Before yesterday, I’d heard the name of Pastor Greg Locke— mostly because of his removal from the Twitter Platform and his political views.
Before yesterday, I’d paid no mind to Pastor Greg Locke— there is not a whole lot he and I have in common.
Before yesterday, I’d not much to say about Pastor Greg Locke.
But, that was before yesterday.
That was before one of his sermons began to make rounds— one that made my heart hurt and initiated a viscerally angry response all at once.
The good preacher delivered an uneducated and incredibly misguided sermon this past weekend. I subjected myself to the whole video of it because I wanted to be clear what I was hearing. I wanted to be clear that there wasn’t room for misunderstanding.
“Your kid could be demonized and attacked, but your doctor calls it autism,” he exhorted.
“Ain’t no such diagnosis in the Bible,” he evangelized.
While it is true that there “ain’t no such diagnosis in the Bible,” to be fair, there are a lot of ailments that aren’t in the Bible and we don’t refer to them as demonic possession of any sort.
This kind of dialogue is damaging.
The prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder is 1 in 44 and while you might think that that makes it common, it is still commonly misunderstood.
Since my oldest son’s diagnosis I have spent EVERY single day advocating for awareness and acceptance and fighting for inclusion, for services, for insurance coverage…Every. Single.Day.
Hateful speech like that espoused by the good preacher only makes the misunderstanding grow. It only further seeks to alienate our children.
This kind of dialogue is dangerous.
You don’t have to search too hard to find stories within the special needs community of parents who are searching for hope and find messaging like that of the good preacher’s.
You don’t have to search too hard to find out what happens when those same parents take drastic and harmful action based on these kinds of beliefs.
You don’t have to search too hard to find the stories of a parent who drowned their special needs child believing they were possessed or the stories of parents who feed their children bleach thinking that will “fix” them.
Yes, speech that pontificates like the good preacher’s only further spreads misinformation, mistreatment, and hate.
Last night, after realizing that he’d come under fire for his words, Pastor Greg Locke doubled down on his words.
He offered no remorse or apology, but dug his heels in.
He went on to attack anyone who disagreed with him and did so in the name of God.
If this is the type of man you follow while searching for your salvation, I would suggest perhaps you search elsewhere because God is not in his messaging.
That is not God in his words.
God is love. God is not hate.
My two boys have autism. They are good and perfect gifts from above. God knew them and formed them in the womb and made them in His image.
God doesn’t make mistakes.