An advertising company was forced to pull billboards promoting American megachurch pastor Greg Laurie's annual Harvest Crusades after numerous complaints.
The reason? A Bible.
Pretty crazy! Our church was forced to remove advertisements from a few local malls promoting #HarvestSoCal becaus… https://t.co/krt8XotPzq— Jarrid Wilson (@Jarrid Wilson) 1533654909.0
According to the Christian Broadcasting Network, billboards advertising the event were posted at a popular outdoor mall in Orange County, but had to be taken down after multiple complaints — and at least one "serious threat."
The company Harvest hired to post the billboards — The Irvine Company — went back to Harvest and requested it make design changes to the advertisements. The church removed the Bible in Laurie's hand, and made no overt references to Christianity, church, or Jesus Christ.
The updated design included only Laurie's caricature, the name "Harvest," the event dates, and the musical artists who are set to perform.
Unfortunately, despite the modifications, the company told Harvest they could not re-post the billboards and refunded the church its money. A clause in the contract with Irvine allowed the advertising company to reject any ads that may be "constructed as vulgar or offensive."
"There was nothing overtly religious about it," John Collins, the executive director of Harvest, told CBN.
Laurie's event, hosted at Angel Stadium in Southern California, is expected to draw up to 100,000 Aug. 17-19.
What's to blame?
Collins told CBN he doesn't blame Irvine for taking extra precaution against offending Southern Californians. Instead, he lamented how American culture has devolved into identifying the Bible or a church event as "offensive."
"We're certainly not upset with The Irvine Company. Obviously, they're catching heat for allowing us to run these ads. We feel it is just unfortunate that people are complaining," Collins said.
"It's sad that our culture is at this degree of intolerance. ... There's such intolerance against Christianity that we aren't allowed to state that or to publicly advertise this event. That's amazing," he explained.