More Dangerous Than Westboro’s Phelps? Oh Yes!


“Dads, the second you see your son dropping the limp wrist, you walk over there and you crack that wrist. Man up! Give him a good punch.” – Pastor Sean Harris, Berean Baptist Church, Fayetteville, NC

Yup, that’ll teach ‘em, especially because nothing says “my son is gay” like a limp wrist.

Dennis Leatherman, Pastor at Mountain Lake Independent Baptist Church, Oakland, MD used a sermon to talk about his internal struggle with his fleshly temptation to kill gay people.

Or how about this…  “Build a great, big, large fence, 150 or 100 mile long. Put all the lesbians in there. Fly over and drop some food. Do the same thing with the queers and the homosexuals, and have that fence electrified till they can’t get out. Feed ’em. And you know what? In a few years they’ll die out. You know why? They can’t reproduce.” –  Pastor Charles Worley, Providence Baptist Church, Maiden, NC

Oh, thank you Pastor Worley such an idea… and for clarifying that lesbians are neither “queers” nor “homosexuals.” It all gets so confusing.

Good God almighty!

You may think this kind of judgment, condemnation, Bible misinterpretation, lies, and hate are limited to a few — the fringe, the radicals.

Nope. All these mainstream leaders of the Evangelical church are unChristlike in their anti-gay beliefs…

John MacArthurTony PerkinsFranklin GrahamRick Perry, American Family Association, Scott Lively, Pat Robertson, James Dobson, Southern Baptist Convention.

I could go on. And on. And on.

Jesus is the most well-known, life-changing figure throughout history, religion aside. Spanning the two thousand years after he lived on earth, countless people claim not only to follow him but to have a personal relationship with him.

Now here’s a question for you: If Jesus had acted like the religious leaders of his day, would people have followed him? Would we even know his name?

Let’s put it this way: we don’t follow or know the names of the religious leaders.

Of course the answer is a resounding NO. It’s the love of Jesus that changes lives, not the rule-enforcement of his followers.

The tide is turning and every day more and more faithful, Jesus-following Christians are coming to know the truth and changing their hearts and minds. (Click here)

Yet, many of today’s vocal “Christians” who are still sounding off about this very important topic of how to respond to the LGBTQ community sound exactly like those religious leaders.

How does the Christian parent respond when their gay kid comes out?

Take a look at this post from Benjamin Corey, showing two possible responses.

“John MacArthur was recently asked by a reader how they should respond to an adult child who has acknowledged they are gay. His parenting advice?

Alienate them. Separate them. Isolate them. Refuse to have a meal with them. Turn them over to Satan.”

Benjamin Corey goes on:

“I have a better idea: if you have a child who comes out to you, regardless of your theological opinion, here’s what you should do:

Walk across the room, give them a big hug, and tell them that you’re always going to love them.”

Just compare those two: complete shunning or full embrace.

So, here’s my question for you: which response sounds like religious leaders and which one sounds like Jesus?

I bet you saw which was which, didn’t you?

Religious leaders are characterized by holding people harshly to the law, void of love and grace.

In Jesus’ times they were called Pharisees. Today, they go by the names I listed above.

Jesus is characterized by loving, embracing, accepting.

To choose MacArthur’s way is anathema to what Jesus showed us. Polar opposite. Night and day. Life and death.

Shunning people for something we disagree with cuts across the very heart of koinonia fellowship, agape love, those concepts the Bible calls us to.

We never see Jesus shun anyone — ever. Not once. In fact, he strongly warns us several times not to do that: don’t judge God’s child, deal with the log in our own eye, you’ll be judged the way you judge.

On the other hand, we see him embrace endless streams of broken, hurting, isolated people, and breathing life into them!

Be careful, these evangelical religious leaders are more dangerous than Westboro’s Fred Phelps because they’re not as in-your-face extreme, so they’re easier to swallow. But their beliefs are deadly poison to our faith, our souls and to those in the gay community.

MacArthur, Lively, Robertson, Graham, Perry and friends, take your Bible seriously, follow Jesus’ commands to love God and love others and leave the rest up to the Spirit.

In fact, you might want to read Jesus’ interactions with people. He might just give YOU life.

[To read more from Susan Cottrell, visit]


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SUSAN COTTRELL is a national speaker, teacher, and counselor with years of Biblical study and discipleship experience. Her books include: Mom, I’m Gay – Loving Your LGBTQ Child Without Sacrificing Your Faithas well as How Not to Lose Your Teen and The Marriage Renovation. Through her nonprofit organization – – Susan champions the LGBTQ community and families with her characteristic tender-heartedness, and she zealously challenges Christians who reject them with her wise insistence that “loving God and loving others” are the foundation of the rest of the scripture, just as Jesus said.

She is the Vice-President of PFLAG Austin, and her “Mom, I’m Gay” book has been endorsed by The Human Rights Campaign and others. Sharon Groves, PhD, HRC’s Religion & Faith Program Director says, “I often get asked by parents for resources that can address the struggles of raising LGBT sons and daughters without having to leave faith behind. Susan Cottrell’s book, Mom, I’m Gay, does just that. This is the kind of book that parents will love.”

She and her husband have been married more than 25 years and have five children – one of whom is in the LGBTQ community. She lives in Austin, Texas, and blogs at and here in IMPACT Magazine’s FreedHearts and Jesus Blog columns.