Perversion of the Christian Message
And the Local Links
Yesterday a friend sent me a blog post by David French entitled “A Commitment to Kindness Does Not Mean Surrendering Your Convictions”. The quote below is Mr. French’s introduction to the video that follows:
Every day and night Christians by the millions listen to pugilists who stoke rage and hate, and who delight in calling opponents “morons,” “groomers,” and worse. We are not talking about a Christian political culture where the fight is over whose essay is too sharply worded. The present alarm over Christian cruelty has little to do with First Things, and a lot to do with Fox News. It has little to do with The American Conservative and a lot to do with Breitbart, Gateway Pundit, Alex Jones, and the angry, vicious mouthpieces who reach (and teach) American Christians by the millions.
My friend Tim Keller is immensely influential in the church. So is my friend Russell Moore–who is also constantly attacked for being too “winsome” for the moment. Did you know their combined social media followings are dwarfed by the man below, a man who screams that Democrats are “demons” and a “bunch of devils” who are not welcome at his church? Who says “you ain’t seen an insurrection yet”?
Mr. French goes on:
He [Pastor Greg Locke] has 2.2 million Facebook followers. I’ll say it again. The Christian civility wars aren’t about competing essays crafted by the tweeting elite. They’re about the emergence, amplification, and valorization of an actual culture of conspiracy and cruelty on the Christian right.
It is tempting to imagine that this vile excuse for a Christian Pastor, Mr. Locke, exists only as a Facebook personality, but he actually preaches at the “Global Vision Bible Church” about fifteen miles east of Nashville, Tennessee, from which he has built a national following. My readers and I have encountered him before. Mr. Locke and Global Vision conducted an actual book burning that was covered in a February post. He was given dishonorable mention as a pastor preaching vaccine disinformation in another post in September, 2021.
Mr. Locke’s ranting style and vile message reminded me of both “Pastor” Matt Shea (former WA State Representative from LD4, Spokane valley north to Mt. Spokane) and Shea’s one time ally, Pastor Ken Peters of the Covenant Church on Princeton Ave in near north Spokane (now renamed by Peters as the “Patriot Church”).
Patriot/Covenant, Shea, and Peters have long been the force behind “The Church at Parenthood” dedicated to harassing patients and staff at the Planned Parenthood Clinic on Indiana near Division. It could not be a coincidence that Ken Peters more than a year ago decamped to Nashville to found a new church along the same lines—a Google search using the key words ‘Ken Peters Greg Locke’ turns up multiple links between the two, including a CNN article, The Pastors. The opening line is “Pastors Ken Peters and Greg Locke lead evangelical churches in Tennessee. They run separate ministries, but are friends.”
Pastor Peters still goes back and forth to Spokane overseeing his local efforts at Patriot Church. Shea and Peters are apparently on the outs, but Shea still spreads their shared brand of hate and misinformation at 115 E Pacific in downtown Spokane.
All three, Locke, Shea, and Peters, bear a pernicious un-Christian message cloaked in the trappings of Christianity. Look beyond the labelling.
Keep to the high ground,