Florida Pastor who took in Rifqa Bary fired

From CFNews13,

ORLANDO — A new audio tape has surfaced with explosive conversation between the Orlando pastor who took in runaway teen Rifqa Bary and his church board members.

During the 40-minute conversation, board members fired Pastor Blake Lorenz and his wife, Beverly.

Blake and Beverly Lorenz: “You’re not sorry! You guys are crazy. You guys are evil! You guys are the most evil people I’ve ever heard!”

Board members said the Lorenzes’ personal crusade to help Bary turned into a church matter, and legal lines were crossed.

Board Member: “We know the right and wrong way to do things legally, and you guys take it upon yourself to just go, ‘Oh, let’s just do it this way,’ and we find out you’ve done all this stuff illegally.” (more and audio)

Also at Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion: Pastor Blake Lorenz: Former Church Board “Demonically Possessed”

Cedntral Florida News 13 has posted online an audio of the meeting at which Pastor Blake Lorenz and his wife Beverly were relieved of their positions by board members of the Global Revolution Church. Lorenz, it will be recalled, was the pastor who arranged for 17-year-old Christian convert Rifqa Bary to flee from her Muslim parents in Ohio to his home in Florida; the board members (Brian Smith, Tom Sanchez, and Jeff Parker) complain that while he undoubtedly had acted with the best of intentions, (a) his way of doing it had been illegal, and his actions meant that the church and its board members were now liable to civil suits brought by Bary’s family; (b) his actions had put the board members in an uncomfortable situation, as their home addresses were on-line on the church website (and a promise to have them removed had not been honoured); (c) the Lorenzes had lied to the board, destroying trust, and they had lied to the authorities with the story that Bary had hitchhiked to the bus station in Ohio when in fact an associate had driven her there.

Lorenz responds to this with the claim that the board members are “demonically possessed”, “evil”, and “crazy”. (more)

(interesting stuff)

*Edited to add: If time allows be sure to listen to the audio of this meeting*

12 comments on “Florida Pastor who took in Rifqa Bary fired

  1. This is why the Bible requires people to be spiritually and personally mature before they are ordained to be ministers. It is amazing how the requirements for ministry given in the New Testament in the writings of Paul are completely ignored by practically every major Christian body, denomination and movement today.

    • Amen, you’re right.

      Did you listen to the audio of this heated meeting Job? Besides the raised voices and anger, it really struck me how this pastor and his wife felt they had to answer to no one. AND became angry when told they did!

      The pastors wife’s come-back was full of pride.

  2. I hope everyone listens to this audio because this is a real good snapshot of what’s wrong with the Nicolaitan religious system.

    Too many Pastors like this guy think they are sent to rule and reign over everyone. No accountability at all. And don’t even get me started on that pastors wife. Now I know why Paul said women should remain silent. She didn’t even understand that the church computers and email was not her ‘personal’ email’

    Read Acts chapter 15 to understand how the church should decide things together with input from everyone. Neither Peter nor James made the decision about the instructions for the gentiles. It was a group decision beginning with the council of elders and eventually getting agreement from all.

    But Jesus called them [to him], and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister (servant): Mark 10:42-43

    • Steve, like you i hope others will listen to the audio. What an eye-opener that was…

      Too many Pastors like this guy think they are sent to rule and reign over everyone. No accountability at all.

      It was that, no sense of accountability, which came through loud and clear, along with the anger at even having their actions questioned. Wow, is all i can say…

      And don’t even get me started on that pastors wife. Now I know why Paul said women should remain silent.

      ahaha.. even as a woman, i have to agree with you–this gal wouldn’t shut up! Her indignation at being told that ‘yes, they worked for the Church’, and not the other way around, was very telling.

  3. As far as I know, Rifqa was in danger from threats of violence from the parents, particularly from the father and his mosque.

    • Ricardo, there was a lot of mixed/contradictory info which came out, its why i posted very little on the topic.

      In the area where i live, (Ohio/KY) the local news covered it for awhile, and it was apparent after awhile, even they didn’t know what was ‘what’.

  4. Certainly what went on here involved a serious lack of judgement on the part of this Pastor and his wife AND probably others as well. The primary role of a Pastor is to shepherd his flock. That means guiding and protecting them. Along with this he is to announce the Good News of salvation in Christ. How that all ended up where it did is something of a mystery.

    Additionally, the biblical role of a parent is to raise up godly children. This requires that parents have strong custodial rights for their own children. We don’t reinforce those rights by seeking to undermine the rights of parents who are not Christians in order to evangelize their children. Rather we should advise EVEN children of Muslims to OBEY their parents as much as possible even if that means hiding their faith until they are adults. Once we start tearing families apart in the name of evangelism, we are opening a pandora’s box that will explode in our faces just like this mess has. Not only has this caused grave damage to this Pastor’s church, it has also put this child’s life at risk. No where in scripture are we advised in any way to make children pawns in a religious struggle. I don’t know who it was that actually evangelized this child, but it was obviously some one and they or their advisors obviously botched the project. Living in a multi-cultural society is something that a lot of Americans are not used to and indiscretions like this will have nasty repercussions for all of us if we are not careful. This very case is likely to end up in the courts for years and if the Pastor loses, it could mean a curtailment of responsible missionary activity. If he wins, it could me curtailment of parental rights. Just imagine a scenario where a Christian child “converts” to some other belief and is snatched out of their home to rescue them from abuse. It may not represent the same thing to you, but it would to a lot of people. All it takes is a legal decision that becomes legal precedent and our very religious freedoms could be at stake all because a few people acted extremely irresponsibly exchanging wise council for sentimentality.

    • I agree with you 100%. So many Christians are caught into this “culture war” stuff that we think that it is OK for us to get Muslim children to rebel against their parents. We get upset when atheists and liberals tell Christian kids to rebel against their parents, but we feel that it is OK to tell Muslim kids to do the same! Families are the work of common grace, and as such families work to restrain evil in families – and nations – where there are few Christians who are participants in special grace.

      So many of us sit back and arrogantly presume that since ours is a “Christian nation” (never mind the fact that most of these professed Christians reject core Biblical doctrines such as Jesus Christ being the only way to heaven) that we think that we can do whatever we want to anyone and everyone else, especially if they are Muslims.

      How many people like this are luring the children of atheists to run away from home? They won’t do that because they RESPECT atheists, because atheism (as a systematic philosophy that is) was invented in the west. People like Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Bill Maher, they are WESTERNERS, so we respect them even though we disagree with them. But stuff like this happens because we fundamentally do not believe that non-westerners are equal to us. It is worldliness plain and simple, just like how the Roman Empire people were so quick to call non-Romans “barbarians”, and it does not belong in the church.

    • I do not think anyone should hide his faith because they are afraid of persecution, even childrens as long as it is their choice. They still have to honor their parents, but God and the testimony of Jesus Christ comes first.

  5. This is heartbreaking.

    I agree that the audio made all parties sound bad, but let’s remember that this was a room full of very frightened people.

    Frightened people tend to operate in the flesh. I know I have many times, as well as being prideful, etc. I guess I’m not in line to throw any stones.

    Regrettably, there are sheep involved, and they’ll be hurt. We need to remember to pray for this church.

    • Hi Laz, i just saw your comment.

      Regrettably, there are sheep involved, and they’ll be hurt.

      Yes, you’re right. Its those who attend this church who are really going to be hurt and confused.

      Though i’ve never personally been involved in a church where a split has occurred, i have close friends who have. Its devastating. I mention split, for that’s likely to happen here in this situation: some will leave and follow this pastor.

  6. Was Rifqa Bary actually in danger of murder when she fled her family? How can we know for sure. But anyone who thinks her fear was not based on reality is foolish and ignorant.
    What kind of character is Pastor Lorenz? How can I know? But did he have good reason he might be saving Rifqa’s life by helping her to escape? Of course he did.
    In that case would it be a sin to break the law?
    The Christians who helped Jews to escape from the Nazis were breaking the law. Was that wrong?
    They forged passports. Was that wrong?
    If a Christian risks his life or his job to save lives, he is likely to be persecuted by church members or leaders who want to play church like business-as-usual. Church leaders who just want to play it by the rules and save their own skins are the enemies of the followers of Christ who lay down their lives to save others.

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