NATOMAS — Sunday wrapped up four days of protests in response to Verity Baptist Church’s “Red Hot Preaching” church conference.
The conference was led by Pastor Roger Jimenez, whose controversial sermon after the Orlando nightclub shooting sparked outrage across the county.
Protesters with Kiss Away Hate, a group with the goal of spreading love and equality, crowded around Verity Baptist Church on Sunday.
“Our message is about love not hate,” said Dusty Arnold, co-founder of Kiss Away Hate.
Jimenez’s message is much different, “What you love will determine what you hate, so I believe love hates,” he said.
Corianne Durkee, whose church shares a parking lot with Verity Baptist Church, says there’s no place for hate.
“My Bible says in First John that you cannot have hate for your brother and have the love of God in your heart. It’s completely a contradiction.”
But some who traveled thousands of miles to hear the controversial pastor preach agree with him.
“It’s really encouraging for Christians like me who read our Bible to see pastors stand up to preach what needs to be said, and that’s that sodomy is vile it’s reprobate,” said Jeff Utzler, an Ohio church member.
Jimenez stands by his interpretation of the Bible.
“Romans One talks about how they’re worthy of death. I love the word of God, so that tells me what to hate,” Jimenez said.
While Durkee stands by her interpretation.
“There’s no gay, nor straight, nor Greek, nor Jew, nor male, nor female. We’re all precious in God’s sight, that’s his gospel of peace and love.”