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Welcome to Stand Firm!

Gay Activists disrupt Church in Michigan

Monday, November 10, 2008 • 8:46 pm


Another disturbing report about how all those tolerant activists are so happy as long as everyone can do their own thing in their own place.
First, Right Michigan gives us the story and a picture…

On Sunday, November 9, 2008 Michigan liberals sat peacefully through announcements, worship and prayer for the sick, our nation and our President-elect before staging a coordinated, disgusting and repulsive attack on worshipers and the broader concept of the church itself at Lansing’s Mount Hope Church.

The lefties were a part of a liberal organization known as Bash Back Lansing and their collection of radical blogs, including one of the state’s most widely read “mainstream” progressive blogs (and none which will receive a link on this website) called on “queers and trannies” from across the state and the region to converge on Lansing for what they refer to as an “action.”  While many of the members claim to be anarchists (they drove on roads, ate non-garden grown foods, printed materials on products created by government protected free markets, wore clothing, talk incessantly about “organization,” etc etc etc) their broader goal is stated plainly on one of their lefty blogs.

“I can tell you that we are targeting a well-known anti-queer, anti-choice radical right wing establishment.”


Mount Hope, for the record, is an evangelical, bible believing church whose members provide free 24 hour counseling, prayer lines, catastrophic care for families dealing with medical emergencies, support groups for men, women and children dealing with a wide variety of life’s troubles, crisis intervention, marriage ministries, regular, organized volunteer work in and around the city, missions in dozens of countries across the globe, a construction ministry that has built over 100 churches, schools, orphanages and other projects all over the world and an in-depth prison ministry that reaches out, touches and helps the men and women the rest of society fears the most.  They also teach respect for all human life and the Biblical sanctity of marriage as an institution between one man and one woman.

This is what Michigan liberals label a “radical right wing establishment,” and over 30 of them showed up in force yesterday.  Wearing secret-service style ear pieces and microphones they received the “go” from their ringleader and off they went. 

Prayer had just finished when men and women stood up in pockets across the congregation, on the main floor and in the balcony.  “Jesus was gay,” they shouted among other profanities and blasphemies as they rushed the stage.  Some forced their way through rows of women and kids to try to hang a profane banner from the balcony while others began tossing fliers into the air.  Two women made their way to the pulpit and began to kiss.

Their other props?  I’ll let them tell you in their own words… from another of their liberal blogs:

“(A) video camera, a megaphone, noise makers, condoms, glitter by the bucket load, confetti, pink fabric…yeh.”

...

The “open minded” and “tolerant” liberals ran down the aisles and across the pews, hoping against hope to catch a “right winger” on tape daring to push back (none did).  And just in case their camera missed the target, they had a reporter in tow.  According to a source inside the church yesterday there was a “journalist” from the Lansing City Pulse along for the ride, tipped off about the action and more interested in getting a story than in preventing the vandalism, the violence and anti-Christian hatred being spewed by the lefties.  We’ll see what he files and what his editors see fit to print.

And how did this church respond?

After things settled down, the blasphemy ended, the lude props removed and the families safe from fear of additional men and women running into and past them the pastor took the stage and led the congregation in one more prayer… not for retribution, or divine justice or a celestial comeuppance (that’s what I’d have prayed for) but instead that the troubled individuals who’d just defiled the Lord’s house, so full of anger and hate, would know Jesus’ love in their lives and God’s peace that exceeds human understanding.

Yesterday morning defined the difference between a church of believers and Michigan liberals.  It also illustrated in shocking, painful detail precisely what we’re up against.

Lansing City Pulse also reported:

The group, Bash Back, was simultaneously picketing outside the church, beating on buckets and using a megaphone to shout “Jesus was a homo” and other slogans as confused churchgoers continued to enter the building.

Members of Bash Back wrote in a blog that it picked Mt. Hope, a church that claims a flock of around 5,000, because of its anti-gay stance.

According to the Myspace.com page of the Lansing chapter, the network initially sprung up with the intent of increasing homosexual visibility within the anarchist community.

The “action” began early Sunday morning at the Northstar Center on Lathrop Street in Lansing where a group of around 20 protesters gathered. Pink bandanas, signs, a rainbow-colored “Bash Back!” flag and a pink, wooden cross were distributed among about half the group — the “outside team.” The rest — “inside team” — were dressed in conservative clothes and carried Bibles and stacks of fliers, intending to blend in to the church‘s 11:30 a.m. “contemporary-laid back service.”

City Pulse was alerted to the Bash Back event through a press release and had no prior knowledge of where the “action” would take place or what it would entail.

“We’re having an action today,” one of the organizers told this reporter at the Northstar Center. “You’re in for a treat.”

The Church’s reflection on all this?

When Eaton County Sheriff’s deputies arrived, they questioned the remaining protestors in the church parking lot. Elieff and other church staff questioned the Bash Back members why Mt. Hope Church had been singled out.

“I don’t know,” was an almost universal response.

Elieff acknowledged the group’s right to protest, but he said the church’s civil rights were infringed upon when the service was disrupted.

Civil rights? You don’t get any of those is you disagree with liberals who want to protest in favour of others’ “rights”.

Irony? Yes, the first time you hear it. Now it just makes me laugh.


88 Comments • Print-friendlyPrint-friendly w/commentsShare on Facebook
Comments:

Who is abusing who here? We, who do not go along with the LGBT agenda fighting activists are called abusers of their rights. We are accused of hatred and abuse….but yet I haven’t heard nor seen anyone on our side causing riots, disrupting church services in mass, hurling inflammatory epitaphs, etc…
These people are such hypocrites! They are the ones making it hard on themselves….they need no help from anyone as they do a good job of showing their true colors of hatred, abusive behavior, hypocrisy, and venom all by themselves!

[1] Posted by TLDillon on 11-10-2008 at 10:18 PM • top

I feel really sorry for the kids that had to witness this attack on Jesus Christ.

[2] Posted by kailash on 11-10-2008 at 11:08 PM • top

This really has me angry.  It’s time to tell the gay rights crowd, “Enough!”

If they want to agitate for their perverted aims, fine.  This is a free country.  But when they show utter contempt for our democracy and our freedoms, and violate even our worship spaces, they have crossed the line!

[3] Posted by Newbie Anglican on 11-10-2008 at 11:09 PM • top

True Newbie Anglican true enough! I whole heartedly agree 100% plus some! But what are you or any of us gonna be able to do about it?

[4] Posted by TLDillon on 11-10-2008 at 11:16 PM • top

Good question, ODC, I’m not a lawyer.  But, for a start, if any laws are violated by these activists, throw the book at them.  And if the law isn’t strong enough, strengthen them.  I think several states passed laws against those disrupting funerals in response to the “God Hates Fags” loonies’ protests at soldiers’ funerals.  Similar laws could be passed against those disrupting the services of churches where they are not members.

But, I’ll be honest.  I also have no problem with people physically defending their churches.  After all, Jesus drove the moneychangers out of the temple.  And this is something worse than moneychanging.

[5] Posted by Newbie Anglican on 11-10-2008 at 11:33 PM • top

This was a scary comment on the blog (entitled “What wusses!”):

I don’t know what’s up with some churches being such pacifists. If this had happened in our church, we’d have locked the doors and the criminals would have been subdued before the police were ever called. I can think of a number of crimes this group committed on private property, - not to mention contributing to the delinquency of minors present; it was well within the church members’ rights to respond with non-lethal force to put an immediate end to this assault. If this happened in my house, I’d have every right to throw someone out a window or two. To have allowed it to continue in a church without making an effort to stop it is nothing short of irresponsible, and condones this kind of action. Perhaps the church goers should wake up to the fact that Jesus didn’t call his people to be victims.

My reply:
——
We are called to pick up our cross. That cross is an instrument of our own martyrdom just as Jesus died for us. Jesus called for us turn the other cheek. He called for us to pray our enemies not beat the tar out of them. I am sending the church a check for their inspiring Christian witness:

Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
——
Kilash, I thought about the children in the congregation, too. I think they definitely learned a life lesson about how Christians are opposed by the world.

[6] Posted by robroy on 11-10-2008 at 11:37 PM • top

Wouldn’t this “action” qualify as a hate crime?

[7] Posted by MIST on 11-10-2008 at 11:41 PM • top

I expect more of this in the future as we draw closer to the End.  Prayer is the appropriate response.  I applaud that pastor.  But, I agree with you Kilash.  The kids shouldn’t have to see it.

[8] Posted by Modest Mystic on 11-10-2008 at 11:55 PM • top

Jesus did tell us to turn the other cheek. 

He also told us “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.” Matthew 7:6

In which situation did Mount Hope find itself?  They were free to make their choice, but they would have been justified in defending the Lord’s House.

[9] Posted by RalphM on 11-10-2008 at 11:57 PM • top

How bizarre that this should occur on the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht.

Good Lord, deliver us.

[10] Posted by bigjimintx on 11-11-2008 at 12:01 AM • top

I have been wondering when this was going to be stepped up. There have been protests here and there before but maybe we haven’t seen anything yet.

The way these people see it, we are the only thing in their way to full acceptance and normalcy. Even if they have everything else, they want to force everyone to pretend that there is no difference between them and truly married couples.

I sometimes wonder if my parish will someday get hit. In some circles we are well known for our stance. If these folks didn’t know it before we left TEC then they sure do now. I always comfort myself with the thought that we are a small church but for how long will that protect us especially when we are one of just a handful that have made such a visible move in our local area?

It may be only a matter of time for all of us. It makes me really sad to think of my peaceful parish or anyone’s place of worship for that matter, being violated by such thuggery.

[11] Posted by StayinAnglican on 11-11-2008 at 12:16 AM • top

My husband just commented that you should pray for your enemy, but first you beat the snot out of them. These people were not committing some minor offense here; they were literally assaulting the worshippers. Their behavior was violent and threatening. The parishioners were not obliged, in my opinion, by either the law of God or the law of the land to allow it to go on. They had a right to protect themselves and their children. If they chose not to physically counter the protesters, that is their right also. If you saw someone defiling a synagogue and you could stop him, would you do so?

[12] Posted by Nellie on 11-11-2008 at 12:29 AM • top

There’s three reasons I wouldn’t want to physically engage these kind of protesters.

1. The turn the other cheek admonition, I would consider it a privilege to be mocked as Christ was mocked after his whipping.

2. The fact that this would play entirely into the hands of the protesters to be faced with violent action. The sad fact is that had those Christians stood up and physically protected their church they would have been (IMO) in legal hot water for assault. The headline would not have been ‘anarchists attack church service’, it would have been ‘bigots beat victims of homophobia’.

3. By reacting with force it encourages the people who do this kind of thing to up the ante, force breeds force.

[13] Posted by kailash on 11-11-2008 at 01:34 AM • top

I certainly agree that there ain’t nothin’ in the good book that says one can’t file charges against these twits and press for them the be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. And there is nothing that says one can’t sue non-Christians. I imagine the kids suffered psychological harm that a jury would look askance to this outrageous behavior. The crime was certainly premeditated if the brought in a journalist.

[14] Posted by robroy on 11-11-2008 at 01:49 AM • top

...the network initially sprung up with the intent of increasing homosexual visibility within the anarchist community.

The first time I read that sentence, my mind substituted the word “antichrist” for “anarchist.”  Then I realized that, even with the correct word, the meaning was the same.

[15] Posted by ToAllTheWorld on 11-11-2008 at 01:54 AM • top

Found this by googling “bash back news”. It was dated 10/23/08:

***PLEASE FORWARD***hey everyone!

Queers and Trannies Bash Back!, is going to be doing a very creative and fun action on Sunday November 9th. There is space for all levels of involvement and risk. We need people to do anything from just engaging in conversation, to tossing some glitter, to playing spin the bottle, to a more “militant”-looking presence out side of the building. I can tell you that we are targeting a well-known anti-queer, anti-choice radical right wing establishment. However, we cant give you really any detailed information due to the cop who’s ridiculous job it is to do surveillance over this blog, if you are interested, trust us, its going to be amazing!

Either dress in casual clothes so you can blend with general people and have a pink or blue mask or bandanna or flag or something that you can hide and then use to distinguish you as a protester later. Or if you want to be a part of the out side action, wear pink and black and have a mask. The out door action isnt going to be a presence that is necessarily going to do anything more than look scary to grab attention. So masks, noise makers, and flags, etc..

This is so obviously premeditated. They are in a heap of trouble (or they better be).

[16] Posted by robroy on 11-11-2008 at 02:09 AM • top

It is never right to stand by in the House of God to let disruption and violence such as this take place.  We must do what it necessary to protect the House of God.  Jesus ran The Pharisees out of The Temple for doing this same skullduggery and prostitution.  If we do not stop them, then we are cowards.  There is no if, ands or butts, it must be done, period.

[17] Posted by BishopOfSaintJames on 11-11-2008 at 03:41 AM • top

The best way to respond to this is to share the gospel with them. To show them that we are in the world but not of the world; indeed through the grace and strengthening spirit of God are being made better than the children of the world. How does fighting back, or suing them, or whatever else people on this thread are proposing, do that? These are people who need the saving grace of Jesus Christ as much as anyone else, and I would hope that when they reflect on the pastor and congregation’s response to their attack some of them might come to realise it and understand what they are missing.

[18] Posted by Boring Bloke on 11-11-2008 at 03:56 AM • top

I have to give that pastor credit.  He did the right thing, but I do not know how many people could have been so calm and graceful on the spot.  Getting into a fight with those thugs would have only been further desecration of the church and would have only been taken as stereotype confirmation by the protesters and (possibly) the reporter.  “Pray for those who persecute you”—good job following the words of Christ in a difficult situation, Pastor.

[19] Posted by K-W on 11-11-2008 at 04:21 AM • top

Why do the nations conspire, and the people plot in vain?  The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and his anointed, saying, “Let us burst their bonds asunder, and cast their cords from us.”  Psalm 2

We can’t overcome violence directed at the Lord with violence.  It only begets more violence.  We overcome violence with love.  We don’t let those who seem to be our enemies provoke us into hating them.  They are not our enemies.  They are victims of our enemy, duped by him into doing his work.  If we respond with hatred and violence, the enemy wins.  Satan wants us to hate these people.  Jesus calls us to love them.  Should we kill or smite the demon-infested, or should we pray that the Lord will cast out the demons?

Of course the enemy is attacking faithful Christians.  Were we not taught to expect this?  If they persecuted me, they wil persecute you.  John 15:20Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.  Matthew 5:11.  Blessed must this congregation be!  They should rejoice that they have been counted worthy to be a target of persecution.  See Acts 5:40-42

“Turn the other cheek,” is not a suggestion from Miss Manners’ Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior.  It is an unambiguous command from our Lord and King.  This is spiritual warfare, disguised as temporal warfare.  We must not fall for this deception.  If we fight spiritual warfare with fists or physical weapons or words of hatred, we lose. We fight spiritual warfare with prayer and fasting, with love and right living.  His strength is made perfect in our weakness.

The children present at this service witnessed their parents responding to hatred with Christian love.  May this powerful lesson remain with them for the rest of their lives.

[20] Posted by Rick H. on 11-11-2008 at 05:37 AM • top

I am not a pacifist, but this is definitely a situation that called for a peaceful response.  Had the members of the congregation gotten angry and physical with the protesters, the interlopers would have walked away feeling totally justified.  With a non-violent, prayerful response,they will be left to think, and perhaps to repent.

[21] Posted by AnglicanXn on 11-11-2008 at 05:40 AM • top

BishopofSaintJames #17
You are so spot on!

[22] Posted by Old Soldier on 11-11-2008 at 06:25 AM • top

Well, this congregation is doing something right, for we’re promised this sort of thing when we do not compromise our faith. As frustration and anger provoking was this event, the “Queer Nation” approach does tend to push the rest of America against the agenda. One reason VGR has been able to make so many in-roads, despite how narcissistic he come off to us who have volumes of material is that on first meeting he is nice guy.

Peta does not go very far with vandalizing women’s fur coats and this event will do them more harm than advance their cause. Meanwhile this congregation should consider themselves most blessed to be counted worthy to suffer some of the indignations of Christ.

[23] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 11-11-2008 at 07:22 AM • top

You can’t fight hate with hate.  You can’t use Satan’s weapons against him.  Satan knows how to use hate much better than we do.  The only weapon Satan is powerless against is God’s agape love.

YBIC,
Phil Snyder

[24] Posted by Philip Snyder on 11-11-2008 at 08:05 AM • top

Off-topic: TheBishopofStJames reminds me a lot of “Sinner.”  New name?  Different person?  Hard to tell, just similar styles, perhaps.

[25] Posted by AnglicanXn on 11-11-2008 at 09:11 AM • top

The pastor acted appropriately. Our goal is to fight Satan, and to convert the unsaved. The term martyr means ‘witness’. With any luck at least one of the sad souls who attacked the church will reflect upon his actions and have a crisis of conscience.

All this reminds me of an old Kingston Trio song.

I fear His Justice. I pray for His Mercy.

[26] Posted by Matthew A (formerly mousestalker) on 11-11-2008 at 09:29 AM • top

It is a common response as human being to be provoked when those who oppose us seek to provoke. It is our sinful and broken human nature that rises to that call, which is precisely what the activist groups wanted - they wanted a confrontation - why do you think they brought the press?? As it was all, the reporter got was a couple of lines worth of “an activist groups staged an “intervention” at a local christian community and they didn’t react to it - no story here”. How frustrating for the reporter and the activists. I am glad I wasn’t there - I don’t think I could have prevented myself from reacting - something I need to surrender to the Lord. There was a reason Jesus told Peter to drop the sword. Our kingdom is greater and mightier than the kingdom of this world, we are the victors, period. We are commanded to be gracious to the misguided denizens of this occupied territory, until our commander comes and corrects the situation. Justice is our too common cry when mercy is required of us. These are terribly broken people whom God loves and died for. It is not our rights that Christ died for.

[27] Posted by masternav on 11-11-2008 at 09:31 AM • top

A trashy act followed by a classy act, only possible through Christ and the Good Book.

[28] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 11-11-2008 at 09:31 AM • top

I agree with BishopOfSaintJames [17].

One wonders what the response will be when they try this in a mosque?  There may be a bit of attrition on the Bash Back side if that happens.

[29] Posted by Anglican Beach Party on 11-11-2008 at 09:31 AM • top

The action taken against the church and its worship service was clearly a hate crime. Unfortunately, hate crime laws are not enforced with an even hand, which is one reason I don’t like them.

BTW, I could not continue to attend a church which did not find a way to defend itself against future such vicious attacks. I am not a good enough Christian to merely ‘sit there an take it.’

[30] Posted by rkreed on 11-11-2008 at 09:40 AM • top

Given the wonderful response by the congregation in the face of such a horrible act of vandalism, this action by the homosexuals can do nothing but work against their cause.

[31] Posted by Bill C on 11-11-2008 at 09:59 AM • top

The “hate crime” concept is bogus to begin with.  Too much like “thought crime”.  However, surely there are laws against riotous and disorderly behavoir that could be applied.

[32] Posted by AndrewA on 11-11-2008 at 10:09 AM • top

I’m with BillC and others who have expressed appreciation for how the congregation handled this. Their response speaks louder than the bullies who assaulted them and is a wonderful Christian witness. To have responded to violence with violence would have been to play into the bullies’ hands and damage their own witness - with cameras there to record it all.

[33] Posted by oscewicee on 11-11-2008 at 10:17 AM • top

It is never right to stand by in the House of God to let disruption and violence such as this take place.  We must do what it necessary to protect the House of God.  Jesus ran The Pharisees out of The Temple for doing this same skullduggery and prostitution.  If we do not stop them, then we are cowards.

Yes, Bp.of S.James and it surely wouldn’t hurt for some of us to have cameras of various sorts in our handbags and pockets to capture what these “tolerant and inclusive” folks are doing.

[34] Posted by ElaineF. on 11-11-2008 at 10:24 AM • top

I believe this parish did the appropriate things in reacting to the “protestors”.  The “protestors” were very aggresive and violent and being met by peace were probably totally bewildered.  I am sure that Bash Back is talking in their backrooms of how “strong” they are that they terrified this group into not responding to them when actually it was an extremely strong response.

The only legal thing I might think of doing is for the church to go to court to get the appropriate finding such that if these people come back and do this again, which I don’t thing they will, they will be arrested for criminal trespass.  It might tone down their protests in the future.  But the finding should not prevent the Bash Back! people from coming and listening to the Gospel perchance to be saved.

[35] Posted by BillB on 11-11-2008 at 10:39 AM • top

May ruin overtake them by surprise.
May the net they hid entangle them.
May they fall into the pit to their ruin.

Then my soul will rejoice in the Lord.

Psalm 35

[36] Posted by CanaAnglican on 11-11-2008 at 10:47 AM • top

Best way to settle a situation like that is to turn on your cell phone and call 911. That situation was threatening.  Call the police and let them handle it.

[37] Posted by The Templar on 11-11-2008 at 10:52 AM • top

What could galvanize oppostion to their agenda than to conduct raids upon houses of worship?  Is that supposed to make us (Neanderthals one and all)  see the light and convert to the cause?

[38] Posted by DaveG on 11-11-2008 at 10:57 AM • top

Amen Templar! God calls His children to a higher standards and to respond with more of the same is lowering ourselves into the pit of which these actions came from. The police are the one and only good way to respond then you get back in the church and pray for those lost souls.

The police have the authority of the law on their side to extend whatever force would be necessary. Let them to their job and do it legally.

[39] Posted by TLDillon on 11-11-2008 at 10:58 AM • top

Greetings to all.  I want to make it very clear I am not advocating violence for violence.  Especially not taking out a a gun or baseball bat to knock them in the head when these ruffians come in the church.  I am talking about standing firm and commanding them in Jesus name to get out of the church three times.  Most of these people are either demon possessed or under demon influence. If they do not leave after three times, then the people in the building have every right to defend themselves.  This is God’s personal house.  You do not want them to come into your own personal home to do this cause you would get out whatever you can to get them out of your home.
I am talking bout defending the church in a very strong way as to arming it with security cameras so that they can be caught on tape.  Have cans of mace hidden in the emergency places in the santuary and use it only as a last resort.  If these people dont leave after you warn them three times, then you are obliged to use it.  God is very unhappy that we do not stand up in His House.  One reason these BULLIES think they can use violence to beat us into submission is because we do not defend or even fight back.  They believe we are cowards who will roll over and not take a stand.  There is a time and place for turning the other cheek.  In situations like this it is not the time to do so. 
Do not allow yourselves to be victims of these bullies you are giving them exactly what they want.

[40] Posted by BishopOfSaintJames on 11-11-2008 at 11:35 AM • top

What could galvanize oppostion to their agenda than to conduct raids upon houses of worship?  Is that supposed to make us (Neanderthals one and all) see the light and convert to the cause?

No. It’s supposed to provoke aggression, which makes us look un-Christian.

[41] Posted by oscewicee on 11-11-2008 at 11:36 AM • top

BishopOfSaintJames, I don’t think they had any hope at all of beating anyone into submission. I think the hoped to make the people at this church get mad and look ridiculous as they stood there fuming in the glitter and pink tulle. Ridicule is a strong weapon.

[42] Posted by oscewicee on 11-11-2008 at 11:45 AM • top

They believe we are cowards who will roll over and not take a stand.

But we do take a stand. By taking everything they throw at us without responding in kind yet continuing to proclaim God’s truth with ever greater determination.

[43] Posted by Boring Bloke on 11-11-2008 at 11:46 AM • top

Tyhis isn’t a question of respondoing with more of the same, or of fighting back in kind. It’s self-defense,a nd defense of the house of God. Sitting there and letting these criminals get away with this behavior is what encourages them. It is cooperating with them. Chatting with them about the Gospel is not going to change their minds one bit. Don’t you think they’ve heard about the Gospel before? They see our interpretation of the Gospel as homophobic. People like this are not like the man Jesus refers to in the Gospel who has a disagreement with his brother. These people see things in a fundamentally different way than we do. And they perceive our willingness to turn the other cheek as weakness. BishopofSt.James refers to Jesus throwing the moneychangers out of the Temple. Jesus wasn’t very pacifist in that incident. Jesus also spoke of those who hurt children having a millstone tied around them and being thrown into the sea. And I believe that when Jesus told Peter to put his sword away in the Garden, it was not becuase he didn’t want Peter to defend Him with violence, but because Jesus knew that His time had come - that He must do the will of the Father. People today have an uncanny ability to pick out the bits and pieces of the Gospel that they want to use and to ignore the rest. One might call it “selective interpretation.” Trying to reason with poeple like the Bash Back crew is like trying to reason with Al Qaeda. Do you think any amount of talking - or “dialogue” - is going to change the minds of those who would fly a plane into a buildong occupied by thousands of civilians? History tells us what came of trying to negotiate with Hitler. Do you think Jesus objected to our using violence against Hitler? I fail to see it as a good thing to sit by and watch a church desecrated and worship disrupted by a bunch of thugs. In the Bash Back incident, I can understand why the congregation may not have wanted to further disturb the children present with more violence, but I think the children may also have been a reason to stop these creeps in their tracks. I don’t know. I wasn’t there; but I certainly don’t think it’s biblically wrong to defend yourself. If so, perhaps we should just let the radical Muslims come do their thing and quit fighting them, eh?

[44] Posted by Nellie on 11-11-2008 at 11:54 AM • top

Those of you who are objecting to a physical response are ignoring the existence of several techniques of physical intervention to disrupt the “demonstrators” without the use of violence and, in at least one instance, require no great strength and produce no physical damage despite being sufficiently painful to the recipient that all thought of other activity is immediately abandoned. Thus a response to physically disrupt the disrupters would not necessarily be able to be protrayed as “responding in kind.”

Blessings and regards,
Martial Artist

[45] Posted by Militaris Artifex on 11-11-2008 at 12:17 PM • top

If you live in Michigan, contact your state reps and senators at THEIR HOME TELPHONE NUMBERS and give them an earful. I did, don’t let them get comfortable and avoid this, it wasn’t reported at all. I didn’t learn about this ‘til I read it here. Then tomorrow when your members of the US Congress’s offices are open, call them and give them an earful too.

[46] Posted by mari on 11-11-2008 at 12:22 PM • top

The witness is not just for the aggressors. You’re right. Most of them won’t change their ways. That doesn’t matter. It is the duty of the state, army and police to protect their citizens—and, of course, none of us deny that they should do that to the best of their abilities; but it is the duty of the Christian to live and witness the gospel. When those who should know better defile the sanctuary, then by all means through down the tables and make a nuisance of yourself ; which is what those of you in North America are doing with respect to the desecration provided by TEC. But when those who don’t claim to know the gospel come, we have to respond according to the command Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it 1 to the wrath of God, for it is written,  Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.
To the contrary, if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.
  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

A wiser man than me (at least at the time he wrote this apology) put it like this:

In that case, you say, why do you complain of our persecutions? You ought rather to be grateful to us for giving you the sufferings you want. Well, it is quite true that it is our desire to suffer, but it is in the way that the soldier longs for war. No one indeed suffers willingly, since suffering necessarily implies fear and danger.  Yet the man who objected to the conflict, both fights with all his strength, and when victorious, he rejoices in the battle, because he reaps from it glory and spoil. It is our battle to be summoned to your tribunals that there, under fear of execution, we may battle for the truth. But the day is won when the object of the struggle is gained.  This victory of ours gives us the glory of pleasing God, and the spoil of life eternal. But we are overcome. Yes, when we have obtained our wishes. Therefore we conquer in dying; we go forth victorious at the very time we are subdued. Call us, if you like, Sarmenticii and Semaxii, because, bound to a half-axle stake, we are burned in a circle-heap of faggots. This is the attitude in which we conquer, it is our victory-robe, it is for us a sort of triumphal car. Naturally enough, therefore, we do not please the vanquished; on account of this, indeed, we are counted a desperate, reckless race.

O glory legitimate, because it is human, for whose sake it is counted neither reckless foolhardiness, nor desperate obstinacy, to despise death itself and all sorts of savage treatment; for whose sake you may for your native place, for the empire, for friendship, endure all you are forbidden to do for God!  And you cast statues in honour of persons such as these, and you put inscriptions upon images, and cut out epitaphs on tombs, that their names may never perish. In so far you can by your monuments, you yourselves afford a sort of resurrection to the dead. Yet he who expects the true resurrection from God, is insane, if for God he suffers!  But go zealously on, good presidents, you will stand higher with the people if you sacrifice the Christians at their wish, kill us, torture us, condemn us, grind us to dust; your injustice is the proof that we are innocent. Therefore God suffers that we thus suffer; for but very lately, in condemning a Christian woman to the leno rather than to the leo you made confession that a taint on our purity is considered among us something more terrible than any punishment and any death. Nor does your cruelty, however exquisite, avail you; it is rather a temptation to us.  The oftener we are mown down by you, the more in number we grow; the blood of Christians is seed. Many of your writers exhort to the courageous bearing of pain and death, as Cicero in the Tusculans, as Seneca in his Chances, as Diogenes, Pyrrhus, Callinicus; and yet their words do not find so many disciples as Christians do, teachers not by words, but by their deeds. That very obstinacy you rail against is the preceptress. For who that contemplates it, is not excited to inquire what is at the bottom of it? who, after inquiry, does not embrace our doctrines? and when he has embraced them, desires not to suffer that he may become partaker of the fullness of God’s grace, that he may obtain from God complete forgiveness, by giving in exchange his blood? For that secures the remission of all offences. On this account it is that we return thanks on the very spot for your sentences. As the divine and human are ever opposed to each other, when we are condemned by you, we are acquitted by the Highest.

[47] Posted by Boring Bloke on 11-11-2008 at 12:29 PM • top

Just another example that when the the Homosexual Activists say that gay marriage, etc. is not about the church, it is a total lie.  The whole thing is about the church and trying to bring it down.

[48] Posted by Jim the Puritan on 11-11-2008 at 12:39 PM • top

I think the pastor’s response was exactly right. Descending down to the protesters level would just be playing into their hands. Don’t get me wrong, the church should use every nonviolent legal means available to punish the protesters and publicize their abhorrent actions but a violent confrontation inside the church would have given them just what they were looking for.

Just for the record, I am 6’3” and go about 275 pounds. I am an ex-defensive lineman and bouncer. I don’t have to back off from anybody but I do because, most of the time, it is the right thing to do.

the big bad snarkster™

[49] Posted by the snarkster on 11-11-2008 at 12:43 PM • top

This congregation did it right.  The sensible response would be (1) call 911 to get police to remove the trespassers and (2) break out into a rousing chorus of “Amazing Grace.”  Drown out the evil with a call to grace and repentance.  Self-defense would be appropriate if the intruders physically attack anyone.

[50] Posted by Katherine on 11-11-2008 at 12:45 PM • top

This thread has highlighted an important issue which needs to be addressed at a much deeper level than a simple blog responding to an article talking about one instance.  As we get closer to the End Times and as these kinds of incidents are on the rise, it will become a point of shame if we argue amongst ourselves about when and whether violent reaction to persecution is justified.  Kilash #13 is right.  If this congregation had fought back, they would have played right into the anarchists’ (yes, I, too, read that as antichrist at first) hands.  However, Bishop of St. James #17 is also correct.  Jesus did not stand for corruption of His Father’s House; why should we?  And, on the practical side, how shall we protect our children? 

I think of the Amish community whose school was attacked a couple of years ago and how they were peaceful as lambs.  They lost two or three girls to that madman and others were emotionally scarred for life, but they gained the awe, respect, and empathy of the entire nation.  Then, when they went to the parents of the shooter to formally forgive him, I was in tears.  That is Christ-likeness.  But, were they remiss in their duty to protect their children by teaching such stark pacifism? 

We need to hash this out before events become so ridiculously antichrist-like that we are merely reacting out of panic rather than reacting out of conviction by the Holy Spirit.  I suggest that a separate thread to deal with this issue or pacifism vs. protection in the face of persecution be set up.  It would have to be well monitored because, obvious from the comments above, this is an issue of passion for us all.  May we discern the way God would have us go on this.

[51] Posted by Modest Mystic on 11-11-2008 at 12:51 PM • top

51—I think there is a related issue, which is the Christian response when faced with the fact that agreeing that homosexual behavior is normal and a civil right is going to increasingly be required as a condition of employment at many jobs. 

This is not a hypothetical for me, as because of economic reasons I may be looking for a job in California and see that at virtually all firms I have to get vetted by the “Diversity Committee” when I apply.  I highly doubt a Bible-believing Christian is going to be looked on very favorably, especially in today’s climate in California.

[52] Posted by Jim the Puritan on 11-11-2008 at 01:12 PM • top

However, Bishop of St. James #17 is also correct.  Jesus did not stand for corruption of His Father’s House; why should we?

Just one question before I back out of this thread (having said more than my fair share): Is the analogue of the temple in the new covenant (so the appropriate application of this passage) the churches in which we worship or ourselves? I’m thinking specifically of 2 Corinthians 6:16, although there are other passages which say similar things: For we are the temple of the living God. Or is it both? (Or neither?) Or is this just an Evangelical/Anglo-Catholic thing about which we are bound to disagree until Christ returns?

But I agree with the post above. The way things are going, I expect that this sort of thing will increase, and probably grow worse. We have to (whether individually or in a thread) embark on a full study of scripture and the fathers, rather than the piecemeal sort of study throwing verses back and forth at each other to prepare ourselves in case it should happen to us.

[53] Posted by Boring Bloke on 11-11-2008 at 01:12 PM • top

Dear Friends, 
Be in prayer about your response in a similar situation because this could be just the beginning. 

Nation-wide protests have been planned for November 15.

Perpetua of Carthage has a link to the protest organizer’s site that lists the locations where demonstrations are planned:
http://perpetuaofcarthage.blogspot.com/2008/11/coming-to-city-near-you.html

Hopefully these will not target churches.

[54] Posted by Theodora on 11-11-2008 at 01:22 PM • top

They should definitely file charges.  One advantage of a legal battle is that it would expose the behavior of these “protesters” to a wider, maybe a nationwide, audience.  I’ll bet that the vast majority of folks in Michigan know nothing of this.  Desecrating a holy place just doesn’t go over well with the public, even the atheists.  This kind of behavior cannot stand the light of day and it illustrates the difference between the Christians and the despicable people who call themselves “protesters”.

[55] Posted by Edwin on 11-11-2008 at 01:23 PM • top

Dear (not so) Boring Bloke,
The Church is composed of 7 or more successively larger fractals: 1. each individual is the smallest micro-unit, 2. the married couple 3. The family 4. the accountability/home group 5. local church 6. city/regional church 7. denomination and/or national church 8. the global church and 9. the whole redeemed Church of the Ages, those living and the saints in heaven.

[56] Posted by Theodora on 11-11-2008 at 01:32 PM • top

54—Checking the information for my locale, I see it is going to be on the grounds of the City Hall and municipal buildings.  Ironically, the early-1900s government building located right where the protest is supposed to start still has the name over the front door, “Christian Education,” from the days before the Supremes rammed the doctrine of “separation of church and state” down our throat and the myth that the United States was not a Christian country.

[57] Posted by Jim the Puritan on 11-11-2008 at 01:35 PM • top

The issue of responding in force often comes down to the REASON you are being persecuted. Sometimes it is hard to tell why you are persecuted, but in this case it was clear.

Another factor is whether or not you have sufficient ballots or bullets to pull off a resistance.

I think scripture is pretty clear that when you are persecuted for your faith, you are to turn the other cheek in the same fashion that Christ did to his accusers. Not only is this an expression of the gospel, it is also good PR. Consider that in Iraq, Al Queda has lost influence and respect among the common people because of it’s violent attacks on innocent people.

There are cases, such as the home invasion or school shooting, where a violent attack is brought seemingly at random and in a way that is not “for show”, such as the church attack. In that case, I think a violent defense can be appropriate, especially when others are being threatened with physical harm.

Certainly “a picture is worth a thousand words”, and security cameras are always helpful for good PR after the fact.

[58] Posted by Capn Jack Sparrow on 11-11-2008 at 02:11 PM • top

#56 I agree - but that wasn’t the question I asked (or, at least, not the question I intended to ask, which too often isn’t the same thing). We know from the book of Hebrews that the old covenant is an imperfect representation of the new. Thus the high priest represents and is fulfilled in perfect fashion by Christ. The sacrifices are fulfilled in perfect fashion by Christ’s work upon the cross. So, continuing the allegory (probably beyond the point of applicability), the temple buildings represent—- what? If you are saying that the temple buildings in the old covenant are represented in the new covenant by the Church, I would rather suggest that Israel is the Old Testament equivalent of the Church as a whole; with each individual believer as the fulfilment of the temple. After all, the temple was the place where the overwhelming fire of God’s presence was found; and the spirit burns within each of us, not the buildings; and within the Church as a whole only as much as it is made of spirit filled individuals. Therefore, a desecration of the temple by money changers represents by a desecration of our new nature by sinful passions.

The point that I wanted to make was that Jesus’s clearing of the temple could, in this interpretation, be applied to our lives by him clearing pride, greed and all worldly passions from our original nature. Responding to an act such as the one that this congregation endured in an inappropriate and un-Christ-like manner (and I leave it to the reader to determine what is `inappropriate’) would thus be the equivalent of righting the tables after Jesus had thrown them down, or resisting him as he throws them down. But, of course, I am a complete ignoramus as far as these matters are concerned and could be wrong; and of course this passage certainly contains numerous applications.

But all this allegorising is too much for me. I’m turning into an Alexandrian. I better return to the more familiar shores of Antioch and get on with what I’m meant to be doing at the moment.

Incidentally, I’m joining in the rousing chorus of `Amazing Grace’ (assuming that it started before I commenced `Here is love vast as the ocean,’ but I agree that Amazing Grace is better). I’ll leave it to God (and the police) to deal with the protesters.

[59] Posted by Boring Bloke on 11-11-2008 at 02:15 PM • top

Consider that in Iraq, Al Queda has lost influence and respect among the common people because of it’s violent attacks on innocent people.

But that’s quite different from a defensive response, no?

As an aside, does anyone else see the irony of an “anarchist” group demanding state recognition of their personal relationships?  Must be more of those Big Government Anarchists I’ve read about.

[60] Posted by Jeffersonian on 11-11-2008 at 02:18 PM • top

Sure, it’s different from defensive response. I’m just using the Iraq matter to point out that good PR and ultimate good can come from being publicly persucuted by those who are more ruthless than the people they oppress.

That being said, I would feel safer standing near the guy with the US flag on his sleeve and an M4!

[61] Posted by Capn Jack Sparrow on 11-11-2008 at 02:27 PM • top

I was reading an article on the Huffington Post a few minutes ago, and noticed the title of the article I’m linking to below, the writer is a homosexual, and he is a leftist, but he at least recognizes some of things that are wrong with many homosexual activists. There is some crude and obscene language in the article, so hope that doesn’t offend anyone, but this does help explain the mindset of those like Susan Russell, Ms. Kaeton and their ilk: The Strange, Strange Story of the Gay Fascists by Johann Hari
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/johann-hari/the-strange-strange-story_b_136697.html

[62] Posted by mari on 11-11-2008 at 03:40 PM • top

The money changers who profaned the temple were not invited to tea by our Lord nor did he politley sit by and watch them go about their profanity.  He turned over their tables and chased them from the holy places.  Can/should we do any less?

[63] Posted by DaveG on 11-11-2008 at 03:44 PM • top

I agree with Katherine.  A good strong hymn, drowning out the whine, would have been a good response.  Church musicians ought to be ready to start one, organ full on or whatever instruments are used there.  Best situation would be to lock the doors to the organ gallery (for those lucky enough to have one) and let the king of instruments lead tutti!  (Unfortunately, a lot of church musicians are part of the problem!)

[64] Posted by ann r on 11-11-2008 at 05:29 PM • top

How about “A Mighty Fortress”

[65] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 11-11-2008 at 05:36 PM • top

I agree with ann r [64] ... some of those longer pipes put out a tone that is almost down in the Bowel Disruptor frequency range.

Hey, Martial Artist [45], do you reckon you could put together a small pamphlet along the lines of:  When Your Parish Is Invaded:  What Every Traditional Worshipper Needs to Know About Non-Violent Physical Intervention ??

I would contribute a section on Weight Training for Vergers if that would help.

[66] Posted by Anglican Beach Party on 11-11-2008 at 05:41 PM • top

#66, every church needs a “Deacon Payne”:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkO40uHGZUo

[67] Posted by Jim the Puritan on 11-11-2008 at 06:06 PM • top

God Bless the folks that attended the service, that they didn’t react “in kind” and instead showed their love by praying for the protestors.  The protestors can think whatever they want, but the Christians were acting in love - the protestors were acting like ill-mannered adolescents.

[68] Posted by B. Hunter on 11-11-2008 at 06:13 PM • top

From their site -

“Bash Back! operatives, still hidden among the congregation observed a person screaming that Satan had come to Mount Hope, that the end was here, that the queers were everywhere. She then began speaking tongues. The dumbfounded pastor, after regaining his composure, went on to speak of the decadent, depraved wolves that menace his flock of sheep.

Nice folks there…seems to me they are just “hateful attention grabbers”.

[69] Posted by B. Hunter on 11-11-2008 at 06:22 PM • top

I think Jesus in the temple with the money changers was different to this horrible protest. The money changers were something that the Jewish priests had allowed to happen in their own Temple. It wasn’t as though outside influence had entered and disrupted God’s House, it was a systematic failure of the Temple leaders in their God given duties.

In some way I see it that we must keep our own souls - temples of the Holy Spirit - clean and pure and that our leadership has a duty to keep the Church (Christ’s Body) clean and pure.

In 70AD when the Romans destroyed the Temple, Jesus didn’t protect it, it was allowed by God to fall. Where is Moses’ Ark of the Covenant now? Lost, destroyed?

I think this is a time to let God heap ashes on their heads and for us to pray for the protesters’ salvation.

[70] Posted by kailash on 11-11-2008 at 07:15 PM • top

I hear you Kilash but as relates to our church, this indeed is an abomination we have allowed to happen. It represents a systematic failure on the part of our leaders and us that we have not taken action to prevent it.

[71] Posted by DaveG on 11-11-2008 at 07:26 PM • top

Matt+, I prefer “O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing,” or “Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah.”  Play them full-blast on a pipe organ, and you’ll blow their eardrums out….YOU’LL need earplugs.

[72] Posted by Cennydd on 11-11-2008 at 07:39 PM • top

Hot Rod Anglican has a photo of a gang of ‘pink terrorists’ like those that invaded the church.
I’m sure the children were traumatized. http://hotrodanglican.blogspot.com/2008/11/were-queer-were-here-to-disrupt-your.html

[73] Posted by Theodora on 11-11-2008 at 07:48 PM • top

Hot Rod Anglican has a photo of a gang of ‘pink terrorists’ like those that invaded the church.
I’m sure the children were traumatized. http://hotrodanglican.blogspot.com/2008/11/were-queer-were-here-to-disrupt-your.html

Wow, covered faces and all.  Kinda reminds me of the Klan or al Qaeda.  Not good company to be in, IMO.

[74] Posted by Jeffersonian on 11-11-2008 at 08:36 PM • top

Were they going for the terrorist look on purpose?

Well, read their web site.  They are anarchists, not only gay activists.

[75] Posted by Paul B on 11-11-2008 at 08:44 PM • top

I think Kilash hit on an accurate difference.

The money changers were something that the Jewish priests had allowed to happen in their own Temple. It wasn’t as though outside influence had entered and disrupted God’s House, it was a systematic failure of the Temple leaders in their God given duties.

Jesus’ harshest words and in this case actions, were aimed at religious people.

When Jesus told us to turn our other cheek in response to being slapped across the face, He was telling us how to respond to an insult. Basically He said—So? They tried to humiliate you in public. Let them. Don’t retaliate. Not only that, allow them to continue to do so.

These church people responded in exactly that way. They were not being physically harmed, really. They were the targets of an attempt to humiliate them.

As far as the church building being the house of God—I don’t think that is totally accurate. At Jesus’ death, the veil that covered the Holy of Holies was rent. The place where God “dwelt” was opened up to all. I think it more accurate to say we, His people, are His house.
1 Peter 2:4-6

As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For in Scripture it says:
  “See, I lay a stone in Zion,
    a chosen and precious cornerstone,
  and the one who trusts in him
    will never be put to shame.”

Peace,
Pat KAshtock
Take It for What It’s Worth

[76] Posted by Pat Kashtock on 11-11-2008 at 09:04 PM • top

The Church folks there did the right thing.  I pray that I would be able to do as well.  (It would be only by God’s Grace that I could do so).

I rather liked the analogy of the moneychangers being the sins in our lives.  It will be something I mull over for a while now.  Thanks!

[77] Posted by Bo on 11-12-2008 at 12:42 AM • top

Criminal acts by thugs. I haven’t heard that Michigan has suspended its statutes forbidding assault, disruption of peacefull assembly, conspiracy to commit a felony, vandalism, criminal trespass???  If it was a bunch of Hell’s Angels vandalizing the church, no one would think twice about protecting themselves, their wives and families, and their church, against them, physically if necessary. Do love your enemies, do pray for those who persecute you. However, I don’t see where that means you are required to allow them to murder your children or befoul your church. It is this basic misunderstandig of the necessity and propriety of a firm and well executed defence against pagans that has gotten Anglicanism in its current mess. Our Scripturally based Constitution allows for peacefull assembly and a certain degree of freedom of speech (not absolute by the way)that permits these hoodlums to say whatever they want. Just not wherever  they want. Like not in your home. Like not in your church.

Someone explain what Jesus was doing and saying when he “turned the other cheek.” It wasn’t a supine caving in to a bully, but rather an act of supreme defiance, an injunction to use aggressive, smart tactics to defeat an enemy. It has to do with Semetic hygenic customs.

It certainly does not require us to allow the Nazis to gas 6 million more Jews, or let punks poop on our altars.

[78] Posted by teddy mak on 11-12-2008 at 09:17 AM • top

I strongly suspect that what we are beginning to see are acts by “rent-a-mobs” hired by the LBGT crowd.  It has happened repeatedly in places such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, and other large cities, and it happened in Sacramento this past week.  It hasn’t happened here in Los Banos because they know that we won’t tolerate such behavior from anyone.

[79] Posted by Cennydd on 11-12-2008 at 09:49 AM • top

Christ admonished us not to hide our light under a bushel, that we are to follow his example and be a shining light of inspiration and hope. Not prideful, but do good acts in His name. He also admonished us to take a stand in his name, challenge wrongs, not through hatred, but in the interest of what is right. We are also to protect the innocent, including children from sin, and we are to avoid those who refuse to repent.

I believe that those at Mount Hope did right, but I also agree that there are other smart ways of taking these corrupt, sinful groups on. Video tape them when they attempt to persecute others and perpetuate sin. If you only have your cell phone, record their actions in that way. I think in future that hymns should be sung loudly to drown out the hatred of those attempting to shout obscenities and abuse our faith. We must also confront them by challenging them, speaking out against their hatred, racism, and violence. Do not allow them to define or frame anything. They are not “pro” anything, they are anti-religion, they are hate criminals, they are religiophobic, and heterophobic. Put the onus on their hate, their criminal acts, their violations of civil rights. There is no civil right to persecute and oppress.

[80] Posted by mari on 11-12-2008 at 10:15 AM • top

The hoodlums are lucky that people didn’t take them real terrorists. With the shooting at New Life Church in Colorado Springs, I would not be surprised if the church didn’t have plain clothes armed guards.

It looks like the mainstream media is taking notice:

http://www.freep.com/article/20081112/NEWS06/811120316/1008/NEWS
http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/article/20081112/NEWS01/811120369
http://wluctv6.com/news/news_story.aspx?id=220613

The last one is a good one. In particular, we have this:

Catholic League President, Bill Donohue, fired back on Tuesday saying “This is astounding.  This is a Nazi like tactic to go into a church on a Sunday and disrupt service.  I don’t care whether it’s pro-gay, anti-gay; it has no legitimate role to play in a democracy, which is exactly why we’ve asked Mike Cox, Michigan’s Attorney General to investigate.”

[81] Posted by robroy on 11-12-2008 at 11:00 AM • top

The attack on St. Patrick’s (RC) by Act UP and WHAM in 1989! has obviously been forgotten. A huge number of demostrators surrounded the cathedral and a very large number disrupted the Mass ... including throwing blood on Archbishop O’Connor.  This demonstration of force was a major miscalculation on their part in terms of public sympathy at that time.  However, I am not so sure how public sympathy would play these days.  One problem is the ever-increasing coarsening of American culture.  I am sorry to say this, but if you want to see how low it can go, read the Times Online.  It is quite eye-opening ... and stomach turning.  I used to be an Anglophile, so it is hard to grasp what has happened to that country in a relatively short period of time.

[82] Posted by interested observer on 11-12-2008 at 02:12 PM • top

Teddy Mak—You are right—turn the other cheek does not have to do with allowing one person to harm another. Jesus NEVER said, if you see one person attack another, turn your face away.

That is not His way. We are to do justice and love mercy. Sometimes that means violent intervention on behalf of another.

But while this silly bash back group was violent in a sort of emotional way, absolutely nothing they did came any where close to the least of the things the Nazis perpetrated on helpless human beings.

Getting slapped across the face was an insult then, just as it is now. Yes, it is a physical assault, and it stings, but it is meant as an insult. It is not intended to inflict actual bodily injury.

So the idea is more of, buck up, don’t let them get to you. Give them your other cheek to slap.

Pretty good psychology.

We are also to pray for our enemies and do good to those who abuse us. That is what these people did, to the glory of God and His people.

The bash crew acted in a silly provocative manner. They did not try to kill someone, nor rape someone, nor beat up old ladies or small children or anybody else. They just put on a childish show. Ugly and small minded, yes, and very silly.

Peace,
Patricia Hammell Kashtock
Take It for What It’s Worth

[83] Posted by Pat Kashtock on 11-12-2008 at 09:09 PM • top

Posted by CanaAnglican on 11-11-2008 at 09:47 AM
“Best way to settle a situation like that is to turn on your cell phone and call 911. That situation was threatening.  Call the police and let them handle it. “

Is this what you are going to do when they start groping your 6 year old son and molesting your 10 year old daughter?

[84] Posted by Ithuriel on 11-12-2008 at 10:46 PM • top

It seems to me that the functional principle here is found in the quote: 

” The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church”

  By refusing to react to the outrage, this worthy congregation entered into a quality of fellowship of a ‘living martyrdom’, if you will.

  The very essence of the oft quoted, (but seldom realized) ideals of Dr. Martin Luther King and others in laying down the principle of non-resistance for our examples, when we run into resistance and opposition.

  Evidently, if you’re preaching the Gospel,  if you’re taking the claims of the risen Christ seriously, if you’re feeding and clothing the poor, if your congregation is pro-life and doing something about it, if you’ve a heart for missions, or housing those less fortunate than you…. then you might well expect a similar visitation on an otherwise placid autumn Sunday morning in the near future, as the days darken.

  That this happened on the 70th anniversary of kristallnacht has already been noted and stretches the bounds of irony   (anyone remember the poem, “They came for the Jews, but I did nothing because I’m not a Jew”...?)
 
  But this conflict can’t be fought with hidden cans of MACE strategically hidden under a pew, (as someone suggested earlier), axe handles, or fists, ...at least it can’t be won with any of these.

  My thought is that God passed over any number of congregations before He found one in Mt. Hope worthy of the honor of such persecution.

  my .05 worth

[85] Posted by anglicanlutenist on 11-12-2008 at 10:58 PM • top

Were they going for the terrorist look on purpose?

Well, read their web site.  They are anarchists, not only gay activists.
[75] Posted by Paul B on 11-11-2008 at 07:44 PM • top

taken from another bash back site
http://news.infoshop.org/article.php?story=20081107131440278

not only are they anarchist and antichrist, they are “queers, trannies, freaks, perverts, and other fabulous folks”
so perverts are ok in the new republic?
and from what I gathered of their potential agenda is the overthrow the white capitolistic system that gave them the freedom to do what they are doing now in the first place. 50 years ago I doubt any God fearing church would have allowed such behavior and I doubt the police would have needed to press charges or “investigate”. The offending, trespassing party would have learned the hard way and the proper way how to respect private property and accountability for their actions.
And what is their cure for society? what is their solution for the world? anarchy? free love? hope? change? that will get you a long way against a billion screaming chinese with nuclear weapons and an kalashnikov in your face…

[86] Posted by Ithuriel on 11-12-2008 at 11:16 PM • top

Christ definately demanded that we protect the innocent, especially children from sin. To allow those who would victimize others, would be to give silent approbation to it. We can stand as individuals and turn the other cheek, but that is different.

Christ stood up to hypocrites who sought to stone a woman, and I believe we are called to speak out against hypocrisies and wrongs. We are also called to defend our faith, and that requires us to protect it from being demeaned and demonized. We don’t need to descend to those people’s levels.

[87] Posted by mari on 11-14-2008 at 06:34 PM • top

It seems to me that this is a Gay version of segregation. It is pretty clear that Gays consider the Community “THEIR” community and they don’t allow straight people there unless they show respect for their Gay lifestyle.
It must have been and awful experience for the Christian evangelists but they should consider their protest a success if they guided even one person to follow Christ and escape from this oppressive community.

[88] Posted by Betty See on 11-17-2008 at 11:58 PM • top

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