SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A so-called pastor and his California congregation are being booted from their weekly meeting place after a recent sermon offered praise for the Orlando massacre and lamented that more homosexuals weren’t killed.
“The tragedy is more of them didn’t die,” Roger Jimenez of Verity Baptist Church stated last week in a recorded message posted online. “I’m kind of upset he (Omar Mateen) didn’t finish the job, because these people are predators.”
As previously reported, Mateen, who pledged his allegiance to the Islamic State, killed 49 patrons of the Pulse night club, which is often frequented by homosexuals. He was fatally wounded during a shootout with police.
“Are you sad that 50 pedophiles were killed today? Um, no. I think that’s great,” Jimenez stated. “I think that helps society. I think Orlando, Florida is a little safer tonight.”
As a result of his comments, an estimated 700 local residents held a protest at Northgate Business Park on Sunday to demonstrate against Jimenez’ inflammatory and hateful speech.
Now, Harsch Investment Properties, which leases the building to Verity Baptist Church, has announced that it will not renew Jiminez’ lease next year and that he is free to leave before that time.
“We stand with those who make their voices heard: Intolerance and hate are not the values that have made our country great,” the company said in a statement. “We have many places of worship and other religious organizations in the properties we manage. Like all our tenants, their occupancy rights are protected in their leases, but we will not tolerate tenants who advocate hatred and the taking of innocent lives.”
Jimenez is a part of a group of clergy that adheres to the teachings of controversial speaker Steven Anderson of Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Arizona. Anderson likewise spoke positively of the massacre last week, classifying all homosexuals as pedophiles.
“The good news is that there’s 50 less pedophiles in this world, because, you know, these homosexuals are a bunch of disgusting perverts and pedophiles,” he stated in an online video that was later removed by YouTube. “So, you know, the good news is that at least 50 of these pedophiles are not gonna be harming children anymore. The bad news is that a lot of the homos in the bar are still alive, so they’re gonna continue to molest children and recruit people into their filthy homosexual lifestyle…”
Jimenez and Anderson believe that homosexuals have been given over to a reprobate mind, and therefore, it is not possible for them to turn to Christ and be saved. They do not share the gospel with those struggling with homosexuality as they find it to be a “waste of time,” considering their belief that homosexuals can never receive salvation and are destined for Hell without hope.
Similar-minded clergy linked on Jimenez’ website includes David Berzins of Word of Truth Baptist Church in Tempe, Arizona, Donnie Romero of Stedfast Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas, and Michael Manly Perry of Old Paths Baptist Church in Adkins, Texas.
“If God has given up on someone, if He has rejected them, then what do you think we can do about that?” Berzins preached in a message posted in defense of Jimenez. “Cause people say, ‘You’re supposed to love the sodomite.’ No, we’re not. If God has rejected them, if God has given up on them and given them over to a reprobate mind, what do you think we can do about it?”
But some find the men’s theology to be abhorrent and antithetical to biblical Christianity. Dr. Sonny Hernandez, a military chaplain and adjunct professor of theology in Arizona, told Christian News Network that it is wrong to rejoice over the deaths of homosexuals as Scripture states in Ezekiel 18:32 that God does not take pleasure in the death of the wicked. He specifically spoke based on his familiarity with the teachings of Steven Anderson.
“He’s rejoicing over the death of the wicked … but in Scripture, … it’s the exact opposite,” he said.
Hernandez expressed deep concern over Anderson’s teachings and stated that anyone who “coalesces with Steven Anderson” is “acting as a false teacher” and should be considered a “heretic.” He conveyed his doubts that Anderson is even a Christian himself as “somebody that espouses this type of hatred isn’t saved because he has no love for people.”
“Imagine going to a doctor. With him, the type of physician he is, he just tells everybody, ‘You’re all going to die. You all have a terminal illness,'” he lamented. “Why is he even a pastor? If you’re there to call people out of darkness into the the light, if you’re there to tell people the good news, what good news does he have to pronounce to the homosexuals?”
Hernandez noted that the Bible does indeed provide hope for homosexuals to change—just like anyone else, as it outlines in 1 Corinthians 6:11, “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” He also pointed to the promise in 2 Corinthians 5:17, which reads, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
“The gospel has to be given to all people,” Hernandez outlined. “We’re to take the gospel to all people.”