Christians speak out against NC pastor's anti-gay sermon - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Christians speak out against NC pastor's anti-gay sermon

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Sean Harris gave a sermon telling people to punch their kids if they acted gay. Sean Harris gave a sermon telling people to punch their kids if they acted gay.

Leading up to a controversial gay marriage vote, Berean Baptist Church Pastor Sean Harris of North Carolina gave a sermon where he told his congregation they had permission to hit their children if they act gay or lesbian.

The sermon went viral on YouTube, sparking outrage among the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community as well as other Christians who disagreed with Harris.

Peter Dahlin, Youth Pastor at Asbury United Methodist Church in Madison said he doesn't believe the bible supports Harris' message of violence toward children.

"We believe that the Bible says that every person is made and created with sacred value, that God loves them dearly, that we as their family and friends and church family should not alienate them or isolate them or push away from them in any way," said Dahlin. "The thought of treating them with violence and anger is unbelievable and I don't believe that it is in line with what the Bible teaches."

He added that while the Methodist Church Book of Discipline states practicing homosexuality is not in line with the Bible's teachings, the church seeks to meet people with grace wherever they are in their lives.

A Washington, D.C. based organization, Faithful America, created a petition to show LGBT youth that Harris does not speak for all Christians. It had more than 14,000 signatures Wednesday morning.

A spokesperson for Faithful America, Michael Sherrard said, "We would like to see the violent and hateful rhetoric that is abusing the good name of Christianity come to an end."

Following the outrage to his sermon, Harris posted a letter to his congregation online and an official retraction in which he said he does not condone punching babies or children.

Sherrard said the post was not a clear apology and was "too little, too late" for LGBT youth and their families.

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