Church Pulls 'Hell' Sign After Police Probe

Attleborough Baptist Church's sign was seen as 'hateful'

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted May 24, 2014 4:19 PM CDT

(Newser) – A Baptist church has agreed to take down a sign about hell after police investigated the message as a "hate incident," reports the Daily Mail. It all started when a passerby in Norfolk, England, complained about the sign, which suggested non-Christians would burn in hell, showing flames below the words, "If you think there is no God you better be right!" Robert Gladwin, 20, said he considered Christianity "inclusive and loving in nature," but found the sign conveyed the opposite message: "I was just astounded really." Pastor John Rose, 69, removed the sign and said he "regretted" how Gladwin interpreted the message.

"Jesus encourages us to love," Rose said, "and we therefore regret that the poster has been seen as inciting hatred." Surprisingly, humanists and secularists appeared to oppose Gladwin's complaint—saying the sign was too silly to take seriously, or should be protected under free speech—and a nearby reverend criticized the sign, saying the church should find "more positive reasons for coming to church." As for the nation's Baptist organization, representing 2,000 churches, it stayed on the sidelines: "We don't issue posters to [churches] and it is generally up to them what they put up," a spokesman told the Express.

  (Shutterstock)
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