Michael A. Walrond Jr. is a pastor who leads more than 10,000-members of First Corinthian Baptist Church in Harlem. However, one of his sermons has his congregation screaming fire and brimstone.
In a sermon from two weeks ago, the pastor said there are multiple ways to get to God, telling the congregation, “If you are a person who believes in God, these words can apply to you, no matter what your faith background. We get so twisted in this country and in many cultures, to create divides and boundaries and barriers between human beings because of our faith difference.” He continued, “Think about it. That we use the thing that we think makes us closer to God, the very thing to divide us from one another at times. And that makes no sense and so I’m not one of those people.”
He also added, “There was a time when you would see people in the pulpit say, ‘well, if you don’t believe in Jesus you going to Hell. That’s insanity in many ways because that is not what Jesus even believes. And so the key is you believe in God. And whatever your path is to God, I celebrate that. Personally I celebrate that… Again, we have enough in this world that divides us, we need to find those things that bring us together. And if God cannot bring us closer together then something is wrong, not with God, but in how we think we know God and understand God.”
Sounds inclusive and avoiding Christian narcissism, correct? Well, the sermon has caused an outrage. After over 52,000 views on Facebook, there were comments like these, “Wow! Has he ever cracked a Bible?”, “Jesus is the way the truth and the life. The Devil is a liar let every man be a liar but God’s Word be true,” He’s deceived by Satan,” “His doctrine is off and full of lies” and this gem “Sounds like that Inclusion doctrine that was being pushed.” This sounds like Trump supporters.
How sad is it that someone who is preaching inclusion and acknowledges that not every culture — especially indigenous cultures, who were here before all of us — believes the same thing? Faith is not a monolith, and Jesus is not the way for the Jewish faith, Buddhism, Hinduism, Yoruba and countless other religions. In addition, the pastor was named by Newsweek “One of the Lord’s Foot Soldiers.” Watch a clip of his sermon below: