Pastor Steven Furtick, lead pastor of Elevation Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, believes that prejudice can destroy people's lives. He encouraged Christian parents to reflect on the things they pass on to their children because prejudice is like a "poisonous snake" that can damage their way of living.
"God told me to just bring you a simple message today and ask you, 'What are you passing on?' I believe that the essence of the Gospel is acceptance," he said in a video which he posted on his Facebook page.
According to Furtick, when parents pass on their perspectives to their children, they are either passing on great gifts, blessings, curses, or burdens. The wrong perspective will let the child grow up into someone who will "throw at somebody who's different than them because of the ignorance that we perpetuate through our perspective and our prejudice."
He stressed that prejudice must be put to a stop now and people should check their hearts. "You know what? What does not heal gets handed down. If you can claim to love God that you can't even see, and hate your brother or sister who you see every day...to me that's a useless stone and a dangerous snake, and a poisonous venom and a toxic religion that you could love God and hate them," he said.
"He didn't say 'don't do to others what you don't want them to do to you," clarified Furtick as he quoted Matthew 7:12. "He said until you are proactive about doing for others what you wish someone would do for you. Until you do it. You don't have it. Not real love."
Furtick added that he does not have "any grand solution" to prejudice, nor does he claim to be a "racial unifier." However, all he wants is people to reflect: "What's in your heart?"
"Because whatever change we need to see beyond this room starts in our hearts," he said.