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When Your Church Calls For Killing Others, It’s No Longer A Church

It’s a cult.

A cult bordering on the order of Jim Jones or David Koresh.

The fact that you dress it up in Jesus and scripture doesn’t make it any less of a cult.

In case you’ve missed it, recently there has been a plethora of pastors preaching a gospel of death aimed at the GLBTQ community.  The hate and ignorance being preached from the pulpit has been saturating the news cycle.  Here are just a few examples:

Pastor Curtis Knapp of New Hope Baptist Church in Seneca, Kansas called for the government to kill homosexuals. (audio is at the link)

A church  applauds a 4 year old singing “Ain’t no homos going to make it to Heaven”.

Pastor Charles Worsley preaches that “lesbians and queers” should be “fenced in so they can die off”.

These aren’t churches.  You can’t even pretend they’re churches.

Every single member who cheered these fatwas of hate preached from the pulpit, and those who preached them need to repent.

Period.

Speaking of Worsley, Eugene Cho said it best:

Wow, this takes the prize for the most idiotic, insane, stupid, asinine, cruel, ungodly, foul, inexcusable, heinous, and disgusting comments by any person – let alone someone that calls himself a pastor and shepherd. – link

If hate is your motivation, you are far from God and you need to repent.

To the rest of the world, especially those holding these up as examples of what Christianity is, I am sorry.

So damn sorry (as Eugene Cho said) for all the pain and anguish these words cause you.

These folks aren’t of Jesus, and they aren’t of the Gospel.

They’ve forsaken the example of the Rabbi from Nazareth who stood with the marginalized, the dehumanized, the ‘undesirables’, and extended a grace and love to them that was without measure.

A man that stood in front of the stone wielding mob in defense of a woman who, as the Law said, was to be executed for adultery, and simply asked that a sinless member of the mob throw the first stone.

Their tongues speak death, and not life.

They’ve forgotten that God does not delight in death.

They’ve become so wrapped up in their own hate and prejudice, they’ve poisoned themselves, their congregants, and their children.

Quite honestly, it makes me sad.

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  • http://www.pauldebaufer.wordpress.com/ Paul DeBaufer

    Seems “Christian” and “church” have come to mean something other than what Jesus seemed to have in mind. I am so saddened and angered by these so called “christians” (whom Augustine called, “Evil and false…”) and “churches” that I have been considering dissociating myself from the terms. If what it means to be a Christian is to hate then count me out. The Bible tells us that God is love, Jesus tells us we will be known for our love. Yet, those who go by his name are known for their hate. I am sure that they are just the vocal minority, but far too many “good” Christians stand by and remain silent in the face of hate and violence done by those claiming Christ’s name. 

    Thank you for being one of the few who is willing to speak out against this hate and violence perpetrated in the name of out Lord. In Christ’s name they bring Satan’s message, these “churches” and “christians” are of Satan and not Christ.

    • csalafia

      Thanks Paul, that means the world to me.

      I, too, once thought of disassociating myself with the identity of Christian because of all the hate, ignorance, and bigotry that comes out of some poisoned hearts. Then I thought…. WWJD? Seriously. Jesus didn’t disassociate himself from the Jewish people because of the ignorance of the priestly class. Instead he wore it proudly and, through his example, redefined it.

      Just some food for thought.

      • http://www.pauldebaufer.wordpress.com/ Paul DeBaufer

        With your effort here and others who are like minded maybe we can reclaim the term Christian. 

        • http://homebrewedtheology.com Christian

          That’s my hope. :-)

    • Derek

       Isn’t the problem that while Jesus was loving and accepting throughout the four gospels in the other 62 books God and his followers spent most of their time being judgmental, damning and punishing.

  • csalafia

    Those kids are going to carry that moment with them the rest of their lives, whether they’re conscious of it or not. By singing of hate, they received love and acceptance by the congregation that day.

    It makes me incredibly sad that those kids are taught to hate at so young an age. Those parents should be ashamed of themselves.

  • Kinship29

    Your condemnation of all people in those churches is an over-generalization and assumes that all people agree with the misguided pastor. No, they do not become cults, they are just wrong in that kind of teaching.

    As for the kid singing a song, he is merely singing the truth. Unrepentant homosexuals will go to hell and  NOT make it to heaven.  That is a fact taught in the Bible and not an ideology from a little boy or local church pastor.

    Given the information in the Bible God gives homosexuals over to their perversion which means that it is highly unlikely they can escape its clutches and the coming judgment. People should think twice about encouraging young teens to explore their sexuality for you may be putting them on the path to doom and that is not a right thing to do.

    One thing to keep in mind, personal opinion does not speak for the Bible or all christians/believers. The views expressed in those few examples are the views of those minute few people and in no way speaks for the Bible or the true church at large.

    Instead of inciting hate crimes against people who call themselves Christian, why don’t you post more on the things true christians do so that your readers get the proper perspective of what it means to be a believer in Jesus.

    Your post above is pure manipulation, a distortion of the reality and it raises stumbling blocks to Christ. You are as wrong as those pastors are and have no right to point a finger at them.

    • csalafia

      When the congregation applauds or go on CNN to defend this hate speech, there really isn’t any other conclusion that can be drawn.

      No, homosexuals will NOT go to hell and no, that’s not what the bible teaches. Well, it does if you completely strip those verses of any and all context to the point where you tell scripture what it says instead of letting scripture speak.

      Your interpretation of Romans 1 is faulty, at best, and a complete aberration at worst. No, God does not punish idolaters by making them gay. Paul was talking about temple prostitution and pagan sex rituals within the Roman temple structure.

      These “pastors” are putting their congregations on the path to doom by preaching a message that is hateful, murderous, and completely anti-Christian. It’s cultish… there’s no other way to describe it.

      I know this doesn’t represent the church at large… I’m thankful that there are many more Christians, including myself, who are not bigoted, hateful, and don’t preach murder from the pulpit.

      Oh, and if anyone is inciting hate crimes, it’s these jackasses who have the unmitigated gall to call themselves “pastors” (a title they in no way deserve), and the denominational leadership that remained silent while they preached a message of murder.

      Oh, and scripture absolutely gives me the right to call them out for leading the flock to hell. To call them “misguided”, as you did, doesn’t even begin to describe the damage they’re doing not only to Christianity, but to their congregations as well.

      • Kinship29

        Read Rev. 21: 27 Since God calls homosexuals an abomination, they will not enter into heaven.

        A couple others things about your post: Romans 1 starting at verse 18 tells us that Paul is NOT limiting his words to pagan temple practices so you are reading Romans the way you want it to read.

        Your emotional response is not credible and you are not in a position to judge. Yes the pastors are misguided because Christ would not want them to speak in such a way BUT just like you they let their emotions get away from them and they say something they will regret.

        Hate crimes goes both ways.  The Bible also says to pray for those who do evil and do not return evil for evil… so I would temper your words and attitude and become biblical if you want to ‘call someone out.’

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  • http://ghostcow.bandcamp.com brendan

    This is called the “No True Scotsman” fallacy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_scotsman

    The fact is that calling for people’s deaths and actually killing people has made up a substantial portion of church business as long as there’s been a church. The idea that churches (and synagogues and mosque) should not engage in such behavior is relatively novel.

    Excluding, hurting and killing people is part and parcel of what organized religion is all about. Stop attacking the symptom and realize that the church has always caused and enabled homophobia and racism

    • csalafia

      You would be correct, if I had distinguished between true and ‘not-true’ Christians. However, I didn’t It’s a common mistake to confuse this fallacy with situations where actual criteria aren’t met… and if you’re preaching death from the pulpit, no, you’re not Christian and not a church.

      I also rather enjoyed how you (attempted) to discredit the article by falsely claiming a logical fallacy and then turn right around with a broad-brush generalization of your own. No, death is not what organized religion is about and no, the church hasn’t always caused and enabled homophobia and racism. Know how I know this? I now a number of open and affirming congregations, including the one I attend, and also know that “the church” has always been heavily involved in social justice movements, including abolition and civil rights.

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