Spiritual

GA Woman to Be Expelled From Church Because of Same-Sex Relationship

Kristen Cox

Based on a disciplinary letter she received from elders, an Atlanta-area woman will soon be kicked out of her nondenominational church for having a lesbian relationship. Krystal Cox, a recently divorced mom, began dating a woman and publicized it on social media.

In December, elders from Woodstock Church of Christ sent Cox a letter requesting “an opportunity to discuss with you this situation and the condition of your soul.” Because she didn’t respond, the elders sent another letter on April 1. Cox posted that letter to Instagram with the caption “I can’t wait for my denouncement ceremony.” She added the hashtags #loveislove and #bye.

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Elders Urge Krystal Cox to Repent of ‘Sinful Behavior’

In the latest disciplinary letter, four elders write, “We feel it is crucial to remind you that our Lord considered it vital that no one can be involved in homosexuality and be in a pleasing relationship with God.” They give an April 30 deadline for Cox to express repentance and a “desire to be forgiven of your sinful behavior.”

If that doesn’t occur, the elders add, they’ll announce on the following Sunday that they’ve “withdrawn fellowship” from Cox after making efforts to urge repentance. “Your name will be removed from our membership role [sic] until you decide to make your life right with the Lord,” the letter states. After fellowship is withdrawn, it adds, “Christians must not interact with you except to encourage you to repent and seek forgiveness.”

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The church and its elders haven’t responded to requests for interviews. Woodstock has removed its social media accounts, so commenters are expressing anger about the situation via Google reviews. One recent post says, “This place is absolutely the worst. God’s love is not conditional and we are all sinners.”

Krystal Cox: ‘How Can People Think This Is So Wrong?’

Krystal Cox says it’s “not my intent” to have people now say “ugly things” about the church. “I just really don’t want anything bad to come out of this,” she tells a local TV station. “I want it to be good.”

But Cox admits feeling “kind of enraged” when she opened the latest letter. “Why am I getting picked on and getting called out when everyone has sin?” she asks. “The fact that they’re going to point it out and release my personal business to the entire congregation…and tell them that I can no longer come there, I just don’t feel like that’s right.”

Cox, who says she has no plans to return to Woodstock Church of Christ, writes on Instagram that she’s happier than she’s been in years, “finally free,” and in love with a woman who “completely fulfills my soul.”

Tennessee church recently faced a similar situation when a letter it sent to a lapsed attendee went viral. Before disabling its website, Woodstock explained online that it attempts to operate as a New Testament Church. Regarding the position of elder, it notes, “These men are shepherds of this congregation, and their primary interest is helping the souls of this congregation reach heaven together.”

Stephanie Martin
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Stephanie Martin, a freelance journalist, has worked in Christian publishing for 27 years. She’s active at her church in Lakewood, Colorado, where she lives with her husband and two teenage daughters.

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