The Common Good

Dear Pastor Charles Worley: We Condemn Your Words of Hatred and Cruelty. REPENT!

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matter where you stand on the issue of gay marriage, there are some boundaries of human decency that should never be crossed.

Never.

Even in the name of free speech, some boundaries should never be crossed. Pastor Terry Jones crossed that line in burning the Koran and making a global media spectacle. Pastor Wiley Drake crossed that line in suggesting that he was praying for the death of President Obama. And then, of course, there are the folks of Westboro Baptist Church. 

But this…?!#@

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.

The person in question is Charles L. Worley – senior pastor of Providence Road Baptist Church in North Carolina.

The conversations about gay marriage – particularly in our current social, political, and social climate – are sensitive and intense but it’s these cruel and insane comments that prevent a more civil conversation to take place because that’s what is necessary.

During these days when sides, groups, folks, and parties, think they have the monopoly on intelligence, biblical accuracy (or inerrancy), compassion, love, answers, or whatever else we want to say, what we need is a commitment to civility and human decency.

Some of you may wonder why I’m even dedicating a post to this matter or to this person and thus, drawing more attention and press. Some of you may even be inclined to rebuke me for publicly calling out another “leader” but when CNN’s Anderson Cooper is dedicating parts of his show to this fool and fiasco, we need many Christians and Christian leaders to respond with clear rebuke and call for Worley’s repentance.

And so with that in mind, while I certainly do not know Pastor Charles L. Worley – I feel that it’s necessary for me to publicly state that in no shape, form, or another does he speak for Christians, the church, Christian leaders, or Christian pastors – including those who have convictions and views that marriage is between one man and one woman.

I condemn his words and his behavior. I denounce this kind of hatred, venom, and anger.

If hate is your motivation, you are far from God and you need to repent. May our love for doctrine and theology never supersede our practice of the love and grace of Christ and neighbor.

And he certainly does not speak for Jesus.

Oh, how this does not reflect the love and tenderness of Christ:

“Build a great, big, large fence — 150 or 100 mile long — put all the lesbians in there,” Worley suggests in the clip, reportedly filmed on May 13.

He continues: “Do the same thing for the queers and the homosexuals and have that fence electrified so they can’t get out…and you know what, in a few years, they’ll die out…do you know why? They can’t reproduce!”

He speaks for himself and possibly, some or most of his congregation but since it is a church and part of the larger Christian community, I join others in calling him to repentance and ask his elder board to hold him accountable for these ungodly and heinous words.

I believe in the Gospel of Christ

Pastor Worley: I, too, believe in Jesus and I believe in the Gospel. I believe in a Gospel that not only saves but serves; a Gospel that restores all things; a Gospel that ushers in the Kingdom of God. I believe in a Gospel that is not just merely propositional truth but that which has been incarnationally personified in Jesus. I believe in a Gospel that is not just for us – but good news for all of us – especially the least, marginalized, forgotten, forsaken, and alone.

I believe in this Gospel and I believe this Gospel is bigger, deeper, wider, and more vast that we can ever imagine. I believe this because this Gospel has room for you and me. Even you and me.

I preach this Gospel. I live for this Gospel. Thank you, Jesus.

I. We. Are. Sorry.

And lastly, I want to profusely apologize to the LGBT community and all that continue to be hurt by such horrible words and actions.

I am sorry.

We are sorry.

So damn sorry.

Eugene Cho, a second-generation Korean-American, is the founder and lead pastor of Quest Church in Seattle and the executive director of Q Cafe, an innovative nonprofit neighborhood café and music venue. You can stalk him at hisblogTwitter or his Facebook Page. Eugene and his wife are also the founders of a movement of people, stories, and actions to alleviate extreme global poverty. This blog post originally appeared on Eugene Cho’s blog. Follow Eugene on Twitter @EugeneCho and on Facebook.

 

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