as you described. I doubt if anyone is seriously looking at this as a real possibility or there would be some sort of working group hashing this out. Right now it looks as if UMC leadership will keep patching things up and kicking the can down the road until the wheels come off and then we will be sort of like the Episcopal Church. Mired in lawsuits. What fun that will be.

      • Levae the UMC! Your views are not welcome in the UMC and the church’s position has been sustained in every General Conference since 1972!

  2. There are a lot of saints at Foundry. I completely agree with what Jeff says above. I expect a lot of individual congregations to speak out against bigotry, especially when it is imposed from above, as in the Indiana church that rebelled against a new pastor that fired their beloved choir director. Curiously, I also agree with Wes Andrews: Let our people leave an oppressive denomination.

  3. Regarding the following paragraph;
    Schaefer told the story of Heather, a lesbian who contacted him recently. She told him that her experience growing up in the United Methodist Church was to learn that Jesus had grace for everyone (murders, prostitutes, tax collectors),… “but, not for people like me.” He reminded the congregation that there was someone else who understood: “My God! My God! Why hast thou forsaken me?”

    Regardless of your affiliation (for or against the full inclusiveness of LGBT individuals) I think that this is an imperfect comparison. because…
    A. If you are for inclusion, then the fact that one likens oneself to murderers and prostitutes would be to equate one’s actions as sin, which may be offensive to many, and is certainty self deprecating.
    B. If you are against, the easy way to dismiss such argument is that there is grace for everyone, but that first one must repent.

  4. MethodistPie says:

    I am curious about something. I saw this event advertised on the REPORTER web site (it’s still there, in the upper right hand corner). Did Foundry pay for the ad? Like I said, just curious.

    • Thomas Coates says:

      That is indeed curious, looks like an ad. Regardless though, Foundry UMC is still a UMC, and on lay speaking Sundays and in other situations, the church can invite anyone to speak, ordained or laity, I see no issue here. It would be no different than allowing Good News/Confessing/IRD people to do the same (and they certainly do).

  5. Yvonne Clarke says:

    The question of whether to welcome the GLBTQ community to our churches entitled to the full equality given to the straight community should not be confused with the issue of churches which may be following a progressive path supposedly leading to tossing out traditional beliefs and heading towards Unitarianism. I know many in the UMC (myself included) who are very much accepting of including the GLBTQ community with full equality and yet remain strongly centered in traditional Christian beliefs. The two do NOT go hand in hand.

  6. I have read the comments to the article posted yesterday, and since I wrote the article I am going to take some license to offer a different perspective. I am not an advocate of a split in the denomination for many reasons beginning with the simple fact that it doesn’t solve anything. It just builds additional barriers within the Body.

    There are multiple perspectives on what the issue is and what the path forward is with respect to the internal struggle within the United Methodist Church. I think we all need to pause and consider that as we craft resolutions, argue, debate, hold church trials, and as the frustration grows … there are real people who are being sent a message. It is not a particularly Christian message.

    Regardless of how this struggle plays out within our church, same-gender loving couples are being married legally in a growing number of states. Same-gender families with children are more visibly present in our congregations. We need to educate both ministers and laity on how to minister to these United Methodists. Every time we schedule another church trial or let our disagreements be aired on prime time TV, another LGBT youth receives the message that he or she is less worthy. We are a contributor to a growing problem.

    My suggestion is that we continue respectful conversation and dialogue. But, that every Annual Conference also offer a forum for education and exchange of ideas on how to be in ministry with and to these neighbors. Church trials in this area are a costly and futile path forward and I believe that our Bishops should put them on hold and allow the denomination to focus energies on “being the church.” We would all love to see the debate end. That is not going to happen for awhile. But, it should not be the first thing that pops up when someone googles United Methodist Church.

    The focus on social justice and engaging within the community and the world that are a part of the DNA of the United Methodist Church (in my experience) are United Methodists at our best. We do not have to agree. We do have to work together. And, if we build a few relationships instead of tearing them down, God might just present a path forward that none of us can see.

    I have friends on all sides of this debate. I love them. I respect them. And, I hope that we can work together to find a middle ground while we are caring for, “the least of these.”

    • With all due respect, Jan Lawrence, we do not have to work together. I have formally left the United Methodist Church because a denomination that says that homosexuality is incompatible with Christianity is guilty of falsehood and bigotry. Many others have done the same. I was a member of a fully accepting congregation that simply flouted the absurdity of the BoD, but that position is becoming increasingly untenable. I think the congregations that actually believe in the Gospel message of inclusion and acceptance should be allowed to leave with their property and form or join another denomination. It is intolerable for many of us to remain in connection with bigotry, whether of the Fred Phelps kind or a more genteel expression of the same theology. I have found a temporary home in the Episcopal Church, but I am not an Episcopalian, I am a Methodist, like many generations of my family. I want to be able to join a Methodist denomination that does not make bigotry a core value of its belief. If, like many of my relatives, I lived in England, this would not be a problem since the official position of the Methodist Church of the UK is that members are in disagreement over the question of homosexuality and of same-sex marriage but homosexuals are not barred from any position within the church.

      • Jay, I respect your decision to leave the United Methodist Church. I made the decision to stay. I have lived both sides of the church experience. I was in the Florida Conference before moving to the D.C. area which was just a bit more conservative. I did not choose the United Methodist Church because of its inclusion of LGBT people. The reasons I chose it are still very relevant today. I chose the United Methodist Church because I saw local churches in three different states I lived in being very relevant and engaged in the local community. That doesn’t mean they were without conflict. It does mean that they made the effort to make a difference and show their neighbors what being Christian means.

        So, you can leave and not be a part of the ongoing work or conversation that needs to be done/had. I will stay and do what I can to show hurting LGBT people that not all United Methodist Churches will hold them at arms length. I will stay and hopefully help equip lay leaders and ministers to be in ministry with and to a group of people who through no fault of their own has been marginalized.

        We may not have a discipline change yet but the United Methodist Church is changing. There is an energy and desire on the part of a growing community to create a church space that welcomes everyone.

        If we insist on a right and a wrong. We will all lose. If we are willing to be united then we have a chance.

        • Wes Andrews says:

          I have been part of UM churches who included and embraced gay people. Affirming marriage for same sex couples should NOT be a condition required for the church to be considered inclusive of gay people.

          And yes, there is a right and wrong.
          It is wrong and not in God’s will that we lie.
          It is wrong and not in God’s will that we murder.
          It is wrong and not in God’s will that we lust or commit adultery.
          It is wrong and not in God’s will for more than two people to enter into a marriage relationship.
          It is wrong and not in God’s will for two people to live together without the marriage commitment.
          It is wrong and not in God’s will that the powerful exploit or abuse the powerless.
          It is wrong and not in God’s will for adults to marry children.
          It is wrong and not in God’s will for men to marry men, and women marry women.

          It is right to speak the truth in love.
          It is right to love one another.
          It is right to pray for our enemies.
          It is right to feed the hungry, help the poor, protect the powerless.
          It is right to for one man and one women to submit to one another as God makes them one in marriage.

    • Wes Andrews says:

      Jan, your very sober comments about your article are appreciated. The tone of respecting people on all sides of the issue is also refreshing. You make several suggestions that I wish would help, but I just don’t think they get to the source of the issue.

      I don’t think the source of the issue is a lack of educating people or a lack of a exchange of ideas. Sharing information and talking face to face is always preferable. For instance if Jay knew me face to face and had an open heart, he would be less likely to call me a liar, among other things. And I’m sure that I might well appreciate him more because we are more than our meager words or opinions. My guess is that a face to face encounter would not change my affirmation or Jay’s rejection of the Biblical definitions of sexuality and marriage.

      Also, the Bishops really aren’t given the authority to fail to follow the judicial process mapped out in the BOD. So they can’t just ignore trials. The BOD is our agreed social and doctrinal identity, rule of law, and due process. To fail to follow it would make the General Conference process null and void, and that would be just another nail in the coffin for being “united” as Methodists.

      The ultimate issue at stake is our source of authority. The pro same-sex gay ordination folk reject the Biblical definition of sexuality and marriage. They, at least Jay, refers to people who accept the Biblical definition as liars. So at the the very least there is no agreement about the source of our doctrine. Liberal theological education has been chipping away at the authority of Scripture for decades and in the end they present no transcendent universal authority except transient authorities like “feelings” and the “whim” of culture. History shows us that feelings and culture are the worst perpetrators of injustice.

      The Biblical definitions of sexuality and marriage can be ignored, they can be rejected, but no genuine case can be made that the Biblical definitions endorse same-sex marriage, or people living together, or polygamy, as God’s design for sexuality or marriage.

      Ultimately, Jay and I agree on this one point. Allow the congregations to own their property, and those that reject the Biblical definition and the BOD can move on. The denomination needs to be united. There will never be agreement on the source of authority issue. They have walked away from Scripture as their source of authority. Scripture has been the anchor in the quadrilateral since the beginning of the people called Methodists. We should not force them to remain in a denomination which stands on an authority they reject.

      • Wes, Thanks for your comments. I agree with some of what you say but obviously not all of it. I have been a part of some of the holy conversation we have had to date and can tell you that it is anything but that. You cannot have a productive dialogue if you can’t start it on equal footing. When the opening comments are insulting to those present not much productive happens.

        I believe the Bishops have the authority to do more than they have to stop the progress of the charges in this area. Putting that aside, we need to see strong and visible leadership from them. This is not an issue that is going to be swept under the table. We could have as many as 4-6 trials in the next year. At the popular estimate of 50K a piece, that is 200-300K plus untold amounts of energy that could be put into ending homelessness, fighting disease, protecting women and children who are victims of abuse, and yes … having an impact on the suicide rate among LGBT youth.

        I don’t think we should stop any individual or church from leaving the denomination who makes the decision to leave. Property issues should be able to be resolved by the individual conferences. I also don’t think we should force them out. Either way, the problems are the same. There will still be LGBT people in the pews on the Sunday following a split. Churches will still need to be in ministry with and to LGBT people.

        We have not learned yet that separate is not equal. I hope that we do someday.

        • Wes Andrews says:

          Jan, what do you think about the core issue in regard to our source of authority?

        • Of course these trials are expensive. The rules must be carefully followed and that takes time and manpower. They are the tool of last resort when all previous attempts to resolve the presenting issue fail. The lower level attempts will fail because those in favor of same sex partnerships believe their cause is just and will not back down. That is part of the strategy. If the same sex crowd can affect the conference budgets and cause bishops to cancel trials then the enforcement mechanism in sustaining our policy breaks down effectively changing the current policy. It is analogous to Nixon trying to bomb the North Vietnamese to the peace table. The Vietnamese were willing to die more than we were willing to kill. It is a costly but winning strategy.

  7. Yea….Frank Schaefer, Jimmy Creech, and Beth Stroud have had their “15 minutes of fame” and the Foundry feels “relevant.” So I ask them…Now what? As the UMC moves more and more onto the African continent where homosexuality is not “embraced” you will be less and less remembered. Soon the UM Reporter will stop running your stories. But God bless you….we all love 60’s aging liberals.

    • Yes, Russ, the UMC is moving on to the African continent where the Fred Phelps theology is very popular. As gay people are beaten, imprisoned, murdered in the name of God, you can be very proud of Methodism’s success in Africa.

      • methodist pie says:

        Jay, when it comes to bigotry, your comments re our brothers and sisters in Africa come across every bit as offensive as anything Fred Phelps has ever said. I say that as one who’s been picketed by Fred Phelps. There are nutty people on both sides of this issue, which only goes to reinforce my caution of moving in either direction.

      • Jay:
        OK, so to your mind African Methodists are bad people. Now where do you go? You are painting YOURSELF into a corner. Good luck with that.

      • jay:
        Great…..now you dislike the United Methodists in Africa. You’re painting yourself into a corner and running out of people to like (and have like you).

  8. It’s fascinating how some insist on taking part of Leviticus very literally, while passing over other segments. I’ve changed my views of homosexuality due to the findings of sensitive Biblical scholars who search for truth.
    Too often some scholars search for evidence to support their position. I identify with scholars who search for truth–wherever that takes us. I find that acceptance and inclusion are in line with the Gospel of Jesus.

    • Wes Andrews says:

      Roger, this is not about “part of Leviticus” or even the first chapter of Romans. The Biblical definition of sexuality and marriage is found in teaching and examples throughout the Old and New Testament. It is not from one verse here or one verse there.

      It is disingenuous to suggest that scholars and students and people of faith over the past 5000 years have based this teaching on one or two “misinterpreted” verses, and then all of a sudden a few people in the past 30 or so years have discovered that all those years everyone missed it.. Sure I know that different sects of Christianity like to emphasize some texts as more important than others, but really the Biblical definition of sexuality and marriage has never been in dispute among all of the different communities and expressions of Christianity.

      This disingenuous “interpretation” of the Scriptures really is the methodology of many professors in our UM Universities and Seminaries. I know because I am a graduate of a UM Seminary, and that view of Scripture was prevalent. The Bible was not viewed or taught as anything inspired and revealed by God. It was taught, for the most part, as a human document of a tiny nation of people who were attempting to discern their relationship with the Divine. According to not a few of my UM paid professors this is a summary of what I was taught, “Scripture is rather flawed, redacted, and includes imagined stories, and it not a unique revelation, but is just but one reflection that all humans have a desire to connect with a transcendent being.”

      So it really all comes down to the source of our authority of truth. If Scripture is inspired by God, and is an accurate witness of God’s love, justice, redemption, incarnation, and so on, then then it needs to be followed as our source of understanding truth in regard to all aspects of life including sexuality and marriage. If the Bible is merely a human document, then we can, as you say, “search for truth-wherever that takes us,” but in reality the progressive/liberal approach is: “wherever WE want it to take us.” Currently the BOD reflects a respect of Scripture as inspired, and the pro same sex marriage/gay ordination folk don’t like it, and bash and bully the UMC because of its faithfulness in trusting Scripture.

  9. The United Methodist Church is a sewer of anti-gay bigotry and hypocrisy. Biblical standards of marriage certainly don’t apply to any divorced members of the church–they’re exceptions–but gay people must be held to the law of a tribe of Judean hillbillies from the Iron Age. There’s Christian charity for you. Gay people should scrape this repulsive church from the soles of their feet and walk out. This church will never do justice to gay people because justice is not what this church cares about.

    • Wes Andrews says:

      jim, you make the point for me that the pro-gay marriage/ordination crowd are bullies. The UMC is NOT a sewer it has always been FULL of grace, but it appears your attitude and those who stand with you are the sewer of which you write…

    • Jim
      A little harsh don’t you think? Maybe you should switch to decaf. You post does illustrate the depth and breadth of the divide. I’ll give you that.

    • Guys, give Jim a break. He continues to back himself in a corner and feels very frustrated. Liberals are having a really hard time – “Change You Can Believe In” is just NOT working out for him.

  10. I just checked back in to review the comments. The last several comments bother me more than some of the earlier conversation because those commenting show no respect for each other or for the LGBT people who are United Methodists. Liberal views and conservative views have been ridiculed and called wrong. One thing that I know very well is that there are more than two perspectives here and that the people with those perspectives all deserve respect. Just because they don’t agree with what you or I might think does not make their perspective less worthy of consideration.

    There may be a few progressive churches that leave the UMC denomination at some point because of a theological difference with other methodists in this area or another area. But, there will still be LGBT people in the UMC. There will still be churches and individuals who believe that the discipline should be more inclusive so I don’t see it changing anything.

    Even more relevant though are a couple of problems that we all have to reckon with whether we are United Methodists or are in another denomination. People are drawn to local churches, not denominations. If there are 4 churches on my block I might try at least 3 before choosing one. LGBT people and their families have been given credence by the change in secular laws in an increasing number of states and they are more and more visible in churches across the denomination. We need to educate ministers and lay people. And, we have GOT to stop sending the message to youth that they are somehow less worthy or that God does not love them.

    We will be debating this topic theologically for years to come in the UMC and in other churches but ministers need to minister to all of their flock. That flock always has and always will include LGBT people who bring their gifts to our churches. To not accept those gifts is wrong.

    Our church has structural problems that need to be addressed over the next few years that will hopefully help this situation. Huge strides are being already being made on the local church level. Those strides include more and more ministers providing a forum for conversation and more and more people being honest about who they are.

    It is not important that we all agree. It is important that we all respect each other and treat each other like neighbors. (Sorry if I am sounding like a broken record).

    • Wes Andrews says:

      I agree Jan.
      The discussion should be civil and honoring, with no bullying, labeling or name calling.
      All people should be loved and welcomed in our church.
      We should be particularly sensitive to all youth at that challenging time for them as they sort out their place in the world and in the church.

Your thoughts?

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The United Methodist Reporter wants to encourage lively conversation about The United Methodist Church and our articles in the belief that Christian conversation (what Wesley would call conferencing) is a means of grace. While we support passionate debate, we cannot allow language that demeans or demonizes others, and we reserve the right to delete any comment we believe to be harmful or inappropriate. We encourage all to remember that we are all broken and in need of Christ's grace, and that we all see through the glass darkly until that time we when reach full perfection in love. May your speech here be tempered with love, and reflection of the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. After all, "There is no law against things like this." (Galatians 5:22-23)
 

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