The Brody File has received an exclusive letter from Greenwell Springs Baptist Church regarding comments that Louisiana pastor Dennis Terry made over the weekend during a service attended by Rick Santorum.
It was reported in the media that the pastor suggested non-Christians should leave the country. Rick Santorum distanced himself from the comments afterwards, but in the statement provided to The Brody File below pastor Terry says that is NOT what he was saying.
He explains in his letter below.
Sunday night our church was privileged to host Sen. Rick Santorum, a candidate in the Republican Presidential contest. As stated Sunday night, Greenwell Springs Baptist church has invited all of the candidates, including President Barack Obama to visit our congregation.
Prior to Senator Santorum speaking on Sunday night I gave a short exhortation to our congregation on why we as Christians should be involved in the political and public policy process. My message was based in 1 Peter 2:11-17. In my remarks I said the following:
“This nation was founded as a Christian Nation. The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, there is only one God. There is only one God! And his name is Jesus!
I’m tired of people telling me I can’t say those words, I’m tired of people telling us as Christians that we can’t voice our beliefs or we can no longer pray in public. Listen to me if you don’t love America or you don’t like the way we do things I‘ve got one thing to say get out!”
These comments have been misreported saying that I suggested those who do not believe like me should leave the country. I said no such thing. I said those who do not love America and what she stands for should leave. Chief among the principles that America is founded upon is that of religious freedom, and that includes Christianity. I will not be made to feel as if we as Christians should apologize for our faith or that we should take the backseat as America is morally and spiritually being driven in the wrong direction.
Muslims, Hindus, people of different religions or no religions have the right to be here in America, but they do not have the right to force me to be silent while they work to transform our nation.
My comments on Sunday night were my comments as a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The validation of my comments is found in the response by those who are screaming separation of church and state.
Dr. Dennis E. Terry Sr.
GSBC Senior Pastor
You can watch the pastor’s remarks here. This is a good example of how the mainstream media just doesn’t understand the evangelical worldview. Yes the language was strong and bold from the pulpit, but reporters interpreted the words incorrectly by painting a much broader brush than what was intended.
Evangelicals are used to being portrayed this way so it’s not a shocker, but it’s one more example of why evangelicals are looking to other sources for their news coverage.
There's another point to make: this is also a good example of reporters looking for any way to drum up controversy over Santorum's relationship with evangelicals.
Clearly those reporters wanted Santorum to throw pastor Terry under the bus. Why? Because it makes good copy. Nevermind that this isn't a campaign issue at all. They just want a good headline and another couple days of 24/7 cable fodder. Oy.