A self-described Facebook evangelist with a previous history encouraging violence is receiving backlash from thousands of commenters after he posted a video threatening gun violence against those who try to harm police, urging fellow Christians to also take up arms to protect these “super heroes.”
“I love Jesus. I’m a preacher, but you know what? I also carry an FN Five-seven. Filled with 20 rounds of pure brutality right there,” Josh Feurstein boasted to his audience as he brandished his gun in the video he posted to Facebook Sunday, which has reached 7.5 million views at this time.
“That’s right. I’m gonna fill you with 60 rounds of pure lead. And I guarantee you you’re gonna have lead poisoning.”
But the former televangelist never mentioned any of the 639 people who have been reportedly killed by police this year, many who have been unarmed.
Nor did Feurstein express any anger or offer condolences to the families of the 3,730 victims fatally shot during police interactions in 2014, many who were unarmed, mentally ill or complying with orders.
Instead, his anger was focused on the seven police lives needlessly lost in Dallas and Baton Rouge this month.
“Look guys, it’s time that we as Americans, we as Christians . . . we’ve gotta start carrying guns so we can protect our super-heroes,” said former pastor turned self-promoting evangelist, social media personality.
Even though recent public perception of police has been reshaped by an endless supply of video evidence circulating online, validating the claims from critics that police too often use excessive force against citizens, Feurstein blames the police accountability movement as a whole.
He did not mention the violence police regularly commit or the systemic problems that led up to the current national movement.
Instead, he blamed folks for choosing not to trust police. Or teaching their kids not to trust police.
“Do you want to know what the problem is,” Feurstein asks as he taps his head with his fingertips and rolls his eyes dramatically. “It’s that we have this [Black Lives Matter] movement in America that is absolutely degrading the lives of good police officers.”
Feuerstein went on to recall the good ‘ole days and reflected about how his omni-benevolent view of police came from pretending to be a cop during his childhood, and how he was taught to respect and admire police.
Controversy like this is nothing new to Feurstein.
In April of 2014, Feurstein made national headlines when he asked his Facebook followers to harass Cut the Cake Bakery after they refused to make a cake for him with the message, “we do not support gay marriage.”
Owners of Cut the Cake Bakery said they received death threats from Feurstein’s followers and were forced to raise $13,000 on a crowd-funding site to save their business after their social media and Yelp ratings were destroyed with hundreds of one-star ratings.
On July 9th 2015, Feurstein brandished an assault rifle in a video expressing his anger about courts mandating chapels and ministers to perform same-sex marriage after the Supreme Court ruled on the issue.
“They are coming after our First Amendment constitutional rights,” Feuerstein pouted. “Well, check this out. This is one pastor that will not bow. Why? Because my First Amendment right is guaranteed by my Second Amendment right.”
He then brandishes what appears to be an assault rifle.
“Think about that, ladies and gentlemen,” he went on. “It’s time we finally take a stand and say ‘no more.’ We’re not backing up any farther. We’re not going to allow a tyrannical government to try and strip away our rights as Christians and try to demonize us so that they can make the Bible bigoted.”
On July 29th 2015, Feuerstein urged his followers to hunt down and kill abortion doctors, which prompted several Christians to denounce him while several media outlets labeled him a domestic terrorist.
“Planned Parenthood has hunted down millions and millions of little innocent babies, stuck a knife into the uterus, cut them, pulled them out, crushed their skull with forceps, ripped their body apart, sold their tissue, and threw them bleeding into a trash bin,” he stated in the 30-second clip.
“I say, tonight we punish Planned Parenthood. I think it’s time that abortion doctors should have to run and hide and be afraid for their lives.”
Feuerstein deleted the clip, but it was saved an uploaded on various other channels.
Feuerstein also appeared on CNN after criticizing Starbucks for changing their cups to a solid red design opting out of the Christmas cups saying, “the silent majority is sick and tired of consistently being bullied to be quiet about our beliefs and trying to remove Christ out of Christmas.”
That led to a writer at the Daily Kos to accuse him of being a scam artist:
As despicable as this guy was, I took him at his word that he was just a preacher with an obvious persecution complex. However, I have since learned that Feuerstein is much worse than that: he’s a con artist.
First off, he is an entitled brat who, according to this video, apparently lives quite well sponging off of his mega-rich parents. Yet he is not above e-begging his duped followers to raise money for a $20,000 camera that he claimed he absolutely had to have to make YouTube videos. His followers, unable to think of anything better to donate to, gladly gave him the money and Joshua utterly ****** thanked them. Yet his videos since he has raised the funds, from the bakery harassment video to his latest red cup diatribe, seem to have been shot on a cellphone. People rightfully asked where the camera was that he promised to buy. He was even confronted directly and admitted he didn’t buy it after all. Meanwhile, his social media is filled with pictures of outrageously expensive shoes, jewlery and watches. I mean VERY Expensive Watches.
Comedian Pete Dominick stated Feuerstein’s time would be better spent feeding the homeless since he could still make his point “without all the hatred and bigotry and cynical self-promotion.”
Another critic, Pastor Gabe Hughes in Junction City, Kansa said Feuerstein started out posting simple devotional videos, cheesy “God thinks you’re a hundred bucks” kinds of sermonettes, which attracted viewers because of his fierce delivery.
Hughes, the author of When We Understand the Text said, “none of his devotionals are ground-breaking. In fact, some just butcher the Bible verses he uses. It’s his charisma that has been his draw and Facebook his primary medium.”
“His misuse of scripture is troubling. There’s a self-centeredness to his madness,” Hughes wrote on his blog. “He’s a gun-toting, evolution-hating, loud-preaching, fire-breathing charismatic and a spiritual man. But that doesn’t make him a Christian. He’s a false teacher. I hope he repents of his heresy and follows Jesus — the true Jesus. Until he shows evidence of this, don’t share his videos.”