Keeping track of the bizarre stories that highlight Christian pastors' shocking sermons about gays and homosexuals has been a difficult task. The rhetoric, which is certainly troubling, isn't commonplace in the vast majority of Christian churches, yet its presence in even a small minority of houses of worship is increasingly raising eyebrows.
Yesterday, we told you about a Kansas pastor who told his flock that the government should kill gays. Today, we have another story about a Maryland preacher who reportedly also made some equally curious statements surrounding the subject of homosexuality.
The pastor, who As Good As You blogger Jeremy Hooper identifies as Dennis Leatherman of the Mountain Lake Independent Baptist Church in Oakland, Maryland, allegedly made his statements in a 50-minute sermon entitled, "Homosexuality and the Bible." A compete transcript of the preacher's words can be found here.
"To be…have a tendency to be effeminate or homosexual is just as wicked as to have a tendency to be a womanizer," Leatherman can be heard saying in the audio. "Sinful nature does not justify sinful behavior. Now what is our take? What is our response?"
While these words would offend some, many Christians would agree that homosexuality is sinful in nature. In fact, this is something that Pastor Joel Osteen -- a popular televangelist not known for delving deeply into issues of sin -- recently said. There are also more progressive believers, though, who may avoid such a characterization.
Either way, Leatherman's other, more contentious words regarding the issue of homosexuality seem to be the real focus of attention. He continues:
"First of all, there is a danger of reacting in the flesh, of responding not in a scriptural, spiritual way, but in a fleshly way. Kill them all. Right? I will be very honest with you. My flesh kind of likes that idea. But it grieves the Holy Spirit. It violates Scripture. It is wrong. Number one, I put this down. How do we respond? We need to hold true to God’s Word. As despicable as it is to our thinking, we must not compromise. [...]
The lies of the sodomite, same sex marriage promoters are going largely unchallenged in our society. It is a storm rolling across this country that is absolutely tearing everything up in its path and there are few of any, particularly in public positions who are standing up and saying, 'This is wrong.'"
While he claims that his "flesh" likes the idea of killing homosexuals, he condemns the ideal as a violation of Biblical scripture. He also refers to such a notion as "dangerous." Christian doctrine often discusses the difference between the "flesh" (i.e. human behavior without the influence of the Lord) and "spirituality: (i.e. the way in which humans act when being guided by the Christian holy spirit).
It is quite possible that Leatherman was merely trying to draw a distinction between those who hate homosexuality to such a profound level and those who disagree with it, yet wish to act biblically toward gays. This is by no means a defense, rather it is an attempt to provide a well-rounded view of the discussion.
Listen to some of Leatherman's alleged sermon, below:
(H/T: Huffington Post)