The Fellowship Baptist Church in Statesville, North Carolina, recently posted a message on its sign that is stirring controversy (video below).
According to WCNC, the sign read: "Remember, Satan was the first to demand equal rights." The sign has since been changed, but the reaction is still lingering.
Wendy Macasieb, a resident who has seven children of mixed race, told the news station how upset she was after seeing the sign:
I really thought I must have not read that correctly... I had come home and my mother was here, and I actually was in tears when I got home... This is basically offensive to everyone because you're saying that if you want equal rights you're equivalent to Satan. I just don't see how that is an acceptable statement to make... I cannot believe how you feel this is what Jesus wanted to bring to this earth.
Susan Deihl, who lives across from the church, added: "I think that one is a little harsh."
In response to the controversy, the church posted a June 6 message on its Facebook page, which has since been taken down, notes The Charlotte Observer:
The church sign that was in the news was NOT meant to offend ANY people, group or compare ANYONE TO satan. That is not what we teach and preach! It was speaking about our adversary the devil who did want to be God. We pray that the LORD would bless any who were offended!
The newspaper noted some of the reactions to the sign by other Facebook users:
Remember that pesky little part in our country's founding documents about "all men being created equally?"...The problem is with the folks who want to believe they are better than others and should have more rights. Sorry, Baptists. You don't get anymore than the Methodists do.
Wow, so the people who want equal rights are less than the people who have the rights...Wow ignorance, pure ignorance.
I am an out and proud gay man and I know God loves me and wants same for all of us. I sure don't need some hypocrite...to say I don't deserve the same rights as they do. I do believe most Christians need to keep reading their Bible and quit judging.
If we Christians aren't creating controversy with God's Truth we are not being what we are called to be! I rejoice when satan’s cronies cries and complains about the truth!