So I received an email over the weekend from someone I’ve never met before who apparently stumbled upon our RiverChurch website and ….well… are a few things they said:

So it looks like you are living a lesbian/homosexual lifestyle?  Am I correct in this assumption?

And never did I see on your website about healing!!  God said believers will lay hands on the sick and they shall be healed!  Healing, as well as prosperity is part of the provisions of the cross of Jesus Christ!!

So besides being a foul example of what God is against, I don’t see you teaching other things that he is for!

You are an embarrassment to the body of Christ!

Yeah they were pretty ticked.  So, let me give you a little context.  This individual was perusing through our church website and clicked on the link to see “Who We Are.”  They were using their mobile device and this was the image they saw:


Okay – I understand that I have a “girls” name.  (Again, thanks Mom & Dad.)  Apparently this person only saw this part of the image on their mobile device.  So seeing only females in the picture, and two apparent “feminine” names, they came to the “assumption” that we are same sex couple. .

Had they continued to scroll down they would have seen the whole picture:


Yeah there I am, with my boy, sitting on the floor of the train car.

So there is a second email that came about 20 minutes after and it read:

Regarding my last e mail accusing you of being lesbians, I am SO.
Sorry and profusely and humbly and shamefacedly apologize!!  My phone did not show your whole family photo!!!  Never saw the MAN at the bottom of the screen!!!!  I stand corrected!  Please forgive me!!!

Now, there’s a lot about this entire situation that I could say.  But first I want to acknowledge the apology.  In fact, I did acknowledge the apology, and encouraged the writer to prayerfully consider their words before writing future emails.  I actually  feel bad for the person.  Can you imagine?  “UNSEND!!!! UNSEND!!!! Where’s the stinkin’ UNSEND BUTTON!!!!”

There are a number of lessons to learn from this ordeal, but perhaps the most significant one is to “Don’t Assume!”  Far too many times, I’ve been guilty of rushing to conclusions, making assumptions, speaking or acting before I have truly considered my words and my actions and know ALL the facts.  Let this be a lesson to all of us.

To my fellow Christian, who could have done the very same thing – We have to do better in the assuming, judging, condemning, and labeling department.  Seriously – we just have to get better.

Finally – I will set the record straight – Kristi and I are a straight couple.  My name does sound like a girl’s name, although it is the masculine spelling of the name.  (Technically speaking “Shannon” is a masculine name, “Shannan” is the female version.) Oh, and we do believe in healing and the prosperity thing? Well…. I do believe God wants us to prosper, not sure about some people’s view of prosperity and what that looks like, but I’ll save that for  another blog post for another day.

Okay – go have a good day, but remember . . . . Be careful before you because….well it can make a donkey out of “u” & “me.”


Add yours →

  1. King's Court Musician July 11, 2017 — 8:36 am

    This was very good and explains so much concerning people’s views and perspective. Often we do not see things accurately but live as the judge believing the serpent’s words.

    “The serpent told the Woman, “You won’t die. God knows that the moment you eat from that tree, you’ll see what’s really going on. You’ll be just like God, knowing everything, ranging all the way from good to evil.””
    ‭‭Genesis‬ ‭3:4-5‬ ‭MSG‬‬

    • King's Court Musician July 12, 2017 — 6:54 am

      My thoughts and replies clarified. We should not live in the judging way.
      Being a follower, we need to have understanding (clarity of situations). We need to use the correct perception. The Creator teaches how to view (examine & weigh). This is needed.
      Testing is different than judging as The Creator is the Judge. We are called to be in His courtroom, but as a participant.

      “My dear friends, don’t believe everything you hear. Carefully weigh and examine what people tell you. Not everyone who talks about God comes from God. There are a lot of lying preachers loose in the world. Here’s how you test for the genuine Spirit of God. Everyone who confesses openly his faith in Jesus Christ—the Son of God, who came as an actual flesh-and-blood person—comes from God and belongs to God. And everyone who refuses to confess faith in Jesus has nothing in common with God. This is the spirit of antichrist that you heard was coming. Well, here it is, sooner than we thought!”
      ‭‭1 John‬ ‭4:1-3‬ ‭MSG‬‬

  2. Even though this person sent an apology, in my book he still falls into the “jerk category!”And as for your name Shannon it has never entered my head that you have a girls name! it is a great name and like many names it can be either male or female . Much love to you all. Pam

  3. Debbie Thornton July 11, 2017 — 10:16 am

    Shannon, thank you so much for sharing this. We all are guilty of assuming things at times and what a great lesson this turned out to be. What makes it even better is you handled the reply with such grace. While this person was pointing their assuming finger toward you and your church, there were three others pointing back at them 🙂

  4. Wow! I laughed out loud so hard at the situation! Then, I thought of the bold stance that this person had to defend the gospel of truth, although without love, which ended up sounding like a noisy gong. No one is going to hear it in that manner even if what they thought were true.

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