A Knoxville pastor is under fire for calling for the deaths of homosexuals.
In early June, Det. Grayson Fritts of All Scripture Baptist Church reportedly preached on the book of Leviticus, saying, "Here's how it should work, it shouldn't work when we go out and we enforce the laws, because the Bible says the powers that be are ordained of God, and God has instilled the power of civil government to send the police in 2019 out to these LGBT FREAKS and arrest them. Have a trial for them, and if they are convicted, then they are to be put to death ... do you understand that? it's a capital crime to be carried out by our government."
The CBS affiliate WVLT reported Fritts continued with an attack on "Pride" month.
"All the pride parades, man, hey call the riot teams, we got a bunch of 'em, get the paddy wagon out here. We got a bunch of 'em going to jail; we got a bunch of them we're gonna get convicted because they've got their pride junk on and they're professing what they are, they're a filthy animal," Fritts reportedly said. "After this onslaught, where the government's arresting them and carrying out God's laws and they're all dead ... you think."
Fritts, a detective with the Knoxville Police Department, accepted a buyout from his position after the remarks. He is on paid sick leave until the buyout takes effect July 19.
Many Christians took issue with Fritts' sermon, including Jeffrey McCall.
McCall, who was born and raised in Tennessee, was diagnosed with gender dysphoria and lived as a woman for two years before accepting Christ in a supernatural encounter. He now runs For Such a Time Ministry, which communicates Jesus' truth to LGBTQ individuals.
"Killing people who identify as homosexuals is definitely not the answer," McCall says. "We are under the new covenant of grace. We share grace and truth with people. Jesus didn't let them stone the woman caught in adultery. He showed her grace and saved her, and then He told her the truth, 'Go and sin no more.' We are to do the same. Show everyone grace and truth like Jesus did.
"People like Grayson Fritts make it very hard for people like me to minister to the LGBTQ individuals because it makes them think Christians hate them, which is just not true," McCall says.
Ron Spain, another Tennessee resident and someone who left homosexuality, agrees.
"And we wonder why the world hates Christianity," Spain says. "This is not what true Christianity is. Jesus preached love. Unconditional love. We are to love our neighbors. If this is true, people like this don't represent true Christianity. Just like the Westboro Baptist Church did not know how to go about preaching love. They preached hate."
Field used the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando as an example of horrific crimes committed against the community.
"How are they going to know perfect love that is Jesus if we don't love them?" says Pulse survivor and Luis Javier Ruiz, who has been set free from homosexuality. "That is not the Jesus I know and love.
"With all due respect, as a Christian who loves Jesus and wants to imitate Him, what [Fritts] is asking for is not even biblically correct. The New Testament amplifies our love toward people, to turn the other cheek when they do us wrong. We fight our battles with prayer and the sword, which is the Word," says Ruiz.
"This type of talk doesn't belong in the pulpit or in the heart of a believer," adds Edward Byrd, who once identified as androgynous and gender queer but is now a worship artist. "I think sometimes we get so caught up on the sin of a person that we forget they're people, people whom Jesus has died for and desires. There is a misconception in the LGBTQ community about Jesus and His love for them, and this type of hatred-fueled talk is why.
Listen to the podcasts for testimonies of those who have overcome homosexuality.
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