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Zeeland pastor under fire for comparing gays to axe murderers

ZEELAND, Mich. -- A pastor from First Baptist Church of Zeeland is making waves online following a recent sermon he gave where he compared being gay to being an axe murderer.

Clint Echols, senior pastor at the church, gave the sermon on March 1 as part of a larger conversation with the congregation about about amending its mission to better reflect its current stance on marriage and sexuality.

Echols said sexuality in American culture is portrayed as an internal compass that a person develops over time, adding hate geared toward the church for holding certain views on sexuality is a result of people hating God.

"They say ‘oh wait a second, I’m gay, I’m bisexual, I want to change my gender.’ And that’s being true to themselves and being true to their internal compass," he said during his sermon.

“For instance, on a completely other playing field, if tomorrow I woke up because I’ve got this internal compass that’s telling me what truth is, tomorrow if I wake up say… well I think I’m an axe murderer and now I’m an axe murderer, would you be happy with that? Would you agree, would you want me to follow that internal compass?”

For Daniel Vanderley, who was a member of the church up until about 15 years ago, the comparisons were jolting, reminding him of his own struggle to come out of the closet. He said the pastor should apologize for the comments.

“Living in a time where it’s hard enough to come out as a gay, in a community where it’s difficult enough to be gay, that to compare that to being an axe murderer does rise to the level of hate speech," Vanderley told FOX 17 by phone Friday.

“They are breaking 'love thy neighbor as thyself' and in the process they’re putting in the minds of the kids who go to that church that being gay is not acceptable.”

Vanderley and a few supporters protested outside the church last Sunday where they posed as members from the Westboro Baptist Church. The purpose was to bring attention to the issue and illustrate the hate happening inside the church outside, Vanderley said.

During the sermon, Echols said homosexuality is considered an “abomination," adding it's "not because God is narrow-minded, it’s because God intended sexuality a certain way… it goes contrary to his design.”

FOX 17 made several attempts to speak with Echols on camera Friday. A representative for the church said Echols would be unavailable for comment put did provide FOX 17 with a statement:

"The protesters who have been demonstrating outside of our church on recent Sundays do not represent our church in any way. They are not from our church, nor are they acting on our behalf. They alone are responsible for the content of their message.
With malice toward none, but charity toward all, First Baptist Church of Zeeland seeks to teach the unchanging truths of God's word.
God declares in His Word that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. As sinners who have received forgiveness and new life through faith in Jesus Christ, we joyfully invite other sinners to experience God's grace and cleansing.
In regard to human sexuality, God's word is clear. God, through His design and clear prescription in his holy Word, instituted marriage between one man and one woman as the foundation of family and the basic structure of human society. Sexual behavior outside of monogamous marriage is contrary to God's design and is therefor sin (Genesis 2:24, Leviticus 18:22; Matthew 19:4-6; Mark 10:6-9; Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9; 1 Corinthians 7:1-5; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8; Hebrews 13:4)"

You can hear the full sermon on the church's website here.

Vanderley said he is planning a protest this coming Sunday at 9 a.m. in front of the church in Zeeland. He's created a Facebook group called "Stand for Equality Zeeland."


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91 comments

  • CommonSense

    Choosing to be gay is clearly a sin according to the bible. And yes it is a choice. We all will have our judgement day.

    • Greyson Edwards

      Says a Christian. I don’t know a person who chooses to be a source of humiliation on a daily basis at the hand of the most corrupt religion in human history. And of course, you don’t have the guts to make your name public. Your judgment day will come and God will remind you of your failures according to scripture.

    • CarolMGill

      Do you know what is a choice? Your religion. No one is born with a religion. Do you know what else is a choice? How you treat your fellow man. What does your bible say about that?

      • CommonSense

        Yes I did choose my religion just as you choose to have sex with a man or a woman. Did you have a point you were trying to make?

        • Rico Suave

          There is a measurable correlation between homosexuality and:
          Brain symmetry
          Difference in hypothalamus structure
          Finger lengths
          hair swirls
          birth order
          male offspring of female relatives
          some evidence for face shape.
          Please explain how finger length or hair pattern is related to choice?
          Stop saying such ignorant things that you cannot logically support.

        • jason

          The point that is trying to be made here is that treating others with respect is a choice… one that a minister of any religion should be able to understand and live by. Then there’s the point of simply trying to understand that not everyone thinks the same way you do. I grew up in the Baptist church as well- got saved, baptised – the whole thing and …. I’m gay. I guess this means that we will be able to argue this point in front of God and Jesus at some time. Or does being gay cancel out that little salvation prayer and the dunk? Just be kind to each other…. It won’t matter for your salvation if I’m gay, don’t try to take on issues that don’t pertain to you.

    • Rps Abq

      how do you know?? There is a well known pyschological phenomonan: REACTION FORMATION. It simply says that often times those who speak the hardest against something do so because they struggle with it themselves. They mistakenly believe that if they speak hard enough against it, that it will somehow relieve it within themselves. Unfortunately all that is does is further fuel the self hate already burning within them.

  • TheFoundingFathers

    Not a real fan of the church, but the fact remains that this Gay crap WILL NEVER BE ACCEPTED BY THE COMMUNITY. So with that said, have a nice day.

    • Chris Hodgson

      Not according to 85% of recently polled college students, as opposed to only 45% a couple decades ago. Hear that sound? It’s the sound of your relevance slipping away. Bye Felicia…

  • brynn

    Why would you even print this? The only possible motivation is to stir up strife. This is a Christian pastor preaching the Word of God. That is what a Christian pastor is supposed to do. He “gave the sermon on March 1 as part of a larger conversation with the congregation about about amending its mission to better reflect its current stance on marriage and sexuality.” Clarifying the stance of a Bible believing church is not advocating hatred. In fact, the Holy Bible commands that we love the person while condemning the sinful behavior of both Christian and non Christian. It is also very clear that in the end times people will call good evil and evil good. My goal here is not to preach, but to question Fox17’s motivation. Staff response?

  • Tracy Overway

    Put ur big girl panties on!!! I read this entire article and i can see how an overly sensitive child could see that he compared Gays to an Axe murderer, BUT,,,,HE DID NOT. I am soooo sick and tired of these overly sensitive, whiny people taking things way out perspective.

    • Erin Wilson

      It’s easy. Imagine the axe-murderer comment followed a reference to white people. Imagine the preacher were black, with a history of controversial statements about white people. Now imagine whether you would connect the two things.

    • adam

      Good job Tracy, I feel the same way. when somebody has nothing to stand on they grab anything they can to make their wrong choice right. the Bible does say in the end times wrong will become right, and what happend to seperation of church and state, seem the state’s want to walk all over church beliefs right now.

    • Paulette

      Amen Pastor, keep up the good work. We are praying for you
      Maybe someday we will all stand up for the word of GOD. We need to stand up to the politically correctness and stand by the word of GOD. When you are a christian you don’t get to pick and choose what to believe the bible is the WORD of GOD.
      The news media is half of the problem. They need to report All the facts. which was not done here in this article.
      Remember Love the sinner, hate the sin.

    • jason

      are you sick of discrimination because of who you are? because I am…. just so you know while you are soooo sickened by the whiny ones, we also are sickened and shaking our heads.

  • GJW

    “…Daniel Vanderley, who was a member of the church up until about 15 years ago,…”

    So TV17 uses the opinion and statements of a person who hasn’t gone to that church for 15 years to make a point??? What kind of reporting is that? Where are the statements by current congregants? Calling it an abomination is just quoting the Bible, which as a minister of the Word, he should do! (pull out a Bible and check for yourself) It’s the ministers who go against God’s Word that should be questioned. People put different sins on different levels, not God. In God’s Holy eyes, sin is sin and it’s all an abomination to Him..

  • brynn

    Josh, I am curious as to how Mr. Vanderley harvested this information if he hasn’t been in attendance at the church for 15 yrs. I am asking because recently an openly gay man attended a local church and wrote a review on a website. I am wondering if this is a new strategy in the gay community? Could you investigate and report on that, please? Thank you.

  • Michael P.

    This story cannot possibly be a surprise to the rest of the state, can it? Another sciolist standing on the bible to spew discrimination and hate. It’s a willful choice to avoid science, the evidence that nature provides, and to just simply sit with human beings and work to understand. But, this is far from a surprise.

    • kcwritewinger

      Be warned you willfully ignorant scoffer, trusting in only what you can see, ignoring what you cannot because your
      lack the faith, and choose not to repent and believe the truth of the Gospel.

      1 Peter 3: 3-6 “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: 7But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.”

    • Mike

      Beliefs backed by delusion and lies. Your entire christian faith is a farce, parts copied from older primitive religions snd the rest pure primitive nonsense. You all need two things, a reality check and psychiatric intervention. You are all delusional.

      • Tim Cross

        Mike, I guess our Founding Fathers and most of those who established Western Culture were delusional, too. Most of what we enjoy today is a result of those that had somewhat of a Biblical world view. They were considered great men. Most were strong Christians. Most of our Ivy League schools were started as seminaries. Look it up, you might be suprised. Their founders had the same time of views that this pastor has. Many of our hospitals and a great deal of the charitable work around the world is done by these delusional people, as you say. It was these type of delusional people that went to backward countries and started schools and taught people how to upgrade their lives and living conditions. Many of them died doing it. I guess because they were delusional. Mother Teresa rescued babied in Calcutta. She believed like this pastor. I guess she needed pysciatric help, too. George Washington, John Adams, John Jay, John Quincy Adams, Ben Franklin all did too. I guess they needed help. What great things have gays done for the world? What great things have you done? What price have you paid to help others? Baptists are one of the biggest supporters of world missions in the world. This includes preaching, but also orphanges, feeding the poor, schools, etc. If this is delusional, then we need more delusional people like this in the world.

        • Chris Hodgson

          Besides inventing this here computer thing you’re reading this on, while ending WWII? Oh and cut your hair, design your clothes and decorate your ugly ass homes. Oh, and adopt all those unwanted kids you all have out of wedlock and throw away. How much more time you got?

    • someone

      I can’t believe he compared me to an axe murder I love Clint I’ve known him my hole life this really hurt me I don’t care if he disagrees with gay marriage or transgender people what I’m hurt by is that he compared me us to ax murders. I am one of his relatives and I am transgender and bisexual and I’ve tried my hole life to just be normal I never woke up and said well I’m trans I’m bi I’ve all ways know since I was in kindergarten. IT WAS NOT A CHOICE I WAS BORN THIS WAY.

  • Joe

    The Pastor referred to going to a whole new field before he gave this ax murderer example, so not related . I appreciate his willingness to preach the truth of the Gospel. The Truth doesn’t evolve to suit cultural desires

  • Matt Gale

    It is amazing to me that our culture continues to take unacceptable behavior, sin, and give it a special interest group name, and then assign special rights and privileges to that group. When the reality is that obviously it is mental illness that needs to be treated. And many are getting treated and getting the help they need. That is where the focus should be. Just study the human anatomy. It’s not to hard to figure out what God’s design is. In fact it should be pretty easy to figure out that everything fits together best as a man and a women union. And then I guess it would be hard to procreate if we where all homosexuals. So let’s hope this sickness doesn’t effect too many people.

    • Rico Suave

      And it amazes me that people like you still wollow in ancient superstition. You se words like “sin” because you were brainwashed and indoctrinated. When naturalists look at the world, they see homosexuality in practically every species studied. Thousands of documented species. It would be extremely strange if humans were the only ones where this didn’t happen. If it is such an abomination against nature, why does god make all his creatures do it?
      There is a measurable correlation between homosexuality and:
      Brain symmetry
      Difference in hypothalamus structure
      Finger lengths
      hair swirls
      birth order
      male offspring of female relatives
      some evidence for face shape.
      Please explain how finger length or hair pattern is related to choice?
      The truth is that you and your ilk don’t know what the hell youre talking about. You are all brainedwashed to believe what your told to believe, without good evidence,
      you police eachother to make sure everyone sticks to the dogma (this is frightening and disgusting)
      and for centuried people were tortured and killed for not at least pretending to believe.
      There is no evidence for what you say, your teachings are hideously immoral, and the only purpose your bloodthirsty cult really serves is to perpetuate itself.

    • jason

      Matt- being a gay man I have always just thought it was my job to control the population crisis by not having kids… mental illness and sin- how can we be both?

      also sex and sexuality are completely separate things- I was gay before I ever had sex with anyone-

      I kissed a girl a few times in high school and it felt so dirty and wrong…. like I was kissing a cousin.

      I can understand all this hate because I used to hate myself more than you ever could. I’m so glad I left that behind. You don’t have to agree with me, or like me, or ever even meet me face to face but please know that hateful thoughts and actions hurt us all…. call it illness if you need to but do you say mean things about people who are sick and dying?

  • Tim Cross

    What I don’t understand is that the gay community want Christians to be tolerant, yet they are not tolerant of Christians beliefs. The Bible is very clear as this pastor states. It says the Homosexuality is a sin. It is against nature. These are clear from scripture. Why aren’t Christians beliefs tolerated just like vile homosexual views being able to be expressed. They are expressed in our schools and on television and on movies. Why can’t Bible believing Christians able to express thier views?

    • Tim Cross

      Your born that way. That is called nature. Anything outside of normal sexuality is against nature. Why is that so hard to understand? As to being a Christian. I am not debating your Christianity, but how can you say you serve and follow God but protect what He clearly says disgusts Him?

        • Tim

          I have two sons, neither are gay. If one was, I would love him and tell him the truth that his lifestyle was wrong and if he continued in it, he would end up in hell. Now, somehow you think that is hate. If you have an alcoholic friend. Is it hate to tell him that what he is doing will destroy him and his family? Hate would be to say nothing. Love is telling people the truth. The homosexual agenda has warped people’s minds as to what is love and what is hate. Just because I tell people their lifestyle is wrong doesn’t mean I hate people.

          • Tim

            Oh and yes, God would be disgusted with my son and what he was doing. God said, a man with a man was an abomination, I used the word disgusted. He also said it was against nature. That is what God said and a preacher is supposed to echo what God said and not care what anybody thinks about it.

          • Mary

            I would hate to beyond child. If your kid was gay he wouldnt dare tell you anyway because of your outward hatefulness. It’s a very sad state of affairs when you can’t even accept your own kid simply because of who they love.

          • Tim

            Well Mary, both of my sons are married. I also have 5 daughters. 2 of them are married, too. We all have a pretty good relationship. One son lives about 2 minutes from me, the other is a youth pastor in Georgia. I would say that my kids probably would call me a very good father. None of them would end up gay because they were brought up right and they have had a good relationship wtih me as their father. Plus I have taught them the Word of God and know what is right and what is perverse.

    • CommonSense

      You are wrong. It is clearly a choice. God didn’t create Adam and Steve.

      If we were to believe homosexuality was normal and everybody was designed to be gay, the human being would be extinct after one generation. There is absolutely no argument that the male and female of every species were designed to be together. Whether you believe it was God or evolution that created us.

  • reidv

    I dont get why people dont like gay people or hate gay people? Wasnt Jesus’s point to love everyone? Why do you care who they like? And who cares if its a “sin”? EVERYONE sins so whats the difference

    • Tim

      People like myself do not hate gay people. What I hate is the fact that the acceptance of gay, transgender, etc. is being shoved down our throats. It is being shoved down our children’s throats. It is being shoved down societies throats to the point if you disagree with it, you are a homophobe and a hate monger. Yes, homosexuality is a sin, but the push back today is a result of the offensive by gays against Christians for having a Biblical world view, just like this pastor, who did nothing but speak the truth. People are attacking him because he believes his Bible. He holds to a very fundamental and traditional Biblical view that used to be the mainstream view in our nation, but today it isnt and if you espouse it, you are attacked.

      • reidv

        If god had the power to create the universe, why the hell would he care if some random guy loves another guy? He isnt hurting anyone? It seems weird that he can do all this stuff but cares if someone is gay. Sounds like a case of ‘history is made by whoever wrote is down’

        • Tim

          Because He is the Creator and we are responsible and answerable to Him. He gave us a revelation of Himself and what He considers right and wrong in His Word, called The Bible. It is our job to seek Him and HIs value system, not our own. He is had made it very clear that homosexuality is not what He considers right. By the way, there is another god, little “g”, called the God of this world. He is out to get mankind to do the opposite of what God considers right. He is the devil. The Bible says he blinds peoples minds and affects their thinking to the degree they think they are right, while all the time they are wrong and headed towards eternal distruction in hell. That is what has happened to those who think homosexuality is ok.

          • reidv

            Haha ok, sure. Im going to live my life how I want and be a good person while still not having a problem with gay people. If god doesnt want me because i dont think being gay is wrong then so be it

      • jason

        Can’t it just be agreed to disagree? without comparisons, without judgement…. I was brought up in a very Baptist family… still I’m gay. Love my dad too, and my mom- we don’t agree but we somehow manage not to make each other mad by avoiding the use of words like vile, and disgusting. I’ve been in a relationship for the last 10 years with someone they both really like, and I guess they have to believe the same things this pastor does- they would just not be involved in any kind of comparisons like this… maybe because of their gay son, or maybe they really do believe what they always taught me- If you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say anything… If it’s your belief that God will judge and then decide who goes where then can we just wait for that to happen? We all know how the other side of this issue feels, none of this name calling is helping anyone. WWJD? If the vote on gay marriage doesn’t go your way it will not in any way shape or form mess up your chance with a relationship with God…. it won’t change your life at all… and you can still think whatever thoughts you want without trying to prove them. Peace sometimes comes from giving up a fight that isn’t yours to begin with.

  • Kitty Cook

    When, at what point in your life, did you make the choice to like the opposite sex. Think about that and you will realize that you never made a conscious decision to like either one or the other. It just sort of happened. I totally agree with Mr. G. Edwards—no one would choose to be ridiculed!

    • Tim

      Kitty, you are an example of someone that has skipped a class called common sense. We are created to be heterosexual. That is the way God created us. You don’t choose that, it is what you are. That is the way nature intended it. Anything else is against nature, period. The Bible is clear, when a culture throws off God’s laws and says they don’t want to live by His rules, He turns them over to a reprobate mind. Meaning none of God’s values at all. When that happens, people begin to think that homosexuality is ok. They begin to accept all sorts of divient behavior and profess to be wise, but become foolish in their thinking, like you asking when do you choose to be heterosexual? No one in their right mind, before this generation would even think about such a stupid question.

        • Tim Cross

          Mary, you are not the first to say something like this. Back in the 70’s there was a declaration that God was dead. Others have proclaimed Him dead on never alive for centuries, but He always seem to show Himself alive time and again. Western culture has rejected God, yet in Asia, Africa and Central and South America they are embrassing Him and His values. Everywhere Christianity has gone, it has upgraded the culture and especially upgraded life for woman.
          The Bible is still the most purchased and read book in all the world. People are responding to it’s values and what it says is right all over the world. Everytime it has been tried to be pushed out, it begins to explode with what we call revival. The communists said God was dead. They tried to get rid of the Bible and God’s values. Now, some of the largest churches in the world are in the old Soviet Union. The underground church in China is exploding. God tends to laugh when people say He is not there.
          By the way, we haven’t evolved, we have devolved. We are going backwards, not forwards.

          • Mary

            I didn’t say god is dead. First you must exist in order to die. God exists only in the imagination of the brainwashed.

  • LiveandLetLive

    I’m not a christian or a gay. but Christians have obviously been against homosexuality since its existence. i also wouldn’t go as far as to say he is comparing gays to axe murderers. it sounded more like an analogy to me. the protest is absolutely not necessary. “it gives the people the message that being gay isn’t exceptable”. because that’s what Christians believe! if you don’t like it stay away from churches. Christians and Homosexuals are cowboys and indians.

  • Paulette

    Amen Pastor, keep up the good work. We are praying for you
    Maybe someday we will all stand up for the word of GOD. We need to stand up to the politically correctness and stand by the word of GOD. When you are a christian you don’t get to pick and choose what to believe the bible is the WORD of GOD.
    The news media is half of the problem. They need to report All the facts. which was not done here in this article.
    Remember Love the sinner, hate the sin.

    • Mary

      You should be ashamed of yourself. You are far from christlike. I wouldn’t worship anything that made me as intolerant and disgusting as you.

  • John

    Who in their right mind would tell a HOLY GOD that his plan is wrong, because my internal compass tells me it is OK? People need to calm down a little, yes he used an ax murder as an example of SIN, he could of used just about anything, stealing, drugs, lust, spouse abuse, profanity, etc. It really doesn’t matter what our internal feelings (compass) says is OK, what matters is what the HOLY GOD says. If someone is going to walk over a cliff and you did not tell them, that would not be very loving of a neighbor, the key is LOVE the sinner hate the sin.

    • Mary

      Who in their right mind worships such an abhorrent god? Who in their right mind believes that an invisible guy is sitting up in the sky watching and judging your every move, demanding that you worship him and follow the rules of the most deplorable book ever written??!! Men that believe this crap are especially pathetic. I would never respect a man that is so caught up in fairy tales that he can sit back and judge another human being because of who he/she chooses to love. You are a pathetic excuse for a human.

  • Roger Blauwkamp

    Some of you people should spend some time and read the Bible. Try Romans 1:24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hears to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator who is forever praised. 26: Because of this God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned national relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men and received in themselves due penalty for their perversion.
    Pastor Echols preached what the bible says and did what a pastor is supposed to do. He didn’t compare gays to a axe murderer unless you want to twist works. He was talking about a internal compass that could tell you one of many different thing to do wither good or bad.

    • Mary

      You should reread your stupid book. Do you make sure you wash every chair your wife or daughter sits on when they have their period? If you had kids, did you murder any of them for being unruly? Do you believe it’s okay to rape a virgin and then marry her? “God” didn’t say shit about gays or anything else because god does not exist. And if he did, he’d be disgusted with you people. Good luck getting into heaven.

  • Mary

    GOD IS NOT REAL!! Why are you people so delusional? Do you seriously think snakes can talk? Do you seriously think some dude was dead and rotting for days and magically came back to life?? Wtf is wrong with you?? The entire bible is sick and twisted and your god is disgusting. Shame on you all. Learn to think for yourselves!

    • Don Cook

      The whole point of Christianity is to learn NOT to think for ourselves. The whole point of Christianity is to learn to think like Jesus Christ. To emulate Jesus Christ. To have the mind of Christ. Thinking for ourselves leads to sin and deception and opens us up to demonic influence.

    • Franklin Bacon

      I agree with all you’ve said. I have never taken the bible entirely literally. If the “God” thingy even had a definition based on logical knowledge, perhaps I could see some reason behind believing in it. As it stands, it is one those formless sounds, without basis, and so people add unto it whatever attributes they wish, including all their prejudices and biases.

  • Don Cook

    The headline “Pastor Gives Controversial Sermon”. Really??? What sermon by a dedicated Christian minister is NOT controversial to someone who believes completely opposite? Is this news? This protester USED to belong to the church and now apparently has an ax to grind…a personal vendetta against someone in the church. So to feed his hatred of someone in the church he.decides to PRETEND he’s from Westboro Baptist church and protest. And THIS is the spin he gets in the news? Come on FOX17. This is like reporting that a couple of high school kids can’t get along. At the very least the more truthful headline would be “Whiny baby with grudge against someone pretends to be something hes’ not and makes news”.

  • Roger Blauwkamp

    In a few weeks it will be Easter the day of the risen Lord. If you don’t believe the Bible you might want to read it because its the most accurate book ever written. It predicted Jesus birth centuries before it ever happened. It also predicted his death as well as his resurrection. His crucifixion was witnessed by many and after he arose he was again was witnessed by many. Even the Romans admitted he disappeared from the grave. They hate him so why would the admit he arose.

  • Jeff

    The bible also says this “You shall not round off the hair on your temples or mar the edges of your beard.”

    Where is his beard? He cut it off, he must be a sinner.

    It also says this “I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.” (1 Timothy 2:12)

    Better start getting all woman out of schools and police departments.

  • Equality

    Judge not least ye be judged. Love one another! It’s says “who so ever believes in me will not parish but have everlasting life”. There isn’t an exception to this! It plainly says “who so ever believes in me” that means anyone who believes no matter who they are. I myself surround myself with as much love and caring people as I can and I try to show kindness every chance I get….even to those who try and hate me. Jesus came to love, show love and forgiveness. He did everything In a loving way and didn’t cast stones…He freely gave his LOVE. Being a more loving , caring person has never hurt anyone. Try it sometime.

  • Dick

    Shame on Fox 17 for distorting the pastor’s words. He was not saying gays are the same as ax murders as any freshman English student twill tell you. He was using an exaggeration, a common pedantic tool, to illustrate his point. Fox 17 is really pushing the gay agenda and NEVER gives an objective report on these issues. I will no longer be watching Fox 17. I have had enough.

  • Elizabeth Cox

    “But there were also false prophets in Israel, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will cleverly teach destructive heresies and even deny the Master who bought them. In this way, they will bring sudden destruction on themselves. Many will follow their evil teaching and shameful immorality. And because of these teachers, the way of truth will be slandered. In their greed they will make up clever lies to get hold of your money. But God condemned them long ago, and their destruction will not be delayed.” 2 Peter 2:1-3

    Did you catch that people clearly doing evil will cause the way of Truth to be slandered? I can see some of you in the comments already know that good would be called evil and evil would be called good…but you seem to think evil is good. People using the bible have always thrown people under the bus; in the middle ages they were more than happy to accuse their neighbors of witchcraft and subject them to tests that would kill them even if they were innocent. People in the past thought that people with red hair were soulless, and that left handed people were in league with the devil. The way of evil is obvious- humans have been doing it since the beginning of time- you first lie to dehumanize your neighbor, and then you do violence to the person who isn’t really human according to your new definition of them. It’s the same process. But they -are- human, and God is the one who avenges. We aren’t even supposed to slander Satan- would God, the measure of righteousness approve of us lying about our brothers or sisters? You know perfectly well what Jesus said about being angry with your brother without cause. You know perfectly well what groups have been thrown under the bus before, people even pretended that black people had the mark of Cain to justify treating them as lesser human beings!

    “But you would not have condemned my innocent disciples if you knew the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.'” Matthew 12:7 Have you really not learned this lesson yet? Good people don’t have to sacrifice others to make themselves look righteous- when Saul(Paul) was evil, he persecuted the early church in a zeal for his religion- he did not know Jesus and he was wiling to sacrifice men and women because that’s what he thought God required- human sacrifices- but he got called out for it. Jesus gave him a vision that blinded him, and the very people he was persecuting were directed to care for him and nurse him back! And they did, because God told them to!

    Don’t think I didn’t clear 49 minutes from my day to listen to this man’s sermon, so I have no idea what he really said, since newspaper soundbites do tend to distort things by taking them out of context. I listened to it. But anyone can profess love.

    “If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion–how can God’s love be in that person? Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.” 1 John 3:17-18 You can say you love your fellow humans, but if you treat them as though their lived in experience is invalid, as though they are just making all this up for attention or something, you’re not showing love. If you see someone shivering from no jacket and they tell you they are cold but you insist that prayer alone will cure them, you know what you are doing is wrong. You know you will be judged for it. He knew he’d be accused of hate speech, he saved the ax murder comparison for the end, after he’d made all these points about how God intended marriage. He tried to deflect any criticism from it by insisting it was because people who hate God would be angry. He seems to forget that there are plenty of Christians who have enough care about their fellow humans to have looked at the source of the words that have been translated ‘homosexuality’ and found that it’s built on uncertainty- that all this evil that is being done, causing suicides and hatred and murders and even today when most of us know that people wouldn’t choose this life, in some states people advocating to murder their fellow humans for being gay- that all of this evil…is based on an uncertain translation into the language of English…scholars are still arguing about it, but in the meantime, look at all the evil that has been done! He is not having this discussion in a vacuum.

    By the way, following scripture literally is a bad idea! He wants the words to speak for themselves, but Christians are to be lead to all truth by the Spirit of God! The words alone will get you lost!

    “Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
    “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”

    Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

    “How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.

    “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?” John 3:3-12

    Do you see how Nicodemus there takes Jesus literally? Do you see how that’s wrong? One of the ways you can make the truth into a lie is to take it out of context. You are meant to call upon the Spirit of God to led to the truth.

  • kcwritewinger

    We need more Pastors and grow a pair and preach the truth of God’s Word, to dare to be hated for Christ’s sake, even if it means being run out of their Churches, threatened by evil men, etc. If more Pastors, and believers would stand up against entrenched evil in our culture, society would start to shift towards God. The Problem is there are too many cowards behind the pulpits who rather tickle the ears of people on their way to Hell, instead of warning them of impending judgment, calling them to repentance, and Salvation in Jesus Christ.

  • Deborah Proctor

    Shame on you FOX News of West Michigan. taking pieces and posting on your video is WRONG and hurtful and fuelling a fire that was NOt the intention of the sermon. SHAME SHAME SHAME.. THEy are clearly welcoming to anyone GAY, or not.

  • Rico Suave

    The logical problem with this misguided pastor is that on cannot hate god if one does not believe god exists. His critical thinking is corrupted by his indoctrination.

  • Rps Abq

    There is a well known pyschological phenomonan: REACTION FORMATION. It simply says that often times those who speak the hardest against something do so because they struggle with it themselves. They mistakenly believe that if they speak hard enough against it, that it will somehow relieve it within themselves. Unfortunately all that is does is further fuel the self hate already burning within them.