Pastor Sean Harris of Berean Baptist Church in Fayetteville, North Carolina was fired up in his pulpit Sunday.
His sermon started as a focus on supporting a North Carolina marriage amendment that would essentially end any chance at gay marriage in the state. However, the sermon turned into Harris’ how-to guide to keep kids from becoming gay!
“Dads, the second you see your son dropping the limp wrist, you crack that wrist,” said Harris. “Man up! Give him a good punch. ‘You’re not gonna act like that.’”
“And when your daughter starts acting too butch, you reign her in,” he added. “You’re gonna act like a girl, walk like a girl, talk like a girl, smell like a girl, and that means you’re gonna be beautiful, you’re gonna be attractive, you’re gonna dress yourself up!”
In an interview with Raleigh, North Carolina affiliate WRAL, the pastor apologized for his choice of words.
“If I had to do it again, would I say it differently? Yes. I would,” said Harris, who also claimed his words have been taken out of context.
“The sad truth is, having listened to his sermon, I can’t see that those remarks were appropriate in any context,” says New Life Metropolitan Community Church Pastor Mark Byrd. “I was appalled.”
Byrd is an openly gay Christian, but told NewsChannel 3 he hopes any Christian would be offended by Harris’ sermon.
“To hold viewpoints in a way that encourages pretty direct suggestions of physical, emotional or spiritual harm to children and/or adults is simply inconsistent with Christian teachings,” says Byrd.
Byrd believes Harris’ words could also be deadly.
“And yet we stand back and can’t figure out why gay suicide rates among children, teens and young adults continue to rise,” Byrd says.
While Harris apologized for how he said what he said, he is not backing down from his underlying message.
“The Bible makes no compromise on effeminate behavior,” says Harris. “God created you a male, God created you a female. If you were created a male, you are to act like a man.”
“Pastors such as this do not speak for the whole of the Christian community,” Byrd says.