These individuals are prepared to make embarrassing spectacles of themselves, including the use of hideously crude signage, under the misguided belief they are confronting “error” in God’s church.
As you can see from the picture above, these were preterist, amillennial protesters extremely bothered by John MacArthur’s opening message from this year’s Shepherd’s Conference, “Why every self-respecting Calvinist is Premillennial.”
Nah, the group protesting us this Sunday are out of Arizona and call themselves Project Straight Gate. They are a group of anti-Semitic conspiratorial wackos who wrap their bizarre beliefs in scripture. Oddly, they hold similar convictions about world affairs as the anti-war left and it wouldn’t surprise me they embrace 9-11 conspiracy non-sense.
At any rate, they’re angry with John because they claim that because he had appeared on Larry King Live back in 2003 and said positive remarks about the Iraq war, he is a neo-con Zionist, and now the target of their tacky signs.
They have been to our church on previous occasions. The first time was a few years ago with just a handful of folks. As I recall, it was rather non-eventful and when I asked one of the men holding a sign if they were a white supremacist group, he denied it vehemently.
The second time they came was a year or so later. The second time didn’t go too well for them, because a couple of their guys were arrested for trespassing. They ignorantly didn’t pay attention to where they were standing and wandered onto our property next to the sidewalk. I remember one of the fellows busted wrote a complaining account about the ordeal which was posted on their We Hold These Truths website.
This present time, they were all much more careful. They always send the church a nice letter a week or so before hand telling of their intent to protest, so our security guys were ready with a “parameter” to keep them corralled on the sidewalk.
(just as an aside. I am mystified as to why all the groups who come to protest us think we are obliged to allow them the use of our restroom facilities. What on earth!? Darwin Fish was all the time getting thrown off our property because his people think they can come to our church, bad mouth us, and then have the gall to ask if they can use the restroom. It just annoys me to no end).
Intrigued by the Straight Gate group, I came home and did some research on them. As is typical with cults like this one, they are not affiliated with any specific church. It looks like they are lone ranger. At least I know where Fred Phelps attends church.
Moreover, they don’t have an official doctrinal statement on their site. So, the best way to find out what a group believes is to consider the books they recommend. On their website you will find a small handful of good (one John Bunyan book and a couple of Gary Demar books) mixed in with a whole lot of bad.
Most of the books and materials are written by anti-Semitic and fascist historical revisionist authors who promote world dominating conspiracies by the (spell it out with me now) J-E-W-S. You know, Jewish bankers, the Jewish controlled Illuminati, Jews started all the major wars, and one author listed, Benjamin Freedman, held to the kooky idea a good portion of the Jews died out centuries ago and most of the individuals claiming to be Jews today are really a people group from Turkey lying about their identity. Its like Chick tract nonsense about world history, except Jews are the bad guys, not the pope and Roman Catholics.
Also, their signs suggested they support Islamic terror states over and against the state of Israel. There were many slogans about killing innocent Arab babies, war mongering in the Middle East, and peacemaking and the like. Of course, a person who has taken the time to listen to our pastor on the subject of Israel knows he recognizes the state of Israel to be a secular, man-made nation and that their current day presence may or may not have any eschatological significance. When he made the comments on Larry King Live, it was strictly in the sense of affirming a nation’s right to defend its citizens.
Whatever a person’s eschatological beliefs regarding Israel whether Amill, Premill, or Postmill, I would hope the person recognizes the real threat by Muslim radicals to destroy the nation of Israel off the face of the planet and that Israel should have every right to defend itself against those threats.
In a twist of divine, providential humor, Dr. Richard Mayhue was preaching in place of John because he is away in England at a pastor’s conference. His subject for the morning message, utterly unrehearsed: “Did God Lie to Israel” taken from Ezekiel 37, the passage about the dry bones. He did not once mention the protesters right out side the worship center, however, the last comments he made before he closed was that the state of Israel is a man-made, secular government, the Jews who occupy the land today are in apostasy and need to repent, but one day they will recognize their Messiah.
I am not sure if any of the Straight Gaters heard those comments.