Slovakian preacher accused of ‘blasphemy’ after claiming Jesus could come back as a gay man
A Slovakian pastor has been accused of “blasphemy” by evangelical bishops after saying that Jesus could return as a gay man or a Romani woman.
Bratislava-based pastor Anna Polcková outraged the bishops of the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Slovakia (ECAV) with her comments on the LGBT+ community and the second coming of Jesus in an interview with news site Aktuality.
Polcková was open about her support of the LGBT+ community in the interview, and said: “LGBT+ people are discriminated against in our society and especially in our church.
“They are exposed to finger-pointing, ridicule and various hateful comments, which is due to a misunderstanding of their entire identity – that they were born with a minority sexual orientation or gender identity.
“Instead of listening to them, we try to squeeze them into what we think is right.”
She said she believes that the Bible should be “interpreted on the basis of today’s research and scientific knowledge of the person who lives and suffers”, and that “any relationship that is based on love and responsibility is worthy of respect and protection”.
The ECAV believes that gay people should remain celibate to avoid “sin”, but Polcková insisted this should not be the case: “If they were created with such a sexual orientation, then I see no reason why they should not develop this sexuality and not live in harmony with themselves.”
But the part of the interview that caused uproar among evangelical bishops was when Polcková said that if Jesus returned, “we would condemn him… he could come back as a gay man, or as a Romani woman”.
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Now, three bishops of the ECAV – Ivan Eľko, Ján Hroboň and Peter Mihoč – have called for her resignation in a pastoral statement.
On 13 July, the bishops wrote: “We absolutely distance ourselves from her statement that ‘Jesus would return as gay’. This statement is a self-serving ideological stylisation… Such a statement does not stand even as a literary abbreviation and borders on blasphemy.
“Even an ordinary Christian should understand the absurdity of such a statement, let alone a theologian and preacher of God’s word.”
The bishops also hit back at claims that the ECAV is homophobic, branding them “incomprehensibly black and white, generalising and extremist”.
They added: “If sister Anna Polcková, as pastor of the evangelical church, has trouble squeezing into the framework of her teachings and opinions, if she internally feels at odds with the church’s teachings and has faithfully moved beyond her teachings on these issues, if she feels the need to constantly comment and criticise current church practices, she has the opportunity to make a serious, responsible decision about herself, her ordination vow, and her own church, and to reconsider her further work in the spiritual ministry.”