Pastor Greg Locke of Global Vision Bible Church in Mount Juliet, Tennessee, has made a name for himself with his oft-times viral videos. In fact, one of his recent clips that was critical of Planned Parenthood spread so rabidly that it prompted pro-choice activists to send a flood of donations to the organization — in Locke’s name.
Soon, Locke and his church were receiving scores of thank-you letters from Planned Parenthood for those donations. This led the pastor to hop on a plane, fly to Washington, D.C., and return the stacks of mail to the women’s organization.
Locke live-streamed his arrival last Thursday at one of Planned Parenthood’s buildings, where he said would drop off “a packed-full suitcase of nonsense.” The clip quickly gained viral traction.
In addition to the thank-you letter, Locke said his church also received scores of tampons, contraceptives, sex toys and postcards with “vitriolic threats.” The pastor did not bring those items to return to Planned Parenthood, noting that he had previously discarded them.
“When we got here we were immediately met at the door by their security team, who was kind, but they let us know immediately that we were expected … [and that] we would not be able to come in the building,” Locke said during his nearly 10-minute live broadcast.
Watch the video below:
The outspoken preacher proceeded to explain why he decided to make the trip to Planned Parenthood, imploring Christians to “stand up and stand out” in the modern era.
“Why are we here today? … Why spend the money, why fly to Washington, why go through all the nonsense? Why not just take the mail, burn it, throw it away?” Locke said. “Well, they made their point with us. Now, we spiritually make our punch-back point with them.”
He proceeded to empty his suitcase out and dumped all the letters into two recycling bins that security guards put outside the Planned Parenthood building, and then embarked on an excoriating rebuke of the women’s health care giant.
“It’s not helping families, individuals and it’s certainly not serving … young women,” Locke said. “We stand with God because God stands on the side of life … we don’t stand with you. … We don’t stand for you. We adamantly, biblically stand against you.”
Locke told Faithwire in an email Tuesday that his video clips often spark an array of responses, but that he believes critics have a tendency to misread what he’s trying to accomplish.
“We get so many varied responses from my videos that our church and staff has gotten used to it. Living in the ‘viral video’ world brings about an amazing amount of support but with that comes a daunting amount of hate, threats and vitriolic nonsense that you’ve got to ignore,” Locke said. “The ‘haters’ say I’m a bigot grandstander, but I just strongly believe the church has lost much of its voice.”
The preacher believes that many in the Christian world have been “lulled to sleep” by “pop-psychology,” and that people sometimes react when they see a pastor like him who is “demonstrative and bold” by improperly assuming he’s simply arrogant.
Sophie Friedman, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood’s Middle and East Tennessee locations, confirmed in a statement to the Tennessean that more than 1,000 individual donations were made in Locke’s name in her jurisdiction alone; that showcases the intense volume of mail the pastor has likely been receiving.
As The Christian Post noted, Locke has posted a number of Facebook videos on contentious subjects, including Target’s transgender bathroom policy.
He told Faithwire that he’s using the Planned Parenthood debacle to try and raise funds for crisis pregnancy centers.
“Once the initial video garnered so much attention, we purposely waited to do the public ‘punch back’ in the nation’s capitol,” Locke said. “It was never about a ‘protest’ or filling the streets with opponents to Planned Parenthood. It was about me keeping my word, going into the lion’s den and boldly saying what so many are wanting to.”
He’s hoping to raise $60,000 to help fund four sonogram machines for crisis pregnancy centers in need.
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