A controversial Conservative Californian worship leader held a concert on the upper level of Edgewater Park Thursday night, gathering hundreds of people without masks on the shores of Lake Erie. Baptisms followed. The whole scene was bizarre and extremely dangerous.
CLEVELAND MESSED ME UP TONIGHT! 😭— Sean Feucht (@seanfeucht) September 18, 2020
Police barricaded the park (and gave us a citation🤪) but that didn’t stop 3000 Ohioans trekking 1-2 miles up a hill to worship!
So so so many gave their lives to Jesus and were baptized in Lake Erie!!
Carrying this testimony to FL tomorrow! pic.twitter.com/DwwbuDEifX
Evidently, this guy Sean Feucht, a 37-year-old non-denominational "husband, father, recording artist, author, founder of multiple movements, lover of Jesus Christ," who has some thoughts about "violent paid protestors" taking over our streets and who led an unsuccessful bid for Congress earlier this year — "I’m not running as a politician, I’m running as an outsider," he said, before losing the Republican Primary in California's third congressional district — has been roving the country, performing with his megachurch band in cities rocked by racial justice protests. The Washington Post reported that Feucht has held concerts in Kenosha, Chicago, Seattle and Portland in recent weeks.
One progressive Christian writer told the Post that she was uncomfortable with Feucht's hippie revivals because she viewed them as attempts "to delegitimize protesters’ demands for policing overhauls. She said she was bothered by Feucht’s apparent lack of relationships with the cities he’s visiting, his fundraising on the tour and his songs’ focus on God’s triumph, rather than on praying for justice."
The Cleveland event was not permitted by the City of Cleveland, and indeed, Feucht claimed on social media that Cleveland Police "barricaded the park" and issued the organizers a citation.
The Cleveland Metroparks told Scene Friday that they were the ones who issued the citation. An individual named Kurt Klingelhofer came forward as the event organizer and took responsibility, a Metroparks spokesperson said. "He was warned and issued a citation for not obtaining the required permit to hold a concert."
In comments on Feucht's polarizing post, (which for the record overestimated both the size of the crowd and the distance from Edgewater's lower level to its upper level,) some local Christians praised the service and Feucht's message while others challenged the idea of gathering large crowds without masks during a global pandemic, a practice that could lead to the sickness and death of vulnerable people — a decidedly unchristian practice, in their view.
Here's the full service, if you want to get a flavor.
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