Elders at Ridgedale Church of Christ appear not to have read John 8:7: “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” Instead, the elders gathered themselves and their stones this week to ban a mother because she would not renounce her own child. The Tennessee church banned two relatives for good measure after they supported Kat Cooper, a lesbian detective with the Collegedale Police Department. Her mother, Linda Cooper, was given the choice: denounce your daughter or leave the church. It was not much of a Sophie’s Choice: she left the church and with her was any evidence of God’s grace that this church may have had.
Kat Cooper had been fighting publicly for for health benefits for her same-sex spouse, Krista. She eventually prevailed with the support of her family, friends, and the Board of Commissioners. The Church elders, however, went after her mother and relatives. Her father, Hunt Cooper, said that the choice was clear: “Loving her daughter and supporting her family was not a sin.”
Yet, Ken Willis, a minister at Ridgedale Church of Christ, stated that “[t]he sin would be endorsing that lifestyle.” However, he later declined interviews and said “[t]his is an in-church private issue. Because emotions are so inflamed at this point, I choose not to comment any further.” I guess being an “in-church private issue” is more controlling than an “in-family private issue.”
The Coopers have been members of the church for 60 years.
Linda Cooper can do better. After all, “if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” 1 Timothy 5:8. I wonder what it says for those who seek to stop mothers from providing for and loving their children?