An Indiana church has apologized for creating what it said was supposed to be a “humorous” video of two girls being beaten for breaking rules set by the pastor.
According to Addicting Info, the Colonial Hills Baptist Church youth program Youth E.D.G.E. Indy created the video to teach 7th graders to obey church rules. The blog Stuff Fundies Like reported that the video was originally posted to the youth group’s Facebook page, but was removed after complaints about violence against women.
In the video, youth pastor Nate Utley demonstrates the importance of Youth E.D.G.E. regulations.
“Don’t disrespect or talk back to your leaders at any time,” Utley warns in one lesson.
After a girl tells him to “Shut up,” the pastor picks up a plastic “baseball bat” and beats her until she appears lifeless.
Later in the video, Utley beats a second girl with the “baseball bat” because she failed to put a pizza box in the trash can.
Young Adults Pastor Keith Lewis eventually explained that the video “was meant to be a humorous introduction for the incoming 7th graders.”
“After posting this video online, several folks alerted us to a perspective that we had regretably overlooked,” Lewis wrote to one person who complained by email. “These friends expressed their concern that the video demonstrated a disrespect toward women, a trivializing of abuse, a depreciation of victims, and an undermining of the edifying grace of the gospel.”
“While the video was certainly recorded to be more of a slap-stick spoof, we understand that our lack of discernment may have been hurtful for some and damaging to the cause of Christ,” he said. “As followers of Jesus, we firmly believe in the equality and unity of all believers in Christ (Galatians 3:28; 1 Peter 3:7), and so we apologize for the apparent dishonor accorded to women in this video.”
Lewis also promised that Senior Pastor Charles Phelps would review the video, and that he would mentor the youth program better in the future.
Watch the video below from Colonial Hills Baptist Church, broadcast June 5, 2013.