WASHINGTON — Bible-believing street evangelists warning against all sin, including abortion and homosexuality, were shouted down, spat on and had water thrown on them by participants of the Women's March on Washington on Saturday afternoon.
As hundreds of thousands of Americans descended to the nation's capital to stand for "women's rights" and protest President Donald Trump in the demonstration organized by pro-choice groups like Planned Parenthood, various groups of Christian believers also took the streets to warn the predominantly-liberal crowd about what the Bible has to say about sin.
Along Pennsylvania Avenue, a group of over 10 street preachers from various states branched off into two different huddles — each with a megaphone and signs warning that "hell awaits" those who sin and calling for people to repent.
Some did not take kindly to what the street preachers were saying.
Kerrigan Skelly, a street evangelist from Kentucky, told The Christian Post that he was spit on while speaking over the megaphone. Skelly and witnesses tell CP that the person who spat on him was a lesbian woman.
"I don't remember exactly what she said but she spat in his face," Joseph Neigh, an Army veteran and D.C.-based evangelist affiliated with the group, told CP. "That has happened to me before. People are convicted and they're are just operating according to their flesh. We expect that to happen because they are living according to the flesh and we shouldn't expect anything less because people killed Jesus because He preached righteousness and called people to repent. There have been a lot of people who have done dirty dancing around us, flicked us off, cursed at us but we are not going return evil for evil. We say, 'God bless you.' We are not out here casting stones, we are throwing life preservers."
Skelly explained that although he was preaching against homosexuality at the time, the point of his presence in D.C. is not just to preach against homosexuality, but all sin.
"I think the opposition to us is indicative of people hating righteousness and loving sin. Jesus said in John 7:7 that the 'whole world hates Me because I testify that its works are evil,'" Skelly stated. "So we are here to lift up righteousness and put down sin and call sinners to repentance. When you do that, they are going to hate what you are saying and they are going to hate you because you are the messenger."
In addition to being spat on, the street evangelists also had water thrown on them by male participants in the march.
"We respect these people's right to march for what they believe, even though we disagree with it. That is why we are out here," Neigh said. "We are not here to tell them that they can't do that but we are telling them that they must turn from sin because there are consequences for it but we are not here to say that you don't have a right to march — this is America."
A group of Christian street preachers from the D.C. area, who warned against the sin of abortion and were stationed near the intersection of Constitution Avenue and 15th Street, also faced their fair share of backlash, especially since they were set up in the path of the march.
This group of preachers also used a megaphone to broadcast their message and held a large cross that reads "Repent & Believe" and a sign that features a photo of torn limbs of an aborted baby.
At one point during the march, an elderly lady lightly struck one of the street preachers with her cane.
"They haven't pushed us today like they did yesterday. We are definitely coming close," evangelist Michael Corral, a member of Capitol Hill Baptist Church, told CP. "They are trying to reject [our pro-life message] because we are Christian. But the science has finally caught up to the Christian message that from conception, they are human. Science says clearly from conception, it is human. I try to explain to them, 'If it is not human, than what species is it?' They can't answer that."
Corrall, who is associated with a group called Washington DC Evangelists, said that when he was preaching on the street during the inauguration on Friday, a group of six or seven people pushed him into a wall and cut his speaker wire in his backpack.
Not all of the backlash that the D.C. evangelists faced was violent or crude. Peaceful dialogue about abortion occurred between the group and left-leaning Christian marchers who were holding up Sojourners signs that read "People of Faith for Resistance."
Darrell Hamilton, an ordained minister from North Carolina and grad student at Wake Forest Divinity School, engaged in a discussion with the pro-life preachers about whether or not abortion is murder.
"What we have is a polarization of what we consider to be right-Christian doctrine and Christian representation and people should know that there are divergent ways to read and interpret Scripture but also to walk a Christian life," Hamilton told CP. "I don't think we always have to be in agreement with each other but we do need to open a dialogue for continued conversation and respect for opposing views and willingness to challenge those when necessary."
In Hamilton's view, one could interpret that the Bible condones abortion.
"In my knowledge and interpretation of the Scripture, the Bible does not speak anything about abortion. You can definitely even interpret, if you wanted to, that the Bible condones abortion," he asserted. "There are many scriptures, in the Hebrew scriptures in particular, where we hear about God ordering the slaughtering of men, women and children and babies and the book of Revelation as well is also very violent. There are whole lot of ways of interpreting that conversation."
"What my stance is, and I quote the Dr. Rev. William Barber, is that a lot of times, Christians speak the most about what the Bible speaks the least about and speak the least about what the Bible speaks the most about," he continued. "If you want to have a pro-life agenda, you have to be willing to stand for the orphan, the widow, the stranger and the poor."