A pastor from Texas has drawn rebuke for making an outrageous claim on social media that Jesus Christ did not actually rise from the dead.
Jim Rigby, pastor of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Austin, Texas, made a satirical post describing himself as a Presbyterian minister bound for hell, according to Charisma News Senior Editor Jennifer LeClaire.
"Apparently, because I don't believe in a literal resurrection, I'm not really a Christian," Rigby wrote. "This unfortunately also means I won't be going to heaven with many of you," adding that while his family is enjoying a heavenly banquet, "I will be screaming in unending torment along with Jews and Democrats and the evil college professors who teach evolution."
"My accusers explained to me that I had it all wrong," Rigby went on. "They said I did not understand the gospel. You see, the earth was once a paradise. The dinosaurs were actually gentle and friendly. But then Adam and Eve stole a piece of fruit. God got very angry. So God invented cancer and hemorrhoids to punish human beings for our treachery."
Rigby questioned why God has decided to "barbecue us eternally for the mistakes of our ancestors." He also wondered why it became "good news" when God allowed His son Jesus to be crucified in our place.
"We don't have to be loving or kind like Jesus to be saved from God's wrath. In fact we don't have to do a single thing Jesus commanded us to do," Rigby wrote. "All that matters is that we admit that we are worthless trash, but that Jesus likes us anyway. Oh, and we have to LITERALLY believe Jesus' corpse got up. If you believe all the above you will get to be with God in heaven," the pastor said.
Commenting on Rigby's remarks, LeClaire said it would appear that the Scripture is being fulfilled since Peter the apostle warned about false prophets among believers and false teachers who would "secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who brought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves" (2 Pet. 2:1).
LeClaire said the words spoken by Rigby were definitely the marks of a false teacher. She rejected Rigby's blasphemous claim that Jesus did not resurrect, saying if this were true, there would be no victory over death.
"Unfortunately, Rigby is deceived and being deceived—and deceiving others," LeClaire said.
She cited the next verse: "And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed" (2 Pet. 2:2, MEV).
LeClaire urged Christians to "pray for Rigby, his followers—and ourselves because no one is above falling prey to the strong delusion that's rising in this hour of history."