A Mt. Juliet, Tenn., pastor has been fanning flames in his community with promises to “fight the devil” with fire. Greg Locke, of Global Vision Church, has been preaching for weeks about the devil, illnesses, faith, and deliverance to his on site parishioners as well as those who tune in to watch online. But he took it a new level when he planned a bonfire ceremony where he would burn books he deemed to be demonic, icons he teaches are demonic, Masonic Bibles, and “anything” connected to darkness. The city initially issued him a burn permit, but on the day of the bonfire, city officials asked Locke to cancel his plans. Locke however, refused to give in.
Stephanie Martin, of Church Leaders writes:
In a Facebook post Monday, Locke elaborates on the reasons for burning anything with ties to sorcery. Those items include “Harry Potter” and “Twilight” books and movies, tarot cards, healing crystals, spell books, Ouija boards, and “anything tied to the Masonic Lodge.”
Locke writes, “We’re not playing games. Witchcraft and accursed things must go.” He references Acts 19, when new believers renounced evils from their past. “If you think we’re crazy, then scroll on,” he tells readers. “We’re exposing the Kingdom of Darkness for what it is. It’s time for people to be delivered.”
The pastor references a group of counter-protesters “on Hip Mt. Juliet” who plan to attend Wednesday’s service to “break out their witchcraft and open their Ouija boards while we celebrate.” Although Locke says everyone’s welcome and he’ll pray over them, he warns he’ll “snatch that evil garbage out of your hands and burn it right in front of your face.”
About his unconventional methods, Locke writes, “This is Global Vision and we don’t do things like the church down the road or the one you grew up in. We can’t unsee the miracles that are happening around us. It’s time to break covenant with the devil and grow in the Lord.”
In 2019, Locke posted a video of himself burning a book by an atheist lawyer. In “The Founding Myth: Why Christian Nationalism Is Un-American,” Andrew Seidel argues that the United States wasn’t built as a Christian country. Seidel, who works for the Freedom From Religion Foundation, sent Locke a copy of his book, the premise of which is “ridiculous,” according to the pastor.