Note: Due to an apology from the Baptist pastor, he and his church have been anonymised. 20 Oct 2017.
If you want an example of a church that teaches hate instead of love, a church that doesn’t follow the commands and example of Christ, and a church that is an embarrassment to Christianity, it is the [fundamentalist] Baptist Church.
They recently published a sermon online at SermonAudio.com, a Protestant website for sermons. It was really nothing more than a smear campaign to misrepresent the Catholic Church. The sermon, entitled “The Second Coming of Judas Iscariot,” [no longer available on the site] takes the thoughts of a few people regarding Judas Iscariot, and uses them to malign the Catholic Church in a way that no objective person could call honest.
Firstly, those thoughts do not represent Catholic teaching. Catholics come up with all sorts of ideas – and on a large number of topics, there is no official answer, and there is no reason why people cannot speculate.
Secondly, if God is a God of love, it is perfectly reasonable to speculate about the eternal fate of Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Christ. It’s not something I am prepared to come to a personal answer to either way, but those who do want to contemplate this issue are entitled to.
Not so, says Pastor X, of the [fundamentalist] Baptist Church. If you don’t phrase things right, you’re a devil, and damned to hell.
Judas, according to Pastor X, is a devil, and the antichrist, and is assigned to the lake of fire prepared for Satan and his angels. (Mat 25:41 KJV) Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.
And anyone who doesn’t state their belief in the exact words chosen by Pastor X, is also an antichrist. That is why he called me a devil.
I agreed with 1 John 4:2 by saying: “Yes, I believe that Jesus is God in the flesh”
1 John 4:2 (KJV) says: Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God.
Perhaps Pastor X and his flock are KJV-onlyists, a group of Protestants, mainly Baptists, it seems, who believe that the King James Version of the Bible is the single inspired English text of the Bible. They do not use other versions, and some even go so far as to say that you cannot find salvation in other translations. You don’t find non-English speaking Christians believing such nonsense.
Obviously, my wording was not good enough for him. It was not the word of God, it was the word of a papist, and it doesn’t matter that it means exactly the same thing as the wording of the KJV, it just doesn’t cut it, and that makes me a devil, according to him. See his post entitled, “Stephen Korsman is a DEVIL!!!!”
The way the pastor responded to my criticism is not Christian. He defends it, saying that Jesus commanded us to hate. He seriously needs to take a look at what the Bible teaches.
This type of Christianity is based on legalism. Not the legalism you find in parts of the Adventist church, where some people say that if you don’t keep the Sabbath, you can’t be saved. Rather, this legalism is the type that says that if you don’t agree with me, if you don’t phrase the words the way I say you must phrase them, you are a devil. They spend their time condemning people to hell for using incorrect words, and for disagreeing on minor issues. They don’t permit freedom of expression of one’s faith – the Pastor is God’s Messenger, and you do as He says, or else!
Unfortunately, SermonAudio.com is host to a large number of this type of Christian.
People accuse Catholicism of not allowing freedom of thought – they are so, so wrong. There are so many different ways a Catholic can experience or practise his/her faith, so many opinions that can be held on a huge number of issues. NO denomination exists that has total freedom of doctrinal belief. ALL denominations require assent to certain issues. You can’t claim to be a real Baptist without believing Jesus is God. You can’t claim to be a real Adventist without believing that Jesus died and rose again for our sins. This is not the same way groups like [fundamentalist] Baptist Church act.
The [fundamentalist] Baptist Church is not a church – it’s a tyranny, where hate is preached, other faiths have lies told about them, and the flock is told how to say their prayers. With people who phrase things the wrong way being labelled as devils, the congregation probably doesn’t question the decisions of Pastor X, their shepherd. This is more cult-like than a lot of religions often labelled as cults.
I must stress the following:
- Pastor X’s church is NOT representative of Christianity. In fact, this type of church is very much in the minority. Unfortunately, their hatred of anything different to them leads them to be more vocal than most. And, equally unfortunately, all denominations have this type.
- This is NOT how Christians behave. Please don’t think it is. We are not pharisees who command the precise use of words, and allow no synonyms.
- This is NOT what Christians think of others. We don’t go around labelling people as devils. We do not sit in judgement over others in this way.
- The fact that this pastor’s main page on SermonAudio.com promotes Jack Chick’s website and tracts shows that this is not a church for people who want objective biblical truth. Jack Chick is not well respected within Christianity – he is seen as a nut who preaches hate, and while most Protestants pay little attention to his nonsense, there are some, like Christianity Today, who acknowledge that his antics are an embarrassment to the Christian faith. Do some research on Jack Chick – this is NOT Christianity. It resembles Christianity in that it shares a few doctrines. But it does not share Jesus’ message of love.
One response I’ve had so far was: “Not surprising coming from a Baptist though.” and “I don’t think you’ll be able to get much sense out of them.”
I must admit that MOST Baptists are not like this. There are, however, many that are – they form a unique brand of Christianity that cannot treat others fairly, and sit in judgement of all those who they believe to be inferior to them. But it’s a fair assessment – these people are like this. Again, this is not Christianity – it is a disgrace to Christianity, a wart on the nose of the Body of Christ.
Here are the posts:
Title: Hear what Stephen Korsman from South Africa said about the antichrist!
Stephen Korsman from South Africa said: “Sad that the only real campaign here is a smear campaign.”
RE: No… what’s sad… is sympathy for the devil and his man of sin on the part of quote/unquote Christians!!!!
[Pastor X] (Acts 20:32)
God tells us to hate the sin and love the sinner. Maybe you guys think it’s the Christian way to misrepresent Catholicism and hate those you have declared evil, but this sort of thing just makes me feel grateful for a Church that teaches love instead of the hate I see here so much. True love leaves it open for God to redeem Judas. Self-righteous condemnation is a thing of the pharisees … and many here, it seems.
His next post:
Title: Stephen Korsman thinks that the antichrist might be saved!
Jesus Christ said that Judas was a devil. The Bible says nowhere that Jesus Christ died for devils. In fact, God prepared a special place for the devil and his angels (and by the way, it’s not heaven). Also… please give me the scripture that tells us to hate the sin, but love the sinner. Or is that more of your opinion and tradition?
By the way… and this is important: Can you confess that Jesus Christ IS come in the flesh?
If so… your response will be: I confess that Jesus Christ IS come in the flesh. If not… we’ll talk then.
By the way… the Bible tells us that Jesus Christ hates. If you do not hate… you might be following your church, but you are not following Jesus Christ. And might I add: Your church will not save you!!!!
[Pastor X] (Acts 20:32)
If Judas was a devil, he was not human. Either that, or Jesus used appropriate metaphors.
Yes, I believe that Jesus is God in the flesh, but I’d rather believe the Bible than the hatred I am seeing here.
As for a specific verse for loving the sinner, Romans 5:8 is the closest, along with Matt 5:43-44.
But you can’t show me where in the Bible it says that I have to show you a verse for everything true.
My original statement stands. I’d rather love my neighbour than engage in this sort of fellowship of hate and self-righteousness that I see here so often. Reply if you like; I have seen enough, and while I am glad to have had this conversation, I find it nauseating to see this sort of attitude portrayed as Christian and biblical.
His third post:
Title: Stephen Korsman is a DEVIL!!!!
You blew the confession as found in (I John 4)… from which I gave you the exact words.
Therefore… according to the Bible: You are a devil; the Lord rebuke thee!
[Pastor X] (Acts 20:32)
I confess that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh!
I didn’t blow the confession. I used a synonymous phrase. I humbly apologise for not using your preferred words. If you can’t see that, all I can say is thanks for the witness you’ve given me of how Christians should not behave. I’ll certainly make plenty of use of it. I think people need to know that your attitude does not represent Christianity, so I’ll be blogging on it all soon. Don’t expect more from me – I’m not in the mood for this sort of hate speech. Thanks, and God bless.
And his fourth post, after which I see no reason to respond any further:
Title: Stephen Korsman again proves that he is a DEVIL!!!!!!!!
It is not my preferred words – it is the words of Almighty God! And again: According to the Bible: You are a devil; the Lord rebuke thee!!!!
[Pastor X] (Acts 20:32)
I confess that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh.
I think that says it all. This disgrace is not Christianity, people. We don’t like this sort of bigotry either. This isn’t what Christianity is about.