“Forgiveness is swallowing when you want to spit.”
That’s what the sign outside the Bella Vista Baptist Church in the quiet community of Edgewater, Florida (pop. 22,000) read last week.
The scandalous sign likely would have gone unnoticed had it not been for a woman on Instagram who snapped a photo then hashtagged it #swallowforthelord:
In the comments, the woman writes that she was so shocked by the sign she had to drive around the block a second time just to make sure she had read it correctly.
After receiving quite a bit of unwanted attention, the church apologized for the gaffe.
“We apologize if anyone was offended,” a church official told News 6-TV, adding that the sign was “completely innocent” and “intended as encouragement to forgive.”
The sign had drawn mixed reactions from people. Most have found it hilarious. Others, however, have chastised those making fun of its sexual undertones.
“Anybody w ho finds that offensive has their minds in the gutter,” a commenter named Gordon Martin wrote on the News 6-TV blog. “Obviously, somebody was very naive and just didn’t think it through very well.”