"Pastors" Who Hate

I have little patience for people who promote hate. I don’t care whether it’s in the name of religion or politics. I don’t care if they claim to be speaking for God or for Satan. But when they pretend to be ministers of the Gospel, that tends to put me over the edge.

Case in point: Pastor Charles Worley of Providence Road Baptist Church in Maiden, N.C. , who preached a sermon on May 13 calling for gays, lesbians and transvestites to be gathered and dropped off in an area 50-100 miles long, fenced in, and left there to die — by natural causes, of course, since he did advocate that food be delivered to them by a plane from time to time (how nice of him!). The video is a big hit on YouTube and once more evangelicals end up with more than a black eye over the issue of homosexuality.

I think this sort of outrageous preaching is an affront for the Gospel. Somehow, when I look at the New Testament, I don’t see Jesus making these kinds of pronouncements. Yes, Jesus did speak harsh words at times against those who had abused the power given them by way of their ecclesiastical position. Jesus did speak against sin and he was not afraid to confront merchants who had transformed God’s house into a “den of thieves.” He even picked up a whip and scared them away!

But some preachers take that too far. They seem to live by the philosophy of the “word of the day,” only in their case it is the “hate of the day.” Whether they have an actual “hate list” or not, judging by the explosive nature of what comes out of their mouths, you would think they have put some thought into it or maybe they are just naturally stupid.

Had Jesus heard the sermon by Rev. Worley, he would more than likely walk out in disgust. He would then draw a crowd and explain why he left. He would say that he didn’t agree with the homosexual lifestyle but he was more appalled at the way one who claims to speak for God handled the issue. Then he would more than likely seek to dialogue with those who held a different view from His own.

He would be firm in his position but he would not raise his voice. And for those who would ridicule his views, he would plead with them to come to God on His terms. He wouldn’t compromise on what He believed His Father wanted, but He would never make anyone feel inferior or unworthy of His grace. He would remind all of us that everyone was made in the image of God and as such deserve love and respect. And love is what Jesus did best, even love to the ones who hated Him — a high calling He passed on to all His followers.

Just about the only ones Jesus had no patience with were the religious leaders who acted like they had it all together but were only putting on a show. Those, he called “hypocrites,” “oppressors of widowers,” “brood of vipers,” “like a cup and dish clean on the outside, full of greed and self-indulgence on the inside, “white washed tombs — beautiful on the outside and rotten on the inside,” etc., etc., etc.

On behalf of all the evangelicals who despise this kind of misguided, misconstrued, pseudo-Christian sermon, I would like to express my utter embarrassment and say sorry to all those who may have been offended by Mr. Worley’s remarks. I may not agree with your lifestyle, but I don’t hate you. Jesus would never give me that option.

Ivanildo C. Trindade