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Just Remember, Satan was the First to Demand Equal Rights Says IFB Pastor Tony Greene

knoxville baptist tabernacle

Repost from 2015. Edited, updated, and corrected.

Knoxville Baptist Tabernacle, pastored by Tony Greene, is an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) church in Knoxville, Tennessee. According to the church’s website:

In May, 1952, Dr. R.W. “Bob” Bevington led a group of earnest Christians in establishing the Knoxville Baptist Tabernacle. The Tabernacle was founded on the principles of strong Bible preaching, house-to-house soul winning, separation from the world, and support for world-wide missions.

Through the years, some of America’s greatest preachers and soul-winners have spoken from our pulpit– men such as John R. Rice, Lee Roberson, Billy McCarroll, Fred Garland, Dolphus Price, Lester Roloff, among many others.

The Tabernacle was a participating host for many years of the International Fellowship of Fundamental Baptists.

Prior to Bro. Bob’s Homegoing in 2009, the Tabernacle called Bro. Tony Greene as its second pastor.  Bro. Greene continues the ministry in the same vein as Bro. Bob, with a strong emphasis on evangelism…

The church also operates a Christian school.

Several years ago, the sign at the top of this post caused quite a bit of controversy. WATE.com reported (link no longer active):

A sign posted by a Knoxville church continues to raise eyebrows and spark both discussion and outrage after it was posted online.

The sign posted by Knoxville Baptist Tabernacle Church read “Remember Satan was the first to demand equal rights.” Many people posted the picture to the WATE 6 On Your Side Facebook and Twitter pages, starting a debate about what the sign really means.

The pastor says the purpose of the sign was to send a message about unity and spark conversation in the community. He says it wasn’t meant to offend anyone.

Our sign referencing Satan demanding his equal rights to ascend into the heavens and be God was simply ‘I’ and all about that individual,” said Pastor Tony Greene. “It was not a statement against any one group in particular, you know what about the rights of the unborn babies, the rights of children, the rights of everyone?”

After the picture was posted on Facebook, there was mixed reaction to the message. Stephanie Settlemyre said, “As a Christian, I find this highly offensive, these kinds of signs and messages are exactly the reason why people are turned off by Christianity.”

Adam Miller posted, “Honestly thought that the photo was shopped, I thought, “surely someone wouldn’t post such a thing,” said Miller. “Makes me sad I was wrong, and doubly sad that these folks are in my back yard.”

Ashley Smith wrote, “Church offends many anyway, you could write Jesus loves you and someone would get bent out of shape.”

Now the sign reads: “Glad you reading, did not intend to offend, we all need Christ.”

Pastor Greene spoke about why he made the change.

“We are a diversity congregation of people. We’ve reached people that know us and know our stand in this community know what we’ve done,” said Greene. “My heart breaks in the dividedness of our country.”

Greene says they like to interact with the community and they typically change the sign once a week. Greene says they will have another message posted later this week…

knoxville baptist tabernacle 2

Does anyone believe that Pastor Tony Greene and the Knoxville Baptist Tabernacle didn’t mean to offend? Does anyone believe they had no particular group of people in mind? Of course not. It is in the DNA of IFB pastors and churches to offend anyone and everyone who believes, thinks, acts, or lives differently than they do.

Pastor Greene’s message is clear: those demanding equal rights — you know, LGBTQ people — are in league with Satan.

Bruce Gerencser, 63, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 42 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen awesome grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist. For more information about Bruce, please read the About page.

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17 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Geoff

    “homosexuals, lesbians, and feminists, are in league with Satan.”

    You forgot to mention atheists…or maybe they don’t get any rights at all!

  2. Avatar
    Knoxville Freethinker

    Wow, missed that one in my backyard. Thanks for the reporting, Bruce.

    -a regular reader from Knoxville

  3. Avatar
    Byroniac

    Didn’t Satan start with those uppity women first with the lie that they were equal to men? I guess Eve was the first one to fall for this lie instead of submitting to Adam’s headship. And then those darn sodomites came thousands of years later. The End is coming “Real Soon Now” TM.

  4. Avatar
    Byroniac

    Santa Claus was probably the first one to elevate children into some category of importance worth noticing by adults. Seems like even Satan hadn’t innovated that yet. Of course, Satan stole it and resold it as his idea, probably.

  5. Avatar
    Jada

    Hey, forget about Creflo Holla for a Dolla’s monetary woes. Somebody send the Tabernacle a few quid to buy an apostrophe, an ‘r,’ and an ‘e.’ Correct use of contractions is next to godliness, or something.

  6. Avatar
    Brian Vanderlip

    This kind of belief, this institution of woo, this box of stained-glass windows is designed to harm. The outright lie that offense was not intended is all part of the woo being flogged in Knoxville. Abuse IS love! Without waking the sinner from their sin, they are eternally lost! Is Jesus’ message offensive? Of course it is to backsliders and warped atheists!

    When you leave the church behind, when you say no, then it starts to become so so clear how Christianity is designed, is founded on the conviction that we are an ugly, fallen species. If we weren’t, there would be no Bible, right? Get that into your head NOW you uppity rights-seekers. Come to church and put your money in the offering plate. We’ll show you rights, eternal rights!
    (This kind of abuse is learned and passed down through the generations of harmed humans. The Babble is the manual.)

  7. Avatar
    ObstacleChick

    The mythical Satan is a hero, daring to stand up against authoritarianism. It’s no wonder Christianity demonizes such a character.

    That church definitely meant to offend anyone who isn’t a straight white male American Christian. They wanted the rest of us to understand our place.

  8. Avatar
    Yulya Sevelova

    Er, wasn’t it that Lucifer wanted to do a hostile take over, saying he wanted to exalt his throne abode the stars of God ?? He wasn’t demanding EQUAL RIGHTS. Joe could Greene get these factoids wrong ??

  9. Avatar
    Sage

    Yeah…right. That message is loud and clear to anyone in a minority community. I believe Greene was right when he was right when he said “It was not a statement against any one group in particular…”. No, it was against any group that would demand equal rights. It’s against anyone in the LGBTQ community, telling us we “choose” to sin and rebel and we just need to stop and be normal, wholesome people. It is against BLM, telling those struggling for their equality to be quiet and go back to their place. It is against women who would dare to seek equality with men, telling them to be a proper woman submissive to her husband.

    So typical that they would offend then say they didn’t mean to offend.

  10. Avatar
    Charles S. Oaxpatu

    The “diversity” word was what confused me. Maybe I am wrong about this, but not too long ago, their Christian school did not accept African-American students—–was even famous for it. That would have been sometime back in the Rev. Bob Bevington days. Perhaps I should do some historical research to verify that? I live in the Knoxville area, and sometimes watched their televised services on T.V. back in the Bob days..

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