Pastor Stan Mitchell’s announcement that evangelical GracePointe Church would fully affirm gay members met with a standing ovation from some members and stunned silence from others, but everybody prayed together quietly at the end of it. Photo courtesy of GracePointe Church

As one evangelical church 'comes out' for LGBT rights, others cast a wary eye

Pastor Stan Mitchell’s announcement that evangelical GracePointe Church would fully affirm gay members met with a standing ovation from some members and stunned silence from others, but everybody prayed together quietly at the end of it. Photo courtesy of GracePointe Church

Pastor Stan Mitchell’s announcement that evangelical GracePointe Church would fully affirm gay members met with a standing ovation from some members and stunned silence from others, but everybody prayed together quietly at the end of it. Photo courtesy of GracePointe Church

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (RNS) Pastor Stan Mitchell’s announcement that his evangelical GracePointe Church would fully affirm gay members met with a standing ovation from some, stunned silence from others, but everybody prayed together quietly at the end of it.

A month and a half later, Mitchell routinely receives emails inviting him to kill himself, often including the assurance they were sent in love from other Christians. Half of his 12-member board has left, along with half the average offering and about a third of the weekly attendance -- once at 800 to 1,000 people.

He’s met with dozens of disenchanted members and plans to see dozens more, apologizing almost compulsively for his handling of the issue. But there’s no going back, he says. He doesn’t even want to.

One of his biggest fears is that talking publicly about what happened at GracePointe could discourage countless other evangelical pastors who he says are ready to make the same move.

“I’m watching LGBT people finally make peace with themselves because they couldn’t get away from the authority of Scripture and what they thought it said about them,” said Mitchell, 46.

“The upsides -- my God, they’re everywhere in this.”

The shifts and conversations within this Bible Belt congregation mirror a larger debate among American evangelicals as they engage tricky and sensitive matters of human sexuality, the authority of Scripture and a rapidly changing culture. That dialogue is being pushed by Christians who, like Mitchell, no longer believe that the terms “evangelical” and “LGBT-affirming” are mutually exclusive.

Last year, evangelical ethicist David Gushee at Mercer University wrote the book “Changing Our Mind,” about his own theological shift -- on questions of gay marriage and welcoming gays and lesbians into church leadership. Author Matthew Vines‘ Reformation Project and his book, “God and the Gay Christian,” drew attention from top evangelical leaders.

The GracePointe Church choir performs during Easter service in 2014. Photo courtesy of GracePointe Church

The GracePointe Church choir performs during Easter service in 2014. Photo courtesy of GracePointe Church

 This image is available for web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

A handful of large evangelical churches are publicizing their supportive stances. The Highlands Church in Denver was among the first, suffering deep drops in attendance and donations but now recovering. EastLake Community Church in Seattle announced its LGBT inclusion and affirmation; Mitchell spent a February weekend there, huddling with church leaders.

But there remains a high price: Last year, the Southern Baptist Convention expelled New Heart Community Church in La Mirada, Calif., after its pastor changed views on homosexuality. More recently, the Chicago-based Evangelical Covenant Church cut off funding for a church plant in Portland, Ore., when its pastor announced his support for LGBT equality.

Several factors are coming into play in the pastors'  decisions, observers say. Marriage equality has reached all but 13 states, forcing churches to confront an issue many have long demonized or simply hoped to avoid. Polling by the Public Religion Research Institute survey shows 43 percent of white evangelical millennials support same-sex marriage, double the percentage of the oldest generation of that demographic.

At the same time, gay Christians raised in and rejected by evangelical churches haven’t lost their love for those roots, said Scott Thumma, a sociologist at Hartford Seminary who has studied both homosexuality and megachurches.

“To be an evangelical Christian is more than the theology. It’s the tradition you were raised in, the songs and hymns you sang as a kid,” he said. “There’s a pull to the expression of Christianity they grew up with, where they feel at home and where they feel the deepest connection to God even if the theology said they didn’t belong there.”

Evangelicals For Marriage Equality spokesperson Brandan Robertson, in Washington, D.C., on November 25, 2014. Photo courtesy of Stephen Voss Photography

Evangelicals For Marriage Equality spokesman Brandan Robertson, in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 25, 2014. Photo courtesy of Stephen Voss Photography

 This image is available for web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

In some ways, the change is happening from the inside out. Gay-friendly mainline Protestant churches such as the Episcopal Church just don’t hold the same appeal for that group, said Brandan Robertson, 22, spokesman for Evangelicals for Marriage Equality.

“It’s not that we’re ashamed or not grateful to be welcomed,” he said. “But rather, we just want to be seen as normal Christians, not part of some ‘special group.’”

Robertson, too, says there are dozens of evangelical churches on the precipice of making announcements of their affirmation. But he also knows the price: He said Christian publisher Destiny Image canceled his book contract for “Nomad: Not-So-Religious Thoughts on Faith, Doubt and the Journey In Between” because of his self-identity as a "queer" evangelical.

“If you look at the Scriptures, everybody who did the right thing got crucified to some extent,” said Greg Bullard, who has been watching the drama unfold at Mitchell's church. Bullard is the openly gay pastor of Covenant of the Cross, an LGBT-affirming nondenominational church that meets in a former movie theater about 26 miles north of GracePointe.

Exclusive salvation questioned

Mitchell took to the pulpit at age 16, gaining ordination through the United Pentecostal Church. He began to question his tradition's exclusivist ideas about salvation and voraciously read the work of modern theologians, working his way from Max Lucado to Paul Tillich to C.S. Lewis. Mitchell became an associate pastor at Christ Church Nashville, a megachurch with Pentecostal roots, and quickly gained popularity among members of the congregation.

“We were at Christ Church when Stan preached his first sermon,” said David Schwab. “I felt he had been our pastor ever since then.”

Schwab and his wife, Becky, joined six other couples in reaching out to Mitchell in 2002 when he took a break from the pulpit. The couples promised to support him in a new church, which was born in Mitchell’s living room. Soon, they grew to 40 people meeting in rented space at a school. In May 2009, they moved into their new 12,000-square-foot church in the tony suburb of Franklin.

Mitchell, a twice-married father of two, said he’d been struggling with his stance on homosexuality since meeting several gay Christians at Christ Church Nashville. By 2012, he said, it was clear that GracePointe had to take the issue head-on.

The congregation is split on how that process went. Some members say they were aware of ongoing conversations in small groups and Bible studies and messages from the pulpit. Others, including Schwab, say they thought the stance was clear: LGBT people were welcome to worship, but they couldn’t hold leadership positions.

Both sides agree the issue came to a head when Mitchell performed a same-sex wedding without telling the board. After a two-day retreat with some board members and elders, Mitchell emerged with a decision. He’d announce from the pulpit on Jan. 11 that GracePointe would be fully affirming. When he did, he fought back tears as he described being knocked to the floor by the realization of what he had to do.

Schwab hasn’t been back since. “Those of us who sat through the tough times, he just kicked us out the door. It’s hard to fathom. Why would somebody do this?”

But even if there’d been ample warning, Schwab said, he and his wife would have left over the issue.

“I love my gay brothers and sisters. I really do,” he said. “But I think the Bible is pretty specific.”

Interpreting the Scriptures

Mitchell and other LGBT-affirming pastors typically respond to scriptural arguments with the same answers they'd give for slavery, or for denying remarriage after a divorce: Both once found support in Scripture, they say, but no longer. The same is true of homosexuality: In biblical times, there simply was no concept of loving, equal, committed relationships between people of the same gender.

Of course, those arguments, so far, don’t work for the majority of evangelicals who take biblical prohibitions on homosexuality at face value. The nation's largest Protestant denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention, held two summits last year devoted to rejecting the notion of God-sanctioned same-sex marriage. After Mitchell’s announcement, his former Nashville church posted an online statement: “We must neither rewrite scripture to excuse our sins nor demonize ourselves if we fall into them."

And that's why GracePointe should be proactive in helping members explain the stance to evangelical friends and relatives, said the Rev. Cynthia Andrews-Looper, a lesbian who started attending GracePointe the day Mitchell made his big announcement.

“A lot of new LGBT individuals are showing up,” said Andrews-Looper, whose upcoming memoir traces her journey from onetime fundamentalist to founding pastor of Nashville's predominantly gay Holy Trinity Community Church 18 years ago. "I know where they are, walking in. But I’m also aware that, for those on the fence, they are still embracing the misconceptions about the LGBT community. As they get to know me and the other gay people there, those misconceptions can be challenged.”

Painful no matter what

In retrospect, Mitchell admits his change of heart could have been better communicated. But the schism isn't surprising: After moving toward greater acceptance of LGBT parishioners, the Presbyterian Church (USA), Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and Episcopal Church have all seen small but significant losses.

“There’s going to be polarity on this issue either way you go,” said Dave Travis, CEO of Dallas-based Leadership Network, a church consulting firm. “The vitality of American religion is that people vote with their feet. … If (Mitchell) retains half, that’s about right.”

Steve Joiner, managing director of the Center for Conflict Management at Lipscomb University, which is affiliated with the conservative Churches of Christ, said churches that adopt a major shift need to make sure that all members have the chance to feel like they've been heard. Losses should be acknowledged and addressed, he said, and then the congregation should enter about a two-year process of deciding who they are, or want to be, going forward.

It sounds similar to the path Mitchell said he’s already taking at GracePointe. And he’s following another piece of Joiner’s advice: There’s no benefit to revisiting the core issue.

For Mitchell, it’s done.




  1. I suppose the one benefit of distasteful controversies like the one under discussion is that we get to discover which evangelical entrepreneurs are most driven by market research.

  2. No Christian / Jewish authority could welcome the LGBT Community as such, because of the undeniable sin attached to their actions. All people are welcome in God’s house, but any sin they magically change into virtue is impossible to accept. Adulterers know this, thieves know this, fornicators know this, as do liars, prostitutes, and those who accept abortion. God knows we are sinners, but he does not want us showcasing it as something acceptable to Him.

  3. There are some really difficult issues in Scripture, issues that require careful consideration & where believers of good conscience can agree to disagree because of the theological complexities involved.

    This isn’t one of them.

  4. Well said Mr. Carr. We know from Scripture that in prior to our Lord’s return there will be very few who hold to the values of the Gospel. Jesus saw this two thousand years ago, and couldn’t have been more spot on: “[W]hen the Son of Man returns, will he find faith on the earth?” Luke 18:18. What this pastor has forgotten is he is to lead people to Christ, and that requires a change of heart, and a change of actions that are not in conformance with the Gospel.

  5. Caught you again Karla. You’ve copied and pasted that same spam content more than 3 dozen times on this site. Enough already.


  6. Note the characteristic bleats used whenever promoting homosexuality.
    Among other things, talking about “acceptance growing”. A principle is defined by its truthfulness, not by how many people are willing to embrace it because they can’t see or won’t see deep enough into the nature of the world to recognize its faults. Attitudes and tastes change, which mean that defining something only by how many accept it can be, at best, questionable. How many of those promoting this approach to homosexuality, indeed, all the sexual deviances, will deny that, at one time, the majority apparently willingly accepted slavery?
    As with so many swindles, a primary facet of the New World Order approach to sexual deviance is withholding the truth. Many, many things are avoided by the “news”, to prevent the public from realizing the truth about the practices.
    But, in fact, homosexuality demonstrates qualities of mental disorders and the other forms of deviance are no different.

  7. For example, in the case of homosexuality, consider the issue of homosexual Alabama Representative Patricia Todd. She stated openly that, if any legislators voted against her pro homosexuality agenda, she would reveal those legislators’ scandals and affairs. She displayed wholesale disinterest in how it could hurt their children and their families to have that thrust out in the open. More than that, she demonstrated a criminal intent to commit governance by coercion, extortion. That is a high crime in office! The purpose of “government” is supposed to be to act in keeping with the welfare of the public, not to do what one is told under blackmail! But Patricia Todd does not have that respect for justice! By the same token, she does not have respect for her constituency, either!

  8. Also, the matter of the Iowa sex offender law should be mentioned. As originally written, the law said that anyone who knowingly transmitted HIV/AIDS to another could be charged as a sex offender. As soon as this came out, homosexual representatives attacked it. They said it would keep homosexuals from getting tested since, them, when they transmitted HIV/AIDS in sex to another, they could be charged. But that had meaning only if they intended to have sex with others, even after knowing they had the disease! And that’s what they were saying! That knowing they could contaminate another was not enough to keep them from having sex. Their self centeredness, selfishness, narcissism and contempt for others made them not care if they gave another a dangerous disease! That is known as “depraved indifference for human life” and that is a fundamental feature of homicidal sociopaths.

  9. So Fred Phelps is the best representation of Christianity you guys can think of.

    Good to know.

  10. Its seems like the primary purpose and mission of Religion News Service is to campaign for and promote the practice and acceptance of gay sex in Christian Churches and among Christian families. RNS has devolved into just another homosexual website with its own version of spiritual pornography that is obscene, immoral and sinful.

  11. Actually, you’re not really quite correct here. This is certainly one of them.

  12. Wow — the hate and misunderstanding you have is beyond belief. You mistake hate for the Gospel and persist in your iniquity. I’m glad to see evangelical churches recognize the truth and yet sad that people like you are still quoting the most provincial, hateful bigotry I’ve heard lately.

  13. The Church cannot approve of homosexual activity unless it abandons biblical Christian morality. I think the Catholic Church presents it the best. It is not wrong to be a homosexual (we do not know if people are born this way but we do know it is a cross to bear). It is wrong to choose to engage in homosexual sexual activity. Those churches that base morality on polls eventually die (look at the Episcopal Church, the Methodist Church, the United Church of Christ and a lot of others).

  14. I’m curious, a story sub-header states “Exclusive salvation questioned” by Pastor Mitchell, but never says if that’s a position he still holds. The point being, if he doesn’t believe that Jesus is the way, the truth and life (exclusively), then his position on “fully affirming” homosexuals is irrelevant as he’s a heretic on essential doctrine.

  15. Cranmer, you mistake calling people hateful and bigots with an argument worthy of what is by any definition a debatable issue. Throwing around “bigot” is just an intellectually lazy ( and hate-filled too but you missed the irony) way of cutting off debate by questioning the motive of the opposition.

  16. Except Mr Penrod is posting bigoted and hateful comments. The comments are more than warranted. Your response is either misplaced or you are simply trying to defend what is clearly a set of nonsense posts.

    Calling gays homicidal sociopaths, accusing them collectively of blackmailing political leaders, making libelous attacks on them as a group…Its all hateful and bigoted nonsense not worth discussing on alleged merits.

  17. Caught you again Karla. You’ve copied and pasted that same spam content more than 40 times on this site. Enough already.


  18. Caught you again Karla. You’ve copied and pasted that same spam content more than 40 times on this site. Enough already.


  19. Can you point me to the chapter and verse which says this is appropriate behavior from good Christian folk:

    “Mitchell routinely receives emails inviting him to kill himself, often including the assurance they were sent in love from other Christians”

  20. Except for the following:
    Reform Judaism
    Reconstructionist Judaism
    Jewish Renewal
    Humanistic Judaism
    North America
    MCCNY, a church in New York City.
    Grace Gospel Chapel, in Seattle.
    Affirming Pentecostal Church International
    The Anthem Network
    Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists
    AXIOS – Eastern and Orthodox Gay and Lesbian Christians Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
    Community of Christ
    Ecclesia Gnostica
    Ecumenical Catholic Church
    Ecumenical Catholic Communion
    Episcopal Church (United States)
    Evangelical Anglican Church In America
    Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
    Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
    The Evangelical Network
    Friends General Conference
    Friends of Jesus Fellowship
    Global Alliance of Affirming Apostolic Pentecostals…

    You may say they aren’t real Christians or Jews, but your opinion…

  21. …doesn’t negate their existence or their beliefs.

    I must learn how to be more concise thanks to the character limit feature.

  22. Gender is foundational to God’s creation. God made mankind male and female. Gender comes with Divine expectations. The Bible does not support racism or slavery (Bible regulates slavery and divorce, but disapproves of both. . . free to serve the Lord is the ideal.). Christians led the abolitionist movement and civil rights. They won the argument because the Bible supported their position. Denying that body and soul have a clear connection divides the person in an unhealthy way. Gender comes with gender roles described in the Bible. Bible believing Christians will never sign on to the homosexual political agenda that obliterates the meaning of man and woman. Liberal denominations have liberated themselves from scripture and the Lord Jesus Himself. These kind of churches are shrinking. For those who still believe the Bible, you are about to become outcasts for being homo-racists. I find it sad that gays want to use the power of government to force people of faith to submit.

  23. “don’t work for the majority of evangelicals who take biblical prohibitions on homosexuality at face value. ”

    But don’t take the biblical prohibitions on eating shellfish and wearing mixed fabrics at face value. Interesting……

  24. The issue of homosexuality from God’s standpoint is so well known and recorded that it shouldn’t even have become an issue. Not only is this pastor in trouble for his stance on affirming sin he has also caused division within the church which is equally evil.

    “I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them”.
    Roman 16:7

  25. Every church has members that other members would prefer went somewhere else. If doing justice to gay people makes these people pack up and leave, then that’s as good a way as any to be rid of them. GracePointe will recover and then thrive; soon nobody will miss the deserters–if anybody truly misses them now. This kind of intimidation gambit works at most only once. There’s no such thing as a walkout redux. Apparently GracePointe is not intimidated. Good for them. Fresh air and courage will root out any infestation of bigots. The church is always better off without them. For GracePointe, this is an opportunity, not a loss.

  26. Sign of the times. Church in apostasy. Bowing to caesar. Compromising to save the flesh. Leading others into apostasy. Homosexuality is a sin. See Romans 1; 26-27, 1 Cor. 6; 9-11, Leviticus 18 & 20. The truth doesn’t change. Repent now while there’s still time. Salvation is in Christ alone. See bible.

  27. So you don’t accept the entire word of God as put down in the Bible. You find excuses and work arounds for the parts you find inconvenient.

    Why do you hate the Bible so much Karla?

  28. They think they are Christian/Jewish “churches”, but they are not if they remove anything from what is known infallibly as God’s Word……..

  29. What in “God’s word” prevents those Jewish denominations from welcoming the LGBT community?

  30. They exist. They identify as Christian and Jewish. Their identity as such is not subject to your opinion on the matter.

    If you don’t like them calling themselves Jewish or Christian sects, tough luck.
    Its not your decision or in your power.

    But you can’t claim in any good faith that Christian and Jewish sects which accept LGBT do not exist. They do, you just don’t like it.

  31. So in other words uncivil hateful behavior is perfectly OK for Christians. You certainly weren’t really criticizing such behavior. Far from it. You were extolling it and the reasons behind it.

    Telling a member of the clergy to kill themselves is acceptable in your brand of Christianity, because you are doing it in God’s name. That good old Christian relativistic two-step. Do something malicious and claim its OK because God says so.

  32. I am not Jewish, I can eat whatever I want. Acts 10:15, Col. 2:16.
    I am a Christian, have no doubt about that. 1 Cor. 10:21, Luke 16:13

  33. Nah, no need to go that far. Along with Ben, we can simply ignore the issue until we see the police reports and proof that these alleged email actually came from Christians.

  34. Show me where the Bible says God judged Gentiles for eating shellfish, and I’ll show you where it says God judged Gentiles for sexual immorality. Deal?

  35. I’m sure it makes some people feel warm and fuzzy all over to see that some so called churches and some so called pastors “affirm gay marriage”, but God still condemns it. I don’t expect Him to change His position any time soon. If you prefer to listen to lies and liars then you will be happy with such “affirmations” from men, but you will be condemned by God. I prefer to do what God wants and I really don’t care what man has to say. There is great peace in this. Jesus spoke the truth 24/7. He never lied. If you seek truth and peace and joy in your life you will find it in the Son of God who died for you. Receive Him as Savior and Lord, turn away from evil and lies, and you will know God’s peace and forgiveness and walk in His joy.

  36. Um .. I don’t think you understood his reply.

    He was saying that you will not find any support for those emails in the Bible, just as you won’t find any support for homosexual acts in the BIble.

  37. Its obvious that you haven’t taken Scripture as a whole. Moses gave us the Moral and Purity laws that encompassed what God wanted his Covenant people to adhere to before Christ’s coming.

    Peter was given the vision about the ‘unclean’ foods, which shows that the New Covenant people did not have to adhere to those restrictions.

    However, the moral law was never superseded or negated, it remains in force today.

  38. Nobody said speech is ‘ok’. However, that doesn’t mean Mitchell or the other ‘pastors’ are right. He and others like yourself are trying to see something in scripture that isn’t there, and if it is there, doesn’t mean it was ‘ok’ to do.

    Scripturally speaking, he isn’t a pastor.

  39. How is it hateful? Hateful is when there’s evil intent. Telling TRUTHFUL information about something that DID happen, is TRUTH. Not hate.

    Hate is KNOWING the truth, but denying the truth and calling someone else hateful for doing so.

  40. Unfortunately, there’s almost nowhere you can go in ‘christian’ circles today and get the truth. christian post, christian science monitor, name them without almost exception, are now speeding up the formation of the apostate ‘church’.

  41. That’s not a catholic church thing. That’s just being correct on the basis of sex throughout church time.

  42. A name is a name. Doesn’t mean anything. Just means a name. Those who ‘affirm’ what God does not… are not. At least that’s what He said.

  43. How about

    26Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations (sex) for unnatural ones(sex with each other).

    27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

    28Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve

  44. I, I’m not sure if you were responding to my comment, but if so, citations to the New Testament are irrelevant to Jewish law and practice.

  45. Got to Leviticus then. 18:22. Plain as day for Jews.

  46. Doesn’t matter Larry. You can call yourself a tree if you want, but if you don’t look or act as one, then you’re not a tree. If one doesn’t abide in Christ, abide in His Word, then Jesus Himself said, you are not of me. Not one jot nor title will fade away.

  47. So, who’s arguing one can continue to live as a drunkard, adulterer, pedophile, thief or divorce (unless because of adultery or death) any of the other things and still continue in the faith?

    Tweet, tweet, tweet.

  48. The Torah’s prohibition on anal sex between males does not prevent welcoming LGBT persons any more than the Torah’s prohibition on working on the Sabbath prevents welcoming people who drove to synagogue that day. As for what “welcoming” means, I was responding to James Carr’s use of the term above when he asserted “,No Christian / Jewish authority could welcome the LGBT Community as such, because of the undeniable sin attached to their actions.” So you’ll have to ask him.

  49. Until you define what ‘welcoming’ is, you’re playing a game.

    Nobody has ever been denied a seat at any church I’ve ever attended whether Conservative or IFB. I’ve been attending for approximately 45 years. So, you’re “WELCOME” to attend church. However, ‘welcome’ isn’t the same as your saved because I’m going to continue to sin against God because I won’t abide by His Word.

  50. Like I said, it was someone on your side of the debate that used the term “welcoming.” I was responding to him. As to whether someone is “welcome” in church not meaning that person is “saved,” I have no stake in that argument so I won’t argue with you.

  51. Don’t judge those that left GP. You don’t know our reasons for leaving. By your statement you are more of a bigot than those that left. Dont let this issue make you into a promoter of false truth.

  52. Moderators, why is it permissible for Karla to spam this website with her same diatribe again and again and again, but unacceptable for Gus to call her on her spam?

  53. Homophobia is a mental disorder, not a “principle.”

  54. But it’s OK for anti-gays to attack loving, committed same gender Alabama couples and their many children? What did their children ever do to hurt you?

  55. You’re correct, I. Anti-gays routinely try to “project” their own misdeeds onto their intended LGBT victims.

  56. Abandon all hope, ye who enter herein (RNS).

  57. I watched a dear co-worker commit slow suicide because of self-loathing. Soon after I met him as an incredible intern, I wanted to introduce him to some beautiful, kind, devout, out gay folks who could support him in our small field. Little did I know he was closeted – I saw him doing his best to form authentic connections. So I just tried to be a friend.

    A few years later, he worked himself to the bone. I asked “Dear D, why so run down?” “C, if I stop, I’ll remember how much I hate myself.” He soon contracted pneumonia, and died a few weeks later. Though he had attended an Episcopal church while alive, his parents held the memorial service at his childhood evangelical church. The minister preached hellfire and didn’t – mention – his – name – once.

    This will haunt me forever.

  58. The message of the Gospel is reconciliation with God through Christ…and being transformed into a new creation, not being at peace with yourself. Christ says, “Deny yourself, repent, let me transform you.”…Stan Mitchell says, “Be at peace with yourself, God loves you just the way you are.” At some point, we as believers need to decide who to trust…and who to serve. This man is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, teaching a false gospel to Christians who aren’t deeply rooted enough to not be blown around or tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine that comes along that is contrary, crazy enough, to what God says about Himself. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

  59. Jesus is the standard for Christian behavior. If these folks that sent the hate mail Identify as Christians they are grossly mistepresenting Biblical Christianity. Love is the fruit of the Spirit and they have it not!

  60. Keep the faith bro. Praying for you, You speak the truth of God. God bless!

  61. Amen!!!! She speaks the truth! Im so glad that I have another sister in Christ that speaks the truth! I will see you in Heaven!

  62. “Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.”
    ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭7:15-20‬ ‭NLT‬‬

    Stan is now working on his 2nd divorce, was removed from Christ Church for sleeping with multiple women in the church in between marriages and refusing to seek counseling. He is bearing fruit and his followers refuse to recognize it. In a short time, we will find out he is now gay. He has opened the gates of hell in his soul and taking others with him. God have mercy!

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