- WND - http://www.wnd.com -

Christian youth choir likened to Nazis, ISIS

Prestonwood Baptist Church’s youth choir

Commentators in Scotland are aghast that a youth choir from a Christian church in America was allowed to perform at a shopping center in Edinburgh, comparing the young people from Texas to Nazis and ISIS.

“What message does it send when a shopping center welcomes this kind of musical Trojan horse into a Scottish city, and where do we draw the line?” wrote Shona Craven, a columnist for The Herald and The National newspapers in Scotland.

The 100-member choir is from Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas, which is part of the Southern Baptist denomination.

“A neo-Nazi puppet show at the Gyle Shopping Center? Magic tricks by Islamic State at Buchanan Galleries? I’m sure most Scots are far too savvy to be taken in by evangelical showmanship, but that’s not really the point. As a nation we should be stating clearly: bigots are not welcome here,” Craven wrote.

The Scottish Secular Society, according to the Herald newspaper, issued an alert that “southern baptist (sic) ministries in the U.S. were increasingly looking to use their money and religious influence to attempt to change laws in the UK and other countries.”

The reason for the hatred?

The youths’ church follows biblical teaching on homosexuality, abortion and other hot-button issues.

Paul Marshall, Lela Gilbert and Nina Shea have collaborated to create “Persecuted: The Global Assault on Christians,” which confirms that groups like Pew Research, Newsweek and The Economist also identify Christians as “the world’s most widely persecuted religious group.”

Craven pointed to the church’s pro-marriage and pro-life views as reasons why the youth choir would be “not welcome.”

Here’s an example of the Prestonwood youth choirs:

The performance was just one of literally thousands of performances by American high school and college groups that tour Europe as part of their education every year.

Prestonwood Baptist Pastor Jack Graham explains on the church website that: “The thing that drives our church is still and forever will be the Great Commission. For us, it is all about the Message – proclaiming it from the pulpit and getting it to as many people as possible.”

The church, founded in 1977, has grown to about 41,000 members at two campuses.

A report from the Christian Institute in the U.K. noted that a spokesman for Waverly Mall in Edinburgh, where the group was featured, said he did not think the choir sang “anything that would upset anybody.”

“I was unaware of their views, and my views are completely different. But the plaza was packed, and it was well-received.”

The Scottish Secular Society, however, said it was “very concerned about megachurches who have a growing interest in coming over to Ireland, Scotland and England and pushing their extremely fundamentalist agenda.”

The group’s spokeswoman, Megan Crawford, asked. “Why are they even allowed here to try to affect our laws and lives?”

The Herald reporter Steven Naysmith said the Texas youth choir sang and handed out prayer cards.

But he also complained “there was no outward sign of what the church really stands for.”

He wrote that the church’s pastor, Graham, “has backed Donald Trump’s presidential election campaign and refuses to accept gay marriage laws.”

Naysmith quoted Graham saying: “The Scriptures’ teaching on marriage is non-negotiable … we cannot and will not affirm the moral acceptability of homosexual behavior.”

The reporter also wrote that the church “funds a pregnancy center which claims to advise women in crisis but really boasts of persuading half of the 3,000 who visit a year to ‘choose life’ for their baby ‘in a culture all too quick to snuff it out.'”

Craven, meanwhile, wrote that the church “ticks every box on the Ugly Religious Fundamentalism checklist: homophobia and transphobia, an obsession with sexual purity, and a firm anti-choice agenda thinly disguised as concern for women’s wellbeing.”

“If antisocial behavior is that which seeks to damage and disrupt the tolerance, compassion and respect for human rights that characterize our society, then this organization surely has the potential to do a great deal more harm than a few dozen delinquent teens getting high and making a nuisance of themselves.”

Paul Marshall, Lela Gilbert and Nina Shea have collaborated to create “Persecuted: The Global Assault on Christians,” which confirms that groups like Pew Research, Newsweek and The Economist also identify Christians as “the world’s most widely persecuted religious group.”