A church in Florida is threatening a former member of airing her ‘sins’ in public. The Grace Community Church has deemed Rebecca Hancock sinful because she’s not married to the man she is living with.
The non-denominational church in Jacksonville, Florida believes it has the right to have the former member face public humiliation if she doesn’t end the relationship. She had already left the church when church elders had previously demanded that she leave her lover. Her two children are active members.
Fox News reports:
“Bottom line, on January they 4th they are going to the church publicly with my sins, and my children will be sitting in church at the time,” Hancock told FOXNews.com.
While a church leader would not commit to an interview with Fox News on thursday the Rev. T. Scott Christmas, pastor of the church, stands behind the position his church has taken.
The pastor told the Florida Times-Union that the “process of loving accountability” is made very clear to members, and the church is doing “nothing more than following the practices of what biblical churches have done through history.”
Last March Hancock started having problems with the church. She had told her church mentor about the relationship believing that their conversations were confidential. The mentor told her to end the relationship because it was biblically wrong. She knew the relationship was against the rules of the church but she did not know that it would be the start of a personal attack.
Hancock tried to end the relationship with boyfriend Frank Young several times but they are in love. Love won out in the end for the couple but hasn’t stop the onslaught of Grace Community Church’s attack on Hancock.
The beginning of the end of Hancock’s membership in the church came when her mentor took her into a church room filled with other female church members.
“In the room, there were several women that I never told my business to. And they proceeded to tell me about my business and what I was doing and what a sinner I was — just persecuting me.” Hancock said. “One of the ladies was even saying ‘I was at your house when you didn’t come home all night.’”
Hancock choose that moment to leave the church. After announcing she was not returning to the church she figured that she was rid of the problem. Young prepared her that the church would not let it end there. He was right. The pastor continued to call even after he was informed that the couple did not want to have contact with him nor any member of his church.
Two months later a letter appeared in the mailbox telling her that the church had no choice bu to continue the disciplinary process.
Your refusal to repent and be restored in your relationship with God and His Church leaves us with no alternative than to carry out the third step of the discipline process,” the letter explained. “In accordance with Matthew 18:17, we intend to ‘tell it to the church.’”
Hancock has sent a formal letter of resignation after the ultimatum was received. She hopes that will stop the church from their personal attack which could be used to hurt her two children, 18 and 20.
I don’t really care what they do to me. But I am concerned about my children sitting in church with their mother being crucified by the church that they trust,” she said. “I am very concerned about how it would affect them.”