Steven Anderson speaking in a video sermon entitled “Aaron’s Rod that Budded” (YouTube)
An Arizona minister banned from most of Europe for his extreme anti-gay views has criticised the Westboro Baptist Church for preaching too much hate.
The US pastor Steven Anderson, who once called for gay people to be stoned to death, is currently banned from entering the Schengen area, the common European travel area consisting of 26 countries.
He was also banned from Ireland earlier this year after a petition to stop him preaching there was signed by more than 14,000 people.
While you might think his anti-gay rhetoric would share a lot in common with the Westboro Church‘s “God Hates F*gs” messaging, it seems their methods are too extreme even for him.
In a video sermon uploaded on Sunday (August 18), Anderson named the Westboro Baptist Church directly.
“Okay, but is there any fruit? Is there any building going on? Is there any planting going on? Or is it just all negative, all the time?” he said. “You know, one famous example is the Westboro Baptists.
Addressing the church’s founder, the late Fred Phelps Sr, he continued: “False prophet! The guy had a wrong salvation, wrong gospel, wrong doctrine, not saved, total heresy.
“And he’s just getting up and just ripping on homos all the time. But when did he ever get up and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ? Never.
“When did he ever have a positive message about reaching people with the gospel, winning souls, all the good things? Never.”
Fred Phelps Sr was excommunicated from his own church before his 2014 death after allegedly supporting a group promoting LGBT+ equality.
A former member of the Westboro Baptist Church has shared her suspicions that Phelps Sr was actually gay.
The rest of Anderson’s sermon focuses on the true nature of a “saved Christian,” the best methods of “soul-winning” and how to “catch a false prophet”.
Despite publicly stating that he wished “every homo would die” back in June, Anderson insisted that he has actually got nicer.
“People say, ‘You’ve changed pastor’ – yeah, I’ve got nicer!” he claimed. “You should listen to my old sermons, the angry years. People think I’m mean now, those first few years were rough… I was more bitter back then.”