An Iredell County Baptist Church is being chided on Social media for a message posted on its front sign that said: “Remember, Satan was the first to demand equal rights.”
Fellowship Baptist Church in Statesville posted the message last week and changed it a few days later, Charlotte TV station WCNC.
But it wasn’t quick enough to avoid offending a variety of groups who interpreted it as a slam of civil rights for blacks and/or gays. The sign was posted at time when equal rights for lesbian, gay and transgender people has divided the North Carolina and resulted in anti-gay rights laws such as House Bill 2.
“Remember that pesky little part in our country's founding documents about ‘all men being created equally’?...The problem is with the folks who want to believe they are better than others and should have more rights. Sorry, Baptists. You don't get anymore than the Methodists do,” posted Mary Eye on Facebook.
“Wow, so the people who want equal rights are less than the people who have the rights...Wow ignorance, pure ignorance,” wrote Vicki Belliotti.
“I am an out and proud gay man and I know God loves me and wants same for all of us,” wrote Eric Underwood on Facebook. “I sure don't need some hypocrite...to say I don't deserve the same rights as they do. I do believe most Christians need to keep reading their Bible and quit judging.”
Some took on the role of defending the church on social media, claiming the congregation was doing what it is called to do.
“If we Christians aren't creating controversy with God's Truth we are not being what we are called to be! I rejoice when satan’s cronies cries and complains about the truth!” posted Arlie Roten on Facebook.
Fellowship Baptist, located on Buffalo Shoals Road, picked up on the debate and posted a statement its Facebook page Tuesday:
“The church sign that was in the news was NOT meant to offend ANY people, group or compare ANYONE TO satan. That is not what we teach and preach! It was speaking about our adversary the devil who did want to be God. We pray that the LORD would bless any who were offended!”