An Indiana church that had an anti-LGBTQ sign on its marquee has been evicted from its building, The Hill is reporting.
For decades, churches have been putting up signs outside their buildings. Most are mundane, offering information about the pastor’s name, or when services are held. Others have Bible verses or uplifting sayings. Some have been attention-getting. But the message on the sign outside Remnant Fellowship Church in Auburn, Indiana, is a little more direct.
“LGBTQ is a hate crime against God. Repent.”
The sign drew plenty of attention around the northern Indiana city, about halfway between Chicago and Toledo, according to WANE-TV. Area resident Tiffany Johnston, who snapped a photo of the sign and shared it with local media, was not amused.
“It makes me upset. I’m outraged and disgusted by it. It’s judging people. I felt judged and I’m not even in that community. But I have family members that are. So it really really upset me. I don’t think it should be up here. I think it should be taken down because all it’s doing is spreading hate.”
Another resident, Kristin Russell, took it upon herself to change the sign to read “Remnant Fellowship Church Stay Open Minded.” However, by the time a WANE-TV reporter got to the scene, it had been changed back.
Even another Christian minister, First Christian Church’s pastor Tom Cupka, whose congregation meets just down the road, called the sign “combative.”
When reached by a reporter, a man who identified himself as Robert Sturges, an elder at the church, refused to apologize for the sign.
“[People are] being told in our culture that homosexuality, transvestites, lesbianism, and sexual immorality is okay. But the Bible clearly says that those who practice these things will not inherit the Kingdom of God. In fact, it warns them that the wrath of God will abide upon them. And in the judgment, they will be lost and they will be sent to hell forever.”
As it turns out, the landlord of the building where the congregation worshiped wasn’t on board with the sign at all. The building’s management has evicted the congregation from the building. Several media outlets have contacted various people within the congregation, and all have confirmed that the congregation has been evicted and that they are looking for another space to rent.
There are several things that remain unclear about this story. For example, did the pastor order the sign put up, or did someone in the congregation come up with it? Did the pastor approve it? Also unclear is the name of the management company that leased space to the congregation; and as of this writing, no one from the building’s management has spoken to the media.