Accused Atlanta Gunman’s Church Expels Him

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Miles
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Accused Atlanta Gunman’s Church Expels Him

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Post by Miles »

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"Parishioners of Crabapple First Baptist Church in Milton, Ga., voted to remove Robert Aaron Long, 21, from the church’s membership following an hour-long service dedicated to the eight people he is charged with killing at three Atlanta-area spas Tuesday night.

“Our hearts are filled with so many emotions; with grief, with anger, sadness, with emptiness, confusion,” Associate Pastor Luke Folsom said in a prayer before a crowd of more than 100 congregants.

Long, 21, was charged with eight counts of murder and one count of aggravated assault. The eight victims included a woman two days shy of her 50th birthday and a newlywed who had just given birth to her second child. Seven of the eight killed were women; six of them were of Asian descent.

“Right now there is a bitter pall hanging on the palate of our hearts. Everything is impacted and influenced by what we have experienced this week, and you wonder if it’ll ever taste sweet again,” Dockery [The evangelical church’s senior pastor] said. “God’s word says we’ve all sinned and fallen short of God’s glory.

Church members had told The Washington Post that Long and his parents regularly attended church services and activities. The church had publicly disowned Long in a Friday statement, saying that “he alone is responsible for his evil actions and desires,” which are “the result of a sinful heart and depraved mind for which Aaron is completely responsible.”

Long himself had cited a theological motivation for his alleged attacks, telling police that they were an attempt to eliminate sexual temptation. His former roommate, Tyler Bayless, said Long believed he was “falling out of the grace of God” due to his “sex addiction,” and that on at least one occasion he had contemplated suicide.

Experts this week have said the mentality Bayless described is common within evangelical “purity culture,” which teaches that sexual desire outside of marriage is sinful and those who fail to control their lust are sometimes considered “sex addicts.” The church’s bylaws assert that adultery, fornication and pornography are “sinful and offensive to God.”

“He was racked with a very specific kind of guilt — which is to say religious,” Bayless said. “He was militant about it. I mean, this was the kind of guy who would hate himself for masturbating, would consider that to be a relapse.”
source

So what's the deal here? "You can be a member of our church, a sinner just like all our members, unless, that is, you commit a sin we really don't like. We only want upstanding sinners in our church. And as for any compassion, forget it, you're simply not worth our effort. And, 'Judge not lest ye be judged' you say! Well who are you to tell us how to read the Bible. We'll cherry pick it as we darn well see fit.

Want some advice? Go join that heathen Methodist church across town. They'll take anyone.
"



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Re: Accused Atlanta Gunman’s Church Expels Him

Post #2

Post by nobspeople »

Miles wrote: Sun Mar 21, 2021 10:28 pm .


"Parishioners of Crabapple First Baptist Church in Milton, Ga., voted to remove Robert Aaron Long, 21, from the church’s membership following an hour-long service dedicated to the eight people he is charged with killing at three Atlanta-area spas Tuesday night.

“Our hearts are filled with so many emotions; with grief, with anger, sadness, with emptiness, confusion,” Associate Pastor Luke Folsom said in a prayer before a crowd of more than 100 congregants.

Long, 21, was charged with eight counts of murder and one count of aggravated assault. The eight victims included a woman two days shy of her 50th birthday and a newlywed who had just given birth to her second child. Seven of the eight killed were women; six of them were of Asian descent.

“Right now there is a bitter pall hanging on the palate of our hearts. Everything is impacted and influenced by what we have experienced this week, and you wonder if it’ll ever taste sweet again,” Dockery [The evangelical church’s senior pastor] said. “God’s word says we’ve all sinned and fallen short of God’s glory.

Church members had told The Washington Post that Long and his parents regularly attended church services and activities. The church had publicly disowned Long in a Friday statement, saying that “he alone is responsible for his evil actions and desires,” which are “the result of a sinful heart and depraved mind for which Aaron is completely responsible.”

Long himself had cited a theological motivation for his alleged attacks, telling police that they were an attempt to eliminate sexual temptation. His former roommate, Tyler Bayless, said Long believed he was “falling out of the grace of God” due to his “sex addiction,” and that on at least one occasion he had contemplated suicide.

Experts this week have said the mentality Bayless described is common within evangelical “purity culture,” which teaches that sexual desire outside of marriage is sinful and those who fail to control their lust are sometimes considered “sex addicts.” The church’s bylaws assert that adultery, fornication and pornography are “sinful and offensive to God.”

“He was racked with a very specific kind of guilt — which is to say religious,” Bayless said. “He was militant about it. I mean, this was the kind of guy who would hate himself for masturbating, would consider that to be a relapse.”
source

So what's the deal here? "You can be a member of our church, a sinner just like all our members, unless, that is, you commit a sin we really don't like. We only want upstanding sinners in our church. And as for any compassion, forget it, you're simply not worth our effort. And, 'Judge not lest ye be judged' you say! Well who are you to tell us how to read the Bible. We'll cherry pick it as we darn well see fit.

Want some advice? Go join that heathen Methodist church across town. They'll take anyone.
"



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Having lived in Georgia for a while, and have immediate family members that are Baptist, I can say, Baptist are one of the last groups that should throw anyone out of their church.
Christianity was violent and, many would say, still is in some aspects. So it's no surprise that a violent person should have a Christian background to me. What's surprising is a church expelling someone for sinning, no matter how bad it is. But, then again, maybe it's not surprising at all, now that I think about it.
Have a great, potentially godless, day!

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Re: Accused Atlanta Gunman’s Church Expels Him

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Post by Overcomer »

nobspeople wrote:
Christianity was violent and, many would say, still is in some aspects. So it's no surprise that a violent person should have a Christian background to me.
Could you clarify that for me, please? In what way was/is Christianity violent? How do you see a Christian background fueling violence in a person?

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Re: Accused Atlanta Gunman’s Church Expels Him

Post #4

Post by Overcomer »

Miles wrote:
So what's the deal here? "You can be a member of our church, a sinner just like all our members, unless, that is, you commit a sin we really don't like. We only want upstanding sinners in our church.
I agree with you, Miles. I feel some outrage here that a church isn't willing to support someone no matter how heinous their crime. I sure hope they're kind to his family and that they don't tar and feather all of them as well.

It seems obvious to me that they want to separate themselves from the gunman in case people blame them for his actions. It looks like they're more concerned with exonerating themselves of wrong-doing in the matter than they are of helping him through the mess he's in. His "theology" is twisted as God would never condone his actions in any way. I expect he has some serious mental health issues that need addressing. But I see no compassion in the church if its leaders and members just turn their backs on him.

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Re: Accused Atlanta Gunman’s Church Expels Him

Post #5

Post by Miles »

Overcomer wrote: Thu Mar 25, 2021 3:51 pm Miles wrote:
So what's the deal here? "You can be a member of our church, a sinner just like all our members, unless, that is, you commit a sin we really don't like. We only want upstanding sinners in our church.
I agree with you, Miles. I feel some outrage here that a church isn't willing to support someone no matter how heinous their crime. I sure hope they're kind to his family and that they don't tar and feather all of them as well.

It seems obvious to me that they want to separate themselves from the gunman in case people blame them for his actions. It looks like they're more concerned with exonerating themselves of wrong-doing in the matter than they are of helping him through the mess he's in. His "theology" is twisted as God would never condone his actions in any way. I expect he has some serious mental health issues that need addressing. But I see no compassion in the church if its leaders and members just turn their backs on him.
And personally, this would come as no surprise.


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Re: Accused Atlanta Gunman’s Church Expels Him

Post #6

Post by Dimmesdale »

[Replying to Miles in post #1]

I thought Christianity was supposed to be very merciful.

I have heard of Christians being ousted from congregations, but this doesn't seem to me to be appropriate, given how he hasn't yet been given the chance to repent. I understand what he did was very reprehensible, but that should not by itself disqualify him from the household of faith, as it were. He should be given the chance to apologize, and led back into the fold, if he so chooses. The Church's action is premature in other words. Only when someone has demonstrated that he is unrepentant and settled in his refusal to go back, should he be excommunicated, I think.

So yes, I think this is an instance of the Church kowtowing to public opinion, rather than standing on truth, on its principles, come hell or high water. I think that sort of thing vitiates all true religion.

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Re: Accused Atlanta Gunman’s Church Expels Him

Post #7

Post by Tcg »

Dimmesdale wrote: Thu Mar 25, 2021 7:45 pm He should be given the chance to apologize, and led back into the fold, if he so chooses.
Sure:

"Sorry about that pastor."

'About what son?'

"You know, murdering those 8 people."

'Are you really, really sorry?'

"I sure am!"

'That's okay then son, it's potluck Wednesday, let's get some grub.'

Given he'll probably never get out a prison, this of course isn't likely to happen. Not to worry though, if he pretends to be sorry hard enough while in prison, some church group will be happy to benefit from his infamy. It's happened before:

Did ‘jailhouse religion’ save Jeffrey Dahmer?

"When Dahmer died, I was a staff writer for The Oklahoman. I’ll never forget talking that day with Curt Booth, a member of the Crescent Church of Christ in Oklahoma, about his role in Dahmer’s conversion.

“I know Jeffrey was ready,” Booth told me. “Today, all the angels in heaven are rejoicing because Jeffrey has come home.”

Booth said he had no doubt about the sincerity of Dahmer’s conversion.

“On the great resurrection day, I’m expecting to see him right along there with Abraham, David, Isaac, James, John and all the saints that have lived right up to the modern day,” Booth said.

Booth usually ministered to inmates at prisons closer to home. But in April 1994, he caught a glimpse of Dahmer on television. Dahmer mentioned that he wished he could “find a little peace,” Booth said.

https://christianchronicle.org/did-jail ... ey-dahmer/

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Re: Accused Atlanta Gunman’s Church Expels Him

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Post by Purple Knight »

Tcg wrote: Thu Mar 25, 2021 10:39 pm"Sorry about that pastor."

'About what son?'

"You know, murdering those 8 people."

'Are you really, really sorry?'

"I sure am!"

'That's okay then son, it's potluck Wednesday, let's get some grub.'
There seem to be two distinct schools on this: One that would really be this forgiving (that's the sort I've been exposed to in my life) and one that believes forgive doesn't mean forget, and it also doesn't mean don't punish.

Good. Good for that second school. I don't care if they did throw this fellow out because of political pressure. Christians should throw more people out. They should start with the notorious sexual abusers hiding in every dark corner of their churches.

JWs throw people out. IMO having researched it a bit, they go too far, but everyone else is going not far enough, so, plus to JWs.

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Re: Accused Atlanta Gunman’s Church Expels Him

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Post by Dimmesdale »

Purple Knight wrote: Fri Mar 26, 2021 1:33 pm
Tcg wrote: Thu Mar 25, 2021 10:39 pm"Sorry about that pastor."

'About what son?'

"You know, murdering those 8 people."

'Are you really, really sorry?'

"I sure am!"

'That's okay then son, it's potluck Wednesday, let's get some grub.'
There seem to be two distinct schools on this: One that would really be this forgiving (that's the sort I've been exposed to in my life) and one that believes forgive doesn't mean forget, and it also doesn't mean don't punish.

Good. Good for that second school. I don't care if they did throw this fellow out because of political pressure. Christians should throw more people out. They should start with the notorious sexual abusers hiding in every dark corner of their churches.

JWs throw people out. IMO having researched it a bit, they go too far, but everyone else is going not far enough, so, plus to JWs.
It also matters whether or not one can actually be barred from salvation by not being in communion with a Church. I think this is the position of the Catholic Church if I am not mistaken; apart from Her one can't have entrance into heaven. Although, Rome makes concession to others by saying they come to Her circuitously (indirectly). But even psychologically, a believer knowing himself to have some relation to the larger body of believers, must be a consolation in and of itself. To be formally excommunicated is a great blow to people who take just such things seriously.

Now whether he should stay in jail and pay the price; lack of freedom, etc, I absolutely see no contradiction between the two. One can belong to a Church and also serve what he needs to serve. The Church is not something geographical or a building; though it is that too. The Church is metaphysical and universal, per traditional Christianity.

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Re: Accused Atlanta Gunman’s Church Expels Him

Post #10

Post by Purple Knight »

Dimmesdale wrote: Fri Mar 26, 2021 2:58 pmIt also matters whether or not one can actually be barred from salvation by not being in communion with a Church.
It does matter. Very much. That's why I say kick 'em all out. I'd rather have the soul that was otherwise pushed away from the church due to not wanting to be amongst murderers or paedophiles. I'll be generous: Technically you can keep the murderer as long as he doesn't murder the other churchies. Anyone pushed away knowing he won't do so is leaving of their own volition. You do have to get rid of the paedos though. Those will always prey on the flock.
Dimmesdale wrote: Fri Mar 26, 2021 2:58 pmBut even psychologically, a believer knowing himself to have some relation to the larger body of believers, must be a consolation in and of itself. To be formally excommunicated is a great blow to people who take just such things seriously.
Yes, it's terrible. In all reality these murders probably had something to do with what the church did to him. Either they, or perhaps his family, made him feel miserable over his sex addiction, beat him over the head for it, which may or may not have exacerbated it. They're so ashamed and embarrassed that they had to expel him.

Now, hopefully, they'll actually try to help next time instead of just shaming him. I don't have any proof they did this, but where did he get the shame? It was either his family, the church, or both.

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