It looks like an Ohio Pastor took the Easter festivities a bit too far, after urging students to spit on him, cut him with a steak knife, and slap him. The church is now apologizing for its “inappropriate” Easter lesson. Impact City Church lead pastor Justin Ross and part-time associate pastor Jaddeus Dempsey went on Facebook to apologize to the students, who were part of the “unusual” school activity.
Dempsy was leading a group of middle and high school students as part of the Ohio church’s weekly “After School Student Hangouts.” Demsey decided to share his message with the students about Easter, which later said he “crossed the line.” In the video, Jaddeus can be heard saying, ‘I’m going to ask you to do something that might seem a little crazy, but if there’s anyone here that would like to spit in my face, you can do so without any repercussions.”
Students quickly took him up on his offer, several slapping him across his face. The pastor then pulls out a steak knife, where one student is seen slicing his back. The student quickly began to post the “lesson” on social media, where they show several students lining up before ht pastor and taking turns spitting on his face while others laugh.
Another video shows student attempting to cut the pastors’ back as Dempsey says, “make me bleed.” The Licking County Sheriff’s Office quickly noticed the video, and have opened an investigation. This quickly prompted church officials to apologize, saying the actions he took was only to teach students “a very important topic about the crucifixion of Jesus.”
Lead pastor Justin Ross defended Dempsey’s actions by saying that although many were disgusted by the video, the activity the intent was honorable.
“[Jesus] chose to allow them to spit on him and beat him and crucify him in order to take the payment of our debt that we call sin,” Ross said. “So Jaddeus, in an effort to share that message of love through the Gospel and the story of Jesus’ crucifixion, he shared this illustration and tried to share some of the pain that Jesus took on that day.”
Although both do understand that the illustration went too far, both pastors stated they sat the students down and talked to them about the crucifixion, and reassured that the church does not condone that students, or any one part of the church, to spit or slap others or use any type of weapon to harm themselves or anyone. Dempsey, who has been a student leader for four years took the blame of the situation, saying it was over the top and bad judgment on his part. The church and its board of directors will also conduct a formal review and conduct an investigation.