A church in Brisbane’s west has ignited controversy with a billboard against marriage equality.

Bellbowrie Community Church last week put up a billboard reading “God designed marriage between a man and a woman”.

Critics posted their ire on the church’s Facebook page, including one person who wrote “I’m sure Christ would be very disappointed in your view of Christianity,” according to The Courier Mail.

One comment allegedly suggested the church should be burned down.

All comments on the matter have now been removed from the church’s page.

Several people have posted one-star reviews of the church on Google, with comments including “Terrible anti-gay sign posted in front of this ‘place of worship’”.

A spokesperson for the group 4070 Says Yes said the church’s message did not represent the majority of the community.

“Our community has implored the church to remove the offensive sign, making phone calls, writing letters, emails and meeting with officials to point out the damage and distress it is causing,” she said.

“The church, self-appointed spokesperson of our community, has instead increasingly closed down avenues for feedback.”

Pastor John Gill said the billboard was not a message of hate, but simply God’s view. He claimed that the people criticising the message were engaged in “hate speech”.

Pastor Gill said his congregation is free to vote however they choose in the postal survey.

“As a pastor, it is not my place to tell people how to vote,” he said.

Over the weekend, the church sign had letters removed to cheekily read “God designed marriage between a man & a man”.

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