Several parents and students claim an "anti-gay" message was given by Pastor Scott Carpenter during a Christian baccalaureate service in Kings Mountain, North Carolina, on May 31.
Carpenter, the interim pastor of the Temple Baptist Church, reportedly told gay students of Kings Mountain High School that they were going to hell.
"Do I hate anybody? Absolutely not. I just love them too much not to tell them the truth,” Carpenter told WBTV (video below).
However, parent Chuck Wilson countered, "This is bullying."
Wilson added, "It's a public school. There are children here. I think there should be some level of responsibility on the speaker coming in to not take advantage of a captive audience."
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The voluntary baccalaureate service was held on the school campus, but was not the official service.
Cleveland County Schools told WBTV that they provided the venue, but left the speaker selection up to local religious leaders.
"Was I trying to be mean spirited? Absolutely not. Was I trying just to hurt somebody's feelings? Absolutely not. I was simply had to do what I had to do as a Christian minister," Carpenter stated.
The official baccalaureate service is scheduled for this week.
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Carpenter got mostly support on WBTV's Facebook page where commenters wrote:
Good job sir. Hats off to you for sticking to your beliefs.
So many sinners getting their feelings hurt ....well that's no surprise. Keep telling the truth pastor!!
Scott Carpenter is a Godly man and I am proud to call him my friend!
A baccalaureate service is a Christian based service. Why would anyone be surprised that a Christian message was delivered.
So proud of him! If we could all do the same thing the world would be a better place! When you ask a pastor to give a speech you should expect biblical backing to it. I can't believe parents are upset.
However, one person wrote:
Did he mention that men who cheat on their wives or a man who tells his wife on her sickbed he's divorcing her to marry his mistress won't go to heaven either? How many dads would appreciate that message at a high school baccalaureate service.