Preacher defends criminally charged colleague, saying critics will be "sniped and taken out"
Pastor Jeremy Pfeil made the death threat during a now-deleted sermon
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A Texas pastor warned his congregation that anyone who associates with critics of his criminally charged buddy will be “sniped and taken out.” (Just like Jesus wanted.)
I would share the sermon link with you directly, but the speaker, Pastor Jeremy Pfeil of Accelerate Church in Amarillo, has removed all links to that Wednesday night service.
Unfortunately for him, he wasn’t fast enough. Watchdog Mark Drapak clipped that part of the sermon and shared it online.
I'm saying this because you might have heard that my friend James Randolph has been lied about recently. And whenever I get a call from him, and he tells me about that—he's going to court tomorrow. I believe that he's going to be… I believe justice will be served and all liars will be exposed. Eventually it's gonna happen one way or another. You mark my word. It always happens.
But to think that people that left our fellowship are somehow involved in encouraging that made me go on high alert. I'm not going to allow people like that around here and I'm letting you know that. They're not going to come and video, they're not going to come and do this, and if you still talk to ‘em and you listen to ‘em, you're going to be sniped and taken out.
Don't come crying to me later. I've warned you and warned you and warned you and warned you and warned you… If you think this is a personal matter, you've missed the entire boat. This is a spiritual war that we're in. Men that I respect and look up to are being lied about. Now you can either trust that or not…
I don't hang out with pervs. Pervs run away from me. They always have.
Since I follow God with all my heart, they've run away from me. I told a story. I heard myself on the radio telling it recently. You may not understand this: I've reached out to the LGBT lifestyle for a long time in the past to try to get ‘em born again. And one night… I had one of them in the car, I went to pick him up for church, and he had grown his nails out, and he said, “I tell you right now, if you hate on me, I'll scratch you to death.”
I say, “You ain't going to touch me. You're going to either repent or else you're going to get out of this car.”
I ain't putting up with that. Now I'm not hating on anybody, either, but I don't have to confirm your sinful lifestyle. The church does not exist to confirm sin. It exists to get you out of sin…
Uhh… okay. That was weird. His “I don't hang out with pervs” T-shirt has people asking a lot of questions already answered by his shirt... Also, the bit about hanging out with the “LGBT lifestyle” in his car—with someone who clearly doesn’t want to go to his church—raises additional questions.
But setting all that aside, the threat was obviously over-the-top.
What the hell is he talking about? Who is James Randolph?
Randolph is the son-in-law of televangelist Mark Barclay, a Christian grifter who once asked his followers to donate $79,000 so he could repaint his private jet. Randolph also serves as a minister in Barclay’s Living Word International Church in Michigan—or at least he did until last month when he was charged with a slew of crimes:
[Randolph] was arrested and charged… with first-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a relationship, four counts of second-degree CSC and one count of accosting children for immoral purposes for crimes allegedly occurring in 2011.
Randolph is charged with seven felony counts and is out of jail on a $500,000 cash bond. His second-degree CSC charges include one allegedly with a person under 13-years-old and two involving a relationship…
The church says he was placed on administrative leave after the charges were filed, adding “the allegations do not involve the church, and the alleged acts did not take place in the church,” as if that should absolve the church of any complicity. The arrest came months after another person who worked with the same church was charged with almost identical crimes.
It’s unclear what Randolph is accused of doing with a child, but the charges should be taken seriously if nothing else.
Thankfully, they are being taken seriously by people outside of Pfeil’s church, despite his attempts to act like his buddy is a victim of unfair persecution. The church can’t be trusted to police itself but secular authorities aren’t going to let someone’s religious claims get in the way of seeking justice for the victims. Instead of grappling with that hypocrisy, however, Pfeil urged his church to avoid social media where details about Randolph’s case may be posted online. (Drapak, who clipped the sermon, also noted that Pfeil bragged about how his two-year-old child obeys him whenever he’s threatened with a wooden spoon. Just shows you the kind of moral monster we’re dealing with.)
Josh Shepherd wrote more about how the court case is proceeding in the Roys Report:
On Wednesday, Pfeil claimed [Randolph] would be exonerated on Thursday of all charges and urged congregants to trust him.
However, on Thursday, Randolph had a hearing at the 75th District Court of Midland County, Mich., court records show. According to a court clerk who spoke to TRR, the court denied a motion brought by Randolph’s attorney to amend the terms of his bond.
A subsequent court examination hearing was set for Dec. 15, and the clerk stated the case is expected to proceed to circuit court.
Even if Randolph is eventually found guilty, you can bet Pfeil won’t admit he ever misjudged his buddy. He won’t admit his best friend is, indeed, a perv. Like so many right-wing zealots these days, he’ll only get more defensive while ignoring any evidence of the crimes. And if people in his congregation dare to consider the proof, he’ll inevitably treat them as outcasts, slander them with faith-based rhetoric, and make sure they’re cut out of any church-based social circles.