Oklahoma judge overturns temporary restraining order against controversial religious group

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) — An Oklahoma County judge has ruled that a controversial religious group can continue their protest outside of metro churches.

However, Judge Sheila Stinson said the group should not block traffic during the movement of the “Blitz the Christian Church” groups.

“God has won the victory today, so we are thrilled,” said Bishop Kani Gabar of Israel United in Christ (IUIC).

Derrick Scobey

“I’m disappointed with the decision,” said senior pastor Derrick Scobey of Ebenezer Baptist Church.

Oklahoma County Judge Sheila Stinson overturned a temporary restraining order and/or injunction against Israel United in Christ, after the IUIC protested on the sidewalk outside the Baptist Church in Oklahoma. ‘Ebenezer and several other underground black churches, after Sunday services.

“Stop this madness! an IUIC member can be heard shouting in video captured during protests on June 12 and 19.

IUIC said it was leading a “Blitz the Christian Church” movement in Oklahoma City and around the world. IUIC said it was starting the movement with local churches and then expanding to mega-churches.

Their goal is to teach the gospel and distribute flyers in an effort to solve community problems.

“We really want to meet with our church leaders to try to find a biblical solution to our problems. So, we reached out, reached out, in vain,” Deacon Abbayael Israel previously told KFOR.

“Church Christianity has failed. That didn’t solve it,” Gabar told News 4. “God’s commandments are not taught in churches.

However, the Ebenezer Baptist Church called the move harassment, prompting the church and Scobey to seek a temporary restraining order and/or injunction, saying “members and guests of the church have been harassed,” while the IUIC “shouted and yelled rudely, vile and obscene statements through a megaphone about the church and the pastor.

“Why do you worship on Sunday? Where in the Bible can we read this? an IUIC member shouted in one of the videos. “Stop celebrating Easter! Stop celebrating Christmas. Stop putting pumpkins on Halloween. It’s diabolical as hell!

“We don’t need you telling us how to live our lives,” said Freddy Wright, a member of Ebenezer and a witness called to the stand Thursday.

In court, the church also claimed the scene led to dangerous traffic problems. The plaintiff’s attorney also claimed that a member of the Ebenezer Church nearly collided with a bus due to the bottleneck created by the protest.

“I know they were blocking traffic,” Wright said. “I couldn’t go out into the street because I couldn’t see what was coming from the south. So I had to wait.

During the hearing, IUIC argued that they never left public property. In fact, some members of the group have specific tasks to review the laws of the area and determine where the group is allowed to legally hang out.

The photo goes with the story
Israel United in Christ protesters outside the Ebenezer Baptist Church. Picture KFOR

The IUIC also claimed that they never spoke outside of the scriptures or the explanation of the written word. This includes the ‘handshake’ motion as the group sings ‘shame, shame, shame’.

“What they misinterpret as hate is passion. We see wrongs and we try to fix them,” Gabar said.

One such evil, according to the group, is tithing.

“Stop taking their money! preached one of the IUIC members.

“[Tithing] has never been monetary. What happened? Christianity, over the years, turned it into financial gain,” Gabar said.

“You can’t take a sheep and come in to pay a bill. You need the money,” Wright said.

During the protest, the IUIC claimed that pastors, like Scobey, were using tithing for their own financial gain.

“Pastor Scobey, where are you?” We love you brother. But we want you to stop lying to our people. We want you to stop taking money from our hard working people,” one of the IUIC members said, while speculating that Scobey was inside the church counting the silver.

“I have never been in the back to count the money. That’s the job of the finance committee,” Scobey said.

Also during the demonstration, the group pointed out that Scobey and his wife drove some nice cars.

“Ebenezer has nothing to do with the car he drives,” Wright said.

“It’s the product of an undergraduate degree from the University of Oklahoma and an advanced degree from OCU and working at a large corporation,” said Angela Scobey, the wife of Pastor Scobey.

After the judge’s decision, the IUIC argued that it was hypocritical for Scobey to take legal action against the band, as he also faces a legal battle. Scobey was arrested during an anti-death penalty protest last fall for standing in a street and praying for Julius Jones.

“I wasn’t there to harass anyone, and a man’s life hung in the balance. I wanted to do everything I could to prevent him from being executed the next day,” Scobey said.

“He was on property where he was not supposed to be. The hypocrisy for him now to try to take us to court,” Bishop Gabar said. “Shame on him.”

“Shame, shame, shame!” shouted the group behind Gabar. “Incredible. Incredible hypocrisy,” the Bishop said.

On Thursday, Stinson ruled that IUIC stays on public property and does not harass anyone. However, they must not block traffic.

The IUIC now says the move is full steam ahead.

“If anything, we’re going to speed it up,” Gabar said.

“It’s not the end. It will be resolved,” Scobey said.