RIVERVIEW, Mich. — A man in Michigan has been arrested and charged with misuse of telecommunications after he allegedly threatened a church for offering a workshop designed to minister the gospel to girls struggling with feelings of homosexuality and transgenderism.
Brian Begin II faces a potential of six months behind bars, a fine of up to $1,000, or both, for calling Metro City Church in Riverview and threatening to have Antifa show up at the building “armed and ready.”
“The first portion of the message is inaudible because the male is yelling so loud,” police outlined in a report obtained by the News-Herald. “In the middle of the voicemail, the male states if the church goes through with the gay conversion therapy class in the state of Michigan, I promise every member of the Antifa will show up ‘armed and ready. This is not a joke.’”
He then repeatedly screamed into the phone “God is dead!”
The phone number used to make the call was traced to Begin, and he was arrested and later released on a $10,000 bond. Begin acknowledges that the called church, but denies mentioning Antifa.
As previously reported, Jeremy Schossau, the pastor of Metro City Church has repeatedly stated that the “Unashamed Identity Workshop,” a six-week offering for girls ages 12-16 who are struggling with thoughts that they might be homosexual or transgender, is not “conversion therapy,” but is simply a time of talking with the youth, and speaking the truth in love in accordance to the Scriptures.
“Does your child or grandchild struggle with sexual identity? Do you see the pain and hurt of their struggle but you’re uncertain how to help?” a webpage for the workshop read.
“It doesn’t have to be this way. With God’s help there can be healing, wholeness and hope. Through thoughtful, relevant and biblical counsel we will help your girl be unashamed of her true sexual identity given to her by God at birth,” it stated.
However, a number of homosexual advocates became angry after seeing a social media post about the offering and left threatening voicemail and email for Schossau.
“The vast majority are filled with vulgarity, hate and threats of all kinds,” Schossau told reporters. “Threats to kill me, my family and to burn our home and church down. What we find incredibly odd is there is no seeking to understand what we are truly doing. There is only the assumption that we are practicing some sort of conversion therapy, as it’s traditionally known.”
“I think it is very sad that people are willing to yell and scream and be profane at people, but never actually talk to us to find out what we’re doing,” he stated.
Hundreds of protesters also turned up outside of the church for two of the scheduled dates, holding signs such as such as “Self-hatred is not therapy,” “You can’t fix them; they’re not broken,” and “Love is love.” Because of the threats of violence, Metro City Church cancelled the workshop and took the event page off its website.
“The workshop has gained so much negative attention on social media and news outlets that the church has cancelled the workshop, fearing that protest may turn violent,” police wrote in their report. “The church is receiving approximately 40 voicemail messages a minute from critics of the Unashamed Identity Workshop.”
Schossau has stated that the event was out of love, not hate, and that love always speaks truth, just as a parent would not let their child play in the road.
“[F]or those of us who want to follow the God of the Bible, that is what we believe. It will always be that way. It is not a hate-filled thing,” he said during a recent tearful Sunday service. “This church believes in loving sinners, and I’m the first among a bunch of you sinners. We’re in this together.”
As previously reported, Christians believe, that homosexuality—like any inclination that is contrary to the law of God—is a part of the Adamic sin nature that must be regenerated by the second birth, as Jesus outlined in John 3:5-7, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.”
2 Corinthians 5:14-17 also reads, “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead. And that He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them, and rose again. … Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”