Pastor Chris Hodges Scandal Explained: Church Of The Highlands Exposed
In what may serve as a warning for pastors using social media, the leader of Alabama’s largest church is apologizing for liking some controversial posts, and the church is dealing with a major backlash. Chris Hodges, founder and senior pastor of Church of the Highlands, with 20 campuses and 60,000 members, is expressing regret for clicking ‘like’ on posts by Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk, a conservative speaker who calls white privilege and systemic racism myths.
Pastor Chris Hodges’s Scandal Explained
Since being called out for the online activity, Hodges has made a number of apologies. Meanwhile, a local school board and public housing authority have cut ties with the megachurch. Pastor Hodges, an author and member of Evangelicals for Trump, had previously expressed a desire to quit social media because of its ‘distractions’. Yet, he was active recently, as per the reports liked at least three posts by Kirk. One post contrasts photos of President Trump standing with Rosa Parks and Muhammed Ali in the 1980s with Virginia’s Democratic governor, Ralph Northern, appearing with men wearing blackface and a KKK outfit. A second features President Obama golfing and a quote from his wife, Michelle, about leaving the house only for essential activities. A third post-Hodges liked shows a photo of Kirk donating blood, with a caption about defeating the ‘Chinese Virus’.
He expressed his sadness and said being slandered by the mob for stating mainstream pieces of widely cited data and public information. He calls Pastor a gifted ambassador for Christ who liked the posts on his own and shouldn’t have to apologize when facts are involved. According to Fox News, Kirk had been scheduled to speak to the Church of the Highlands youth group. A high school English teacher in Birmingham called attention to Hodges’s social media likes saying she is not judging but finds the posts culturally insensitive.
Church Of The Highlands Exposed
During a prayer service on Saturday, Hodges addressed the May 25, death of George Flyod at the hands of Minneapolis police officers, which has sparked protests throughout America and the world. White supremacy or any supremacy other than Christ is of the devil. The next day, Hodges apologized for how his social media activity made people feel and insisted it doesn’t reflect his views or the church. He added that it will be abundantly clear that we value every person that has been marginalized, rejected, belittled, abused, or even afraid because of how God made us.
On Tuesday, Hodges addressed the issue again, in a letter to congregants saying that the social media posts that he has liked do not reflect his true feelings in any way. He added that he realise that they were hurtful and divisive. He showed his apology and promised that he will continue to learn so much after this incident. The Pastor adds that he’s become aware of unconscious bias and privilege and that the church is planning forums to listen, learn and be a part of the solution. In response to the flap, Birmingham’s education board voted to terminate leases with the Church of the Highlands, which held worship services at two local high schools. The church pays about $288,000 yearly to rent space in the buildings.
This week, the housing authority voted to disallow the church’s volunteers to work in public housing communities. the church’s Christ Health Center in Woodlawn made headlines in March for offering mass drive-thru testing for COVID-19. The church also offered free mentoring and support groups to public-housing residents. Although the Church of the Highlands didn’t receive payment for services, it was permitted to have volunteers onsite.
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