Pennsylvania Church Revokes Membership Of Gay Worshipper Out Of Love

Ambassadors Bible Chapel

20-year-old Bobbie Pierce had been a member of Ambassador's Bible Chapel in Newberry Township, Pennsylvania his entire life. Now, though he is still allowed to attend services, he is a member no longer after church elders including Pastor David Slautterback decided that church discipline was needed when Pierce chose not to renounce his homosexuality, the York Daily Record reports.

PierceSaid Slautterback:

I do not believe that a homosexual person has to be homosexual any more than I believe that a person who is inclined to steal steals[…]We placed Bobbie under church discipline out of love for Bobbie and regard for his soul.

Pierce is less concerned with his soul and more about the lives of other gay youths and wants them to know that they are not alone.

I've heard so many stories of someone who is homosexual who has a strict Christian family, who commits suicide.

Pierce still attends his church. He takes his wheelchair-bound grandmother there weekly, and despite the actions of Pastor Slautterback he still feels at home there.

The members of the church are like a family. That's where I grew up. Even with the non-acceptance of homosexuality, it's still my church where I felt comfortable.


  1. Art says

    “Strict” Christian families aren’t Christian at all. They are really Jews still living under the old covenant of rules and law. Real Christians live under the New Covenant of God’s Grace, Love and Forgiveness. Paid for by Jesus’s sacrifice and resurrection.

  2. Alex Parrish says

    “I do not believe that a homosexual person has to be homosexual” and I do not believe that an ignorant person has to remain ignorant. One of these beliefs is wrong. I do not believe that Slauterback is a christian or a pastor. He is a snake-oil salesman who hides behind religion.

  3. GeoffreyPS says

    OK, I’ve officially been watching too many episodes of Supernatural on Netflix, because it looks like someone tried to chop the guy’s head off. Are those blood stains?

  4. Jon says

    Obviously if you believe that this life is the be-all and end-all of human existence, then you will think that what this church has done is inexcusable and hateful. However, if you believe (as the Bible teaches) that this brief life is but the beginning of eternity for each person, and you believe that the Bible teaches that it’s a “mortal sin” to engage in same-sex sexual activity and promote that as acceptable and live in it, then the most loving thing for that church is to discipline that church member. Why? Because where one spends eternity is a MUCH bigger deal than some hardships (e.g. – celibacy) to be endured in this brief life.

    It really all hinges on that issue, and that then defines what is “the loving thing to do.”

  5. says

    I’ve never met a single atheist who was more hateful, unkind, or inconsiderate than most of the so-called christians I’ve known, and there have been many.

    I feel very sad for anyone whose primary social outlet is at a church.

  6. Jonty Coppersmith says

    That poor guy needs help with his self-esteem.
    I would also take my grandmother if she asked me to, but I sure wouldn’t subject myself to that kind of “love.”

  7. BETTY says

    Bobbie, they aren’t your family. I am not a religious person, but I do know there are other church denominations that are welcoming and accepting of gay people and won’t judge you. They will welcome you with open arms and act like true christians.

  8. atomic says

    Family stick up for one another, support one another. Real family values is what you are doing for your wheelchair bound grandmother. Family would love you unconditionally, try to understand you.

    You may call these people your family, but it is clear that they don’t regard you as part of their family. Why would you persist? If they were truly supportive of you, they would not have permitted the church leadership to revoke your membership. That is what true family would do. They stand by you.

  9. BETTY says

    J and GEOFFREYPS: It’s bad enough this poor guy has been judged by so-called christians and a community he thought was his family. Do we as a community have to turn around and do the same thing? Don’t stoop to their level. Btw it is obviously facial hair and a bad resolution pic. Grow up.

  10. JJ says

    Please explain to me how it’s noble that he takes his grandmother to this vipers’ nest weekly. How is it moral to help immoral people disseminate and perpetuate their bigotry? What if it was a Klan meeting? Would people be like, “What scumbags! But isn’t he just a sweetheart for taking his poor crippled grandma!”

  11. Bill says

    @ sparks : Look at the picture of the church – not the building but the surrounding area, and then check the wikipedia page on the town. It has 15286 inhabitants as of the 2010 census. This is a small, rural/suburban area where the population density is 500 per square mile.

    Bobbie Pierce probably wants to continue to go there because everyone he knows is there and there isn’t a lot else going on in town (also the article claimed he was taking an elderly relative there – one who can’t get around by herself anymore. I would hardly blame him for not wanting to be isolated and it is nice of him to care for an elderly relative.

    As to the pastor and the other people actually running this church, too bad we can’t turn them over to Pontius Pilatus (to use the actual Latin form of his name) for some “corrective therapy.”
    Some Christians have a martyr complex, so why not give them all the trimmings, although these days we can only do that figuratively.

  12. JJ says

    @Jon, not all beliefs are equally likely to be true. So when people take it upon themselves to punish others, it’s fair to judge them by how well-founded are the beliefs they use to justify that punishment. Mere belief isn’t good enough, because people can choose arbitrarily to believe false things or disbelieve true things. Mere deeply sincere belief isn’t good enough, because believing something wrong more fervently doesn’t make it less false. Beliefs need evidence to justify them. Evidence allows independent people to test, verify, demonstrate, and even predict the facts that imply a truth. The more independent lines of investigation point to the same possibility, the more likely it is to be true.

    The church has reliable evidence for the existence of life here and now: they observe it directly, along with the rest of us. They have zero evidence of a soul, an afterlife, or eternal damnation. (The Bible may claim that those things exist, but no one can show that those claims are true.) The church has good evidence that ostracizing Bobbie is hurtful to him now, and zero evidence that they are saving him from any alleged infinite torture. Thus, they knowingly hurt him and knowingly have nothing to justify it. Their actions are not simply immoral, but _objectively_ so.

  13. MaryM says

    The church IS acting out of love.
    If this guy learns from this experience how utterly moronic religious belief is then he will be a lot better off?
    What is an educated 20 year old doing, believing in that ‘god’ thing anyway?

  14. disgusted american says

    hey dude- Join the UCC if you feel the need for renewed brainwashing….at least the UCC excepts ALL PEOPLES! Then Tell your church where they can SHOVE IT

  15. ThomT says

    This young man, by taking care of his wheelchair bound grandmother, is far more “Christian” than the feeble minded bigoted old fools who run this church. If there really is a God then Bobby has nothing to fear come judgement day – however, the Pastor and elders of this church won’t get off so easily.

  16. Jon says

    @ JJ – I appreciate the response, but I would say you do not understand what “faith” is and how faith is more powerful and more certain than even what is perceived by the senses. I understand why you would say that the church ought to go off of what it can tangibly and visibly witness presently and not put much stock in a future it cannot yet tangibly see, but you say that as someone who doesn’t have a Christian faith. Faith is trusting in the words of the Bible as being so ultimately true, because they come from a God who cannot lie, that the future spoken of in the Bible is MORE certain than even the present reality. Why? Not because I as a person authenticate it one way or the other, but because God declares it to be so, and therefore it is.

    Now I guess that this sounds like silliness to you. But it doesn’t to those who have faith. To them, and to those in this church, what you are advocating for is foolishness, because it is putting the opinions of fallible man ahead of the realities of the God who created all men and all of creation.

    I am writing this to help you understand where this church is coming from (not that you would agree or find such a worldview convincing).

  17. patrick says

    He is only 20 and is clinging to what he was born into. I had a hard time letting go of that sort of community when I was his age. Seeing him stand up for himself tells me he will grow and will eventually be okay with letting them all go.

  18. woodroad34 says

    I do not believe that a hateful, bigoted person has to be hateful and bigoted any more than I believe that a person who is inclined to steal steals[…]We placed Slautterback under social discipline out of love for Slautterback and regard for his soul and mental well-being.

  19. JJ says

    @Jon: “faith is…more certain than even what is perceived by the senses.”

    Where people truly–demonstrably–place their faith only further proves my point. When put to the test, people put their faith in evidence. Only exceedingly rarely (like in the case of suicide bombers) do people actually exhibit faith in unsupported claims, despite where they might think or say their faith lies.

    Take agriculture for example. We know (from evidence) that people invariably starve to death if they don’t eat. We also know (also from evidence) that plants properly sown can be harvested for food. We know in minute microscopic detail (from vast evidence) how plants store energy from the sun, how animals harness that energy when we consume plants, and how that energy sustains life and prevents starvation. These facts–derived from evidence–justify our faith in agriculture, which we rely on daily to keep from starving.

    Take medicine. We know that a person invariably dies if you remove his heart without replacing it. We also know that a well-trained surgeon, following a well-tested procedure can remove someone’s heart and replace it with another heart without killing the patient. People routinely bet their lives on this surgery voluntarily, because their faith that it will work is justified by strong evidence.

    You exercise the same faith when you fly in a jet at 30,000 feet or _avoid_ stepping off the ledge of a 300-foot building. You have faith in what will happen if you do these things because you have evidence to justify your faith.

    You say that this “brief life” is insignificant compared to one’s eternal existence, and you bet your eternal fate on your faith that what the Bible says is true. If you truly believe these things, and if your faith is truly “more powerful and more certain” than what you see, then it logically follows that you would bet your life on the claims of the Bible with the same confidence and certainty and threat of peril as when you bet your life on food or medicine or human invention. If you wouldn’t make that bet, then it logically follows that your faith doesn’t actually reside where you might like it to, and you don’t genuinely believe the things you would like to believe.

    I’m not looking for a response. I’m simply trying to give you a means to demonstrate where your faith truly lies.

  20. Shlomo says

    I must take issue with the person who says “Jews [are] still living under the old covenant of rules and law.”

    Of course, some Orthodox Jews still are, but they don’t speak for the Jewish majority. All major Jewish denominations (except Orthodox) ordain openly LGBT rabbis,and perform same-sex marriages where they are legal.

    In Reform Judaism (which is the largest denomination), one observes only those portions the ritual law that (s)he finds meaningful and appropriate for him(her).

    In all denominations of Judaism (yes, even Orthodox), there is repentance and forgiveness for sin.

  21. Sean says

    OMG this hurt to read. I am from York and frankly this type of stuff happened in the church I grew up in before I went to college and came out of the closet. Once I got away from York and my former church, I could finally heal. This guy isn’t going to and I fear for his life.

  22. JJ says

    @ SHLOMO, to be fair, “They are really Jews still living under the old covenant of rules and law,” means:

    By still living under the old covenant of rules
    and law, they are equivalent to ancient Jews
    (and therefore not Christians in practice).

    It does NOT mean:

    They are equivalent to contemporary Jews,
    all of whom still today live under the old
    covenant of rules and law.

Leave A Reply