CHARLOTTE, N.C., Feb. 13 (UPI) -- An openly gay Episcopalian bishop visited Charlotte, N.C., and preached inclusion while encountering protesters, observers said Monday.
New Hampshire Bishop Gene Robinson attended Charlotte's St. Martin's Church in honor of its church's 125th anniversary as a congregation, and during sermons in two services Sunday morning preached a doctrine of inclusion he called, "Hospitality ain't enough."
When a demonstrator at the first service loudly interrupted that "sodomy is a sin," Robinson responded that homosexual prohibitions mentioned in the Bible are from another era, and not the message of love found in later Scriptures, the Charlotte Observer reported.
The second service went smoothly, but members of the South Concord Church of God were waiting on the sidewalk to heckle the congregation leaving the church.
"False prophets. Wake up and read the truth of God," shouted one, the Observer said.
Robinson, wobbling while recovering from a broken foot, pointed out in his sermons that the Bible has been used historically to justify slavery, oppress women and now to encourage intolerance of gay people.
"God is calling you to change a system that tells people they are not worthy of God's love," he said.