Worship leader and conservative activist Sean Feucht is urging churches to speak out against a controversial ad campaign by luxury fashion company Balenciaga featuring children holding teddy bears wearing sexual bondage (BDSM) attire.
Balenciaga, which promoted the ad last month, has pulled the campaign following intense public scrutiny and accusations of promoting pedophilia. In a statement published late last month, Balenciaga apologized for the "unsettling documents" displayed in their campaign, titled "Toy Stories" by photographer Gabriele Galimberti.
"We strongly condemn child abuse; it was never our intent to include it in our narrative. The two separate ad campaigns in question reflect a series of grievous errors for which Balenciaga takes responsibility," the fashion company said.
Feucht, the founder and leader of "Let Us Worship," addressed the Balenciaga controversy and questioned why the mainstream media, celebrities and even churches have remained silent on the issue.
"I honestly think it's crazy that you have these apparent social justice warriors inside of the church and outside of the church not really saying anything about the Balenciaga situation," he told ChurchLeaders.com. "I mean, this is like bold-faced exploitation of children, like in our face, like out in the open—the brazen assault, and the mindset that they know nothing's going to happen to them."
"It's wild to me," he continued, noting that It's "revealing to me in America where we're at this place where they're trying their hardest to normalize this disgusting, demonic, vile act of pedophilia. And, really, it's another example of the satanic and demonic attack on our children … their response is basically … like no remorse. They blame the marketing company."
"Now it's time for us to rise up! Call it out! Protect our kids," the worship leader contended. "We are in the vibe of Jesus' words he spoke that are recorded in Matthew 18, where he says, 'Whoever causes one of these little ones who believes in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.'"
Feucht commended LA Rams wide receiver and professing Christian Cooper Kupp for speaking out against Balenciaga's ad campaign last week.
In a post shared by Feucht on Twitter, Kupp encouraged people to become "aware of the attack on our young ones by Balenciaga and ensure that they are held responsible for it."
Other conservative Christians condemned Balenciaga's ad campaign following its release.
Radio host and best-selling author Eric Metaxas spoke out against the campaign, tweeting, "An apology is UTTERLY insufficient, as it would be in the case of a murder or a rape. Balenciaga should be prosecuted. This was not a 'mistake' but an elaborate and premeditated assault on the innocence of little children. Jesus had something to say on this. #millstone."
An apology is UTTERLY insufficient, as it would be in the case of a murder or a rape. Balenciaga should be prosecuted. This was not a "mistake," but an elaborate & premeditated assault on the innocence of little children. Jesus had something to say on this. #millstone https://t.co/ig7RSliW2W— Eric Metaxas (@ericmetaxas) November 23, 2022
Further, conservative Christian commentator Allie Beth Stuckey wrote, "The reason Balenciaga can openly promote the violent rape of children is because they know most people in power simply do not care."
The reason Balenciaga can openly promote the violent rape of children is because they know most people in power simply do not care— Allie Beth Stuckey (@conservmillen) November 22, 2022
Stuckey also stressed that there must be an "unwavering" response from Christians to "such depravity."
"Children are more worthy of protection—not less—because of their inability to speak and fight for themselves," she wrote in an article for WORLD. "For 2,000 years, the Church has been a refuge for the defenseless. We must continue to be that today, both in word and in deed.
We stand for what is 'good and right and true,' pushing back against the powers that seek to objectify children made in God's image (Ephesians 5:9)."
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Samuel Corum/Stringer
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.