An Alabama church’s Scripture-inspired sign about the sin of pride has sparked a backlash among some who thought it had targeted LGBT Pride Month.
The church marquee sign in front of Wares Ferry Road Baptist Church in Montgomery, Ala., read “God detests pride,” an apparent reference to multiple verses in the Bible on the subject. Proverbs 8:13, for example, reads, “To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance.” Similarly, Proverbs 16:18 says, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”
The sign, though, led to a brief demonstration by a lesbian couple and a news story by the local CBS affiliate.
“We were very disappointed that during Pride Month of all months, this church had a sign up like this,” Lindsey Dukeminier told CBS 42.
She and her fiancé were so troubled by the sign that they parked their car and took a picture with it in protest. The photo, posted on social media, shows them standing beside the sign and kissing. The caption reads, “detest this.” The post “garnered dozens of likes, shares, and comments on social media,” CBS 42 said.
“I wanted to take a picture in front of the sign with my fiancé to remind people that we are proud to love each other and that we’re not going anywhere,” she said. “Alabama is our home, and we’re proud to live here as well!”
Wesley Whitworth, the pastor of Wares Ferry Road Baptist Church, told CBS 42 that the sign was referencing “personal pride – pride and arrogance, things of that nature.” Whitworth said another man is in charge of changing the sign.
“It was not the intent to put that up just to spark controversy,” Whitworth said.
Whitworth said his church – and many others – believe that marriage is defined by God as the union of one man and one woman.
“Obviously, we disagree on that,” he said, referencing the two women. “They’ll have to stand before God for what they do. It’s not my job to go around policing the actions of everybody.”
The couple, he said, are welcome in their church.
“They would be welcome to attend services and participate with us in hopes that they’d be converted to Christianity,” he said.
Photo courtesy: ©GettyImages/nito100
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.