Few Christian congregations are more notorious in Orange County for forgetting Matthew 19:24 (you know, the whole camel thing where Jesus essentially says the rich are going to Hell) than Mariners Church in Irvine. That's the church where Reverend Kenton Beshore essentially makes excuses for Jesus' admonition against the rich to a crowd where the oldest car on the lot is about seven years old.
But an amazing thing has happened to Beshore over the past couple of years, according to an article published yesterday in the Wall Street Journal: he's trying to convince his flock to be sympathetic to the plight of illegal immigrants. And surprise, surprise: a bunch of them ain't agreeing.
Beshore is pretty frank in detailing the sins of his faithful when it comes to the issue–in fact, he claims that donations to Mariners dropped so much after he started preaching on being sympathetic to illegal immigration that the church ended last year with a $500,000 shortfall, a gap he blames specifically on the subject. But Beshore is wonderfully not backing down on his stance.
"I tell my people they need the poor far more than the poor need them," he told the Journal. "That's what a follower of Christ should do."
The front-page story highlights the struggles Mariners have gone through, with some Mariners worshippers drinking Beshore's Aztlanista horchata, while others running kicking and screaming away, probably to Calvary Chapel or some other Know Nothing church. Kudos to Beshore for following the Lord's way: now, if he could only stop hating on the gays, he might be alright…