As I mentioned in the last post, a few days ago, an online announcement ran in Q-Notes, the gay newspaper of the Carolinas, calling for a peaceful protest at FIRE Church this Sunday. In part, it read, "Remember we will be peaceful and respectful, something they don't understand. We are going to STAND TOGETHER AS A COMMUNITY to show that our love is stronger than their hate."
When Scott Volk, one of the pastors at FIRE Church, saw this announcement, he immediately posted this comment on the Q-Notes site:
"As the pastor of FIRE Church, I just want you to know that you'll be greeted with the same love and compassion as we always endeavor to show anyone - you are more-than-welcome! You make mention of the 'hate' that we show. Yet, in all our years here we've only desired to reach out with love to everyone in the local community here whether they are labeled as gay or straight. Hopefully, you'll see that love demonstrated on Sunday as you protest."
In response, Matthew wrote:
"Do you protest other religions and their gatherings? If not then you are cherry picking the bible. Commandment number one "thou shall have no other Gods before me" Why are you not going after the Buddhists, and the Hindus? You say love is your guiding principle I ask you is it love to impose your religious beliefs upon others? The Muslims in many parts of the world believe they are showing love by imposing sharia law upon their citizens. We can all live together in peace if you begin to view and treat gay people and our gatherings as you view other religions and their gatherings. If you can not do this then there will not be peace because we will not be treated as second class citizens and have your christian sharia imposed upon us."
Apparently Matthew failed to realize that the gay community was protesting our service; we were not protesting their service. But his comment gives us into insight into a mentality that is widespread in the LGBT community today: If we say that marriage should remain the union of a man and woman, then we want to advocate "Christian Sharia" law! (For more on this, see HERE.)
The other responses to Scott's post were also very enlightening (and so sad to read):
David: "Love is the most disfigured mask that hate wears."
Sue: "if what you think is reaching out in love is perceived as hateful attack, perhaps you should reconsider your actions"
David: "You can fool yourself, Mr. Volk. You can fool your parishioners. But you can't fool God. He knows what's in your heart, and it isn't love. It's hate."
Scott's reply: "Lord bless you David - Yes, I'm glad God does know what's in my heart. My only question to you would be, 'How do you know what's in my heart.' You've never met me or spoken to me???"
Tom: "What these fire church people probably don't understand is that spending an eternity ANYWHERE with them is what I would consider a true HELL. They should concern themselves with their own pathetic lives and leave other alone to theirs..."
Scott's reply: "Ouch, Tom!!! Actually, the protestors ended up leaving early today because they said we were nice, loving, and didn't deserve a protest. So, I'm thankful that our love did win out. And, it amazes me that the ONLY people that have ever called me 'hateful' were those from the GLBT community who have NEVER MET ME!So, here is an open invitation to those that wrote a response to my initial not that was posted here: Come and join me and my family for dinner at my home. Spend an evening together with us! And, if you feel that I'm hateful after that time, post whatever you'd like. But, to call someone hateful without ever meeting them, seeing them, or hearing them speak, is an indication of a heart that needs love. I make myself available."
I sincerely hope that folks in the community will take Scott up on his offer!