Father Christmas’ Naughty List: Pastor Plans to Publicly Expose Sins of Former Parishioner

0_61_121708_hancockRebecca Hancock, 49, of Jacksonville, Florida may be done with the Grace Community Church and Rev. T. Scott Christmas, but they are not done with her. Hancock left the church after it demanded that she leave her boyfriend Frank Young because of their “sexually immoral relationship.” Her children, however, remained in the church. Now, the church was told her that if she does not leave the church, her sins will be exposed to the entire community.

Christmas has given her until December 8th to meet with the church and end her immoral lifestyle. Christmas told local media that he is doing “nothing more than following the practices of what biblical churches have done through history.”

Hancock got into trouble when she revealed the relationship to a church mentor. She says that she was told that she was “biblically wrong” and need to dump Young.

She was then confronted by other women in the church who knew of her private relationship. One lady allegedly told her “I was at your house when you didn’t come home all night.’”

After leaving the church and refusing to take repeatedly calls, she received a letter informing her of the public outing planned in December: “Your refusal to repent and be restored in your relationship with God and His Church leaves us with no alternative than to carry out the third step of the discipline process. . . .In accordance with Matthew 18:17, we intend to ‘tell it to the church.’”

This would occur in front of her 20-year-old son and 18-year-old daughter.

This could make for a really interesting tort case. Normally you lose the protection of the privacy torts when you disclose private facts. Such voluntary disclosures make it difficult to bring an Intrusion Upon Seclusion tort or the Public Disclosure of Private Facts. However, the question is whether her disclosure to the mentor was thought to be private under the rules and traditions of the church. Courts tend to be reluctant to allow lawsuits in areas protected by the first amendment.

For the full story and a copy of the letter, click here.

34 thoughts on “Father Christmas’ Naughty List: Pastor Plans to Publicly Expose Sins of Former Parishioner”

  1. bc:

    I suppose these two verses are meant to prove something, but given the contradictory nature of much of scripture I am not sure just what. I much prefer your opinion to some iron age mantra repeated robotically as if I am supposed to stand in awe of its prose or profundity. Personally I’ll take Fitzgerald’s or Dostoevsky’s prose over Matt’s and Paul’s.

    If you want to trade quotes here’s some better ones:

    “The caterwauling horns has reached a crescendo and I turned away and cut across the lawn toward home. I glanced back once. A wafer of a moon was shining over Gatsby’s house, making the night fine as before, and surviving the laughter and the sound of his still glowing garden. A sudden emptiness seemed to flow now from the windows and the great door, endowing with complete isolation the figure of the host, who stood on the porch, his hand up in a formal gesture of farewell.”


    “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”
    –F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

    “I meant to end it like this. When the Inquisitor ceased speaking he waited some time for his Prisoner to answer him. His silence weighed down upon him. He saw that the Prisoner had listened intently all the time, looking gently in his face and evidently not wishing to reply. The old man longed for him to say something, however bitter and terrible. But He suddenly approached the old man in silence and softly kissed him on his bloodless aged lips. That was all his answer. The old man shuddered. His lips moved. He went to the door, opened it, and said to Him: ‘Go, and come no more… come not at all, never, never!’ And he let Him out into the dark alleys of the town. The Prisoner went away.”

    “And the old man?”

    “The kiss glows in his heart, but the old man adheres to his idea.”

    Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Grand Inquisitor from the Brothers Karamazov

  2. Matthew 18:15-17
    “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that BY THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES EVERY FACT MAY BE CONFIRMED.
    If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.”

    1 Corinthians 5:11-13
    But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler–not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? But those who are outside, God judges. REMOVE THE WICKED MAN FROM AMONG YOURSELVES.

  3. Anne,

    I wanted to echo what Mespo said. I know it must have been very difficult to leave your church of origin. You’re right about that pack mentality and it applies in JT’s post this A.M. as one part of the reason so many people will torture or root it on. Just as the pastor is committing an act of cruelty, others are only too happy to “help out” or condone it by silence.

  4. Ironic that I wrote about this same topic on my site. In the area for related posts, your post was listed. Two different angles however. ;)And I agree with the previous commenters on the hypocrisy of it all.

  5. Anne Hanson:

    “I can say that life is not always so cut-and-dried. People make choices the best they can according to what life hands them.”

    You would make a fine lawyer, if you aren’t already. Your words pretty much summarize the problem the law seeks to address. Only the fool is certain of anything.

  6. That was excellent mespo, thanks!

    P.S. I’d forgotten Jesus was blond haired and blue eyed, nevertheless the movie should show at the church. Maybe you send the link to the churches’ website.

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