So I received an email over the weekend from someone I’ve never met before who apparently stumbled upon our RiverChurch website and ….well…..here 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 ass.u.me because….well it can make a donkey out of “u” & “me.”