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YouTube removed a pastor's sermon for hate speech after the pastor said the victims of the LGBT community "deserved what they got" in the Orlando massacre.
"Are you sad that 50 pedophiles were killed today?" Verity Baptist Church's Pastor Roger Jimenez reportedly said. "Um no. I think that's great. I think that helps society. I think Orlando, Florida, is a little safer tonight. The tragedy is that more of them didn't die. The tragedy is I'm kind of upset he didn't finish the job – because these people are predators. They are abusers."
The pastor's comments directly contradict the messages of many in the Christian community—such as Dr. Michael Brown, Jason and David Benham, Samuel Rodriguez and more—who have called for prayer in the time of suffering.
Prominent Pentecostal leaders and prophetic voices are now crying out for prayer and repentance in the wake of heartache.
"The Christian community has crossed swords with the LGBT for a long time, but when it comes to this kind of diabolical attack on defenseless victims, of any persuasion, we must stand together in defense of our fellow Americans. The fact is that most of the armed Americans who can defend their neighbors are conservatives, and liberal Americans tend to be anti-gun. So be it, but this is the time for the armed conservatives to be ready to defend their unarmed liberal neighbors, or LGBT neighbors," Rick Joyner posted to Facebook.
Rev. Samuel Rodriquez and Dr. John Jackson released the following statement condemning Jimenez' bigoted comments:
We stand resolved in our condemnation of the heinous attack that occurred in Orlando. We also condemn the detestable statements made by a pastor in Sacramento.
The pastor's statements do not reflect genuine Christian faith, and as followers of Christ we disavow his bigotry.
Also as followers of Jesus Christ we stand in unity with our nation in offering love, prayer and a helping hand to the gay community. Everyone in America deserves to live their lives free from fear.
It is the heart of Jesus to save, heal, and deliver. Christian leaders lead people to the love, grace, truth and healing hope of Jesus, not to insensitive judgment.
We pray for the gay community to experience the love and grace of Jesus and His people, both in Orlando and across the United States. We pray for safety for their community and for all Americans during this violent and unsettled time.
As leaders in ministry, we are united in our grief and in prayer for those who have lost loved ones and those—even now—fighting for their lives.
May God's truth, love and effective grace reach into our collective pain and suffering to bring beauty from the ashes of man's depravity, for the glory of God's name alone.
Jessilyn Justice is the director of online news for Charisma. Born and raised in a pastor's family in Alabama, she attended Lee University and the Washington Journalism Center. She's passionate about sharing God's goodness through storytelling. Tell her what you think of this story on Twitter @jessilynjustice.
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