The removal of the Confederate flag from the South Carolina statehouse grounds Friday has no doubt caused a big debate. You’ve probably seen it on your social media feeds. People are getting heated.
And Pastor Perry Noble of NewSpring Church in Anderson is feeling it.
On Friday, he shared this post on his Facebook page:
“Thankful that the leaders in our state did the right thing – it is a major step toward reconciliation!”
Soon after, the comments poured in, ranging from people calling the pastor a “yankee”, “naive” and “pathetic” to some saying they’ll never step foot in his church again.
“I was really shocked that you know that many people were going to be that vocally opposed to it because of the positive comments that came our way after the service on June 28th,” said Noble.
He dedicated that June 28th service to the Charleston tragedy, racism and the Confederate flag.
He’s surprised to now hear that some people say they won’t be back.
“I would hope that people would really reconsider that stand. But I would hope on the flip side, racism is a serious issue. And I stand by my comments about racism,” said Noble. “I think it’s a heart issue, I really do.”
After learning of all the comments, Noble posted a blog explaining his views, even admitting at one time to being a racist.
“People can connect with your weaknesses way more than they can with your strengths,” said Noble. “I’m not trying to get them to think that I’m perfect. I want them to see that Jesus is perfect and let’s get our eyes on Him.”
Much of the reaction to his Facebook post was positive. So far it has more than two thousand likes.
Pastor Noble says it’s not politics. It’s just from his heart.
Other pastors have told us they’ve already addressed the flag issue in previous sermons and will continue to keep the dialogue going.
Another pastor we talked to says he’s dedicating his entire service Sunday to race relations.