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The pastor of a Chicago-area church who called on parishioners to “fast” from “whiteness” during the Lenten season is defending the controversial move amid public outcry.
In a statement to Fox News Digital, First United Church of Oak Park pastor John Edgerton appeared to defend his church’s position. decision refrain from playing any music associated with whites during the season of Lent.
CHICAGO AREA CHURCH CALLED ‘WHITE FASTING’ FOR LENT: ‘REVIVAL GONE CRAZY’
“Our Lenten theme has sparked much discussion, with some people questioning the message,” Edgeton’s statement read. “In keeping with the spiritual discipline of the Lenten fast, our intention was to set aside our usual frames of reference and open ourselves to hearing the message of the Gospel through the voices of Black, Indigenous and People of Color. Our worship services during Lent have been diverse and beautiful, joyful and filled with the Spirit. We pray that God will oil the hinges of the doors of our hearts so they can gently swing open to receive the good news of the resurrection. of Christ, whom we all expect at the culmination of Lent.
the church won national attention earlier this week after a report from Turning Point USA highlighted a notice on the church’s website advising parishioners that songs by white composers would not be played during Lent.
CHICAGO CHURCH “THE FASTING OF WHITENESS” DURING LENT BY ABANDONING HYMNS WRITTEN BY WHITES
“In our worship services throughout Lent, we will not use any music or liturgy written or composed by white people,” said the website for Oak Park First United Church reads. “Our music will be drawn from the African American spiritual tradition, South African freedom songs, Native American traditions and many more.”
The statement continued, “For Lent, it is our prayer that in our spiritual disciplines we may grow as Christians, united in the body of Christ with people of all ages, nations, races and backgrounds.”
The church also reportedly erected a sign promoting the racist Lenten fast saying it would hold worship services “around the voices of black, indigenous people and people of color”.
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Reverend Lydia Mulkey, identified as the associate pastor of education, explained the fast in a video posted on the church’s YouTube channel.
“In this whiteness fast, of course, I can’t change the color of my skin or the way I move in the world, but I can change what I listen to, whose voice takes precedence,” said Mulkey. “And so it’s sort of the place for our worship services, during Lent, where we would fast for a while with priority given to white voices.”
News of the controversial Lent quickly spread on social media, prompting widespread criticism on Twitter.
“Jesus LOVED EVERYONE and never saw COLOR or RACE in his teachings,” said Pastor Dr. Willie J. Montague. “Pastor John Edgerton needs to rethink his calling.”
“The goodwill of the major Protestant denominations has been co-opted by next generation racists and authoritarian socialists,” tweeted former Republican Congresswoman Nan Hayworth.
Edgerton did not respond to a Fox News Digital request for comment on whether the Whiteness Lenten fast will continue through Easter.