Church reacts to outburst ‘not with hate, but with love’

A man interrupted the service to denounce homosexuality

A man interrupted the service at Parkrose Community United Church of God on February 19, 2017. (YouTube Screenshot)
A man interrupted the service at Parkrose Community United Church of God on February 19, 2017. (YouTube Screenshot)


PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — What started as a typical Sunday morning church service was disrupted by an interruption that was all caught on camera.

During their February 19 service, after the congregation at Parkrose Community United Church of Christ watches a video about racism, a man storms the pulpit denouncing homosexuality.

“Listen up! I’m here to tell you that homosexuality is wrong! And what you’re doing is wrong! And that’s wrong! And that’s a lie!” he said. “Homosexuality is an abomination of God! There’s a reason the Bible says God made them male and female!”

Pastor Don Frueh is praising his parishioners for how they responded. Several people came forward, asking the man to either take a seat and stay silent, or leave. Frueh wrote on Facebook that they surrounded him, “not with hate, but with love” before leading him to the door as he continued to rant.

Many churches are becoming more progressive as things change in society and that may not always sit well with people who associate them with historical traditions.

“There are going to be splits on these issues,” Randy Blazak with the Oregon Coalition Against Hate Crime said. “Religion is kind of a flash point because people feel they have a particular interpretation of scripture or sacred texts that give them the right to voice their opinion.”

Blazak said the way the parishioners handled the interruption to their service was perfect.

“You don’t respond to combativeness with more combativeness,” he said. “You respond with trying to deescalate the situation.”

Frueh echoed similar thoughts on Facebook:

“I suggested, we do welcome everyone, but we do not agree to be abused by others. The support for me and for our congregation’s ongoing “Extravagant Welcome” was wonderful.”