"On most Saturday nights, we still attend services at Christ Fellowship, especially if Pastor Rick [Blackwood] is preaching the sermon. His sermons still inspire me to grow in my Christian faith... Some of my Catholic friends occasionally express concern over my continued association with Christ Fellowship. But I don’t think you can go to church too often...”Wilson tells us:
--Marco Rubio, “An American Son: A Memoir”
Christ Fellowship ... requires prospective employees to sign the following sexual purity oath:In a 2012 guest sermon at the church, Dr. Bob Barnes compared homosexuality to addiction:
“I hereby certify that I am a Christian, not a practicing homosexual in accordance with scriptures (Leviticus 18:22, 20:13, Romans 1:26-27, I Corinthians 6:9-10, I Timothy 1:10)”
“Homosexual sin is no worse than heterosexual sin. There is not a hierarchy of sins. Sin is sin. But, if I find somebody that has a predisposition, a genetic predisposition, or a chromosomal predisposition toward substance abuse, it doesn’t mean I should cave in to substance abuse. There are people who just have a predisposition to addiction.”Wilson notes that the church is vehemently anti-evolution as well, quoting this 2014 sermon by Rick Blackwood:
“The scientific method actually teaches that the Bible is science because it is based on observable evidence, and that evolution is actually blind faith because it is not based on observable evidence. Let me say that again. Evolution is not based on observable evidence. Creation is based on observable evidence.”I'd like to add that in a 2010 sermon, Blackwood said that the theory of evolution is satanic:
Here is my proposition for you, and this is what I want you to get: Evolution is fundamentally an attack by Satan on the glory of God.Wilson focuses on references to demonic possession in Blackwood's sermons -- yes, Blackwood believes in demons, though not in exorcism, as he says in this sermon:
... Satan’s goal is to steal credit for the creation away from God, and than to assign that credit to evolution. When he is able to get people to believe that, he is then able to dethrone God as the Creator in the minds of people and then to enthrone spontaneous generation, to enthrone evolution so people then exchange the worship of the Creator, the worship of God, for the worship of the earth, for the worship of the universe, and for the worship of nature. That is pervasive in our society, in our culture. Look at what the Bible says in Psalm 19:1: “The universe declares the glory of God” (Not the glory of evolution).
... God said, “I created all of that to declare my glory to you. The universe declares my glory.” But Satan says “No, No. The universe does not declare the glory of God. The universe declares the glory of evolution. God did not make you. Evolution made you. Spontaneous generation made you, and since you evolved from Mother Nature, you need to exchange your worship of God for the worship of Mother Nature.” Mother Nature becomes the object of worship, and worshipping Mother Nature is really what some people are doing, and that is exactly what the Bible says would happen in the latter days.
The answer to demons is not some spooky exorcism. The answer to demons is not some weird, bizarre ritual like throwing holy water or whatever. The answer to demons is not that kind of thing. You should never try to talk to demons. You talk to God. The power that drives demons out of people is the presence of Jesus. In other words, demon-controlled people do not need an exorcist. They don’t need you and me to go around shouting at demons to come out of people. The power that drives out demons is the presence of Christ.Hey, a lot of Americans believe in one Devil, or many. In a deeply religious, largely Christian country, that's not surprising.
But to me the evolution thing is a dealbreaker. Does Marco Rubio think evolution is satanic? Jeremiah Wright's most intemperate language got hung around Barack Obama's neck -- will anyone ask Rubio if he repudiates the more extreme things Blackwood and his colleagues say? And if not, press corps, why not?