A Costco in Simi Valley found itself in a flap this week after a local pastor posted a photo on Twitter showing Bibles at the big-box store labeled as fiction.
Caleb Kaltenbach, pastor of Discovery Church, came across the Bibles while shopping for a gift and tweeted the picture on Friday with the comment: “Costco has Bibles for sale under the genre of FICTION Hmmmm...”
That didn’t sit well with members of his congregation.
“I was completely offended. It’s wrong, and I believe that the Bible is real,” Shellie Dungan told KTLA-TV.
Word of the fiction label spread quickly on social media, propelling Kaltenbach onto local and national TV broadcasts, including Fox News, which labeled its segment “50 Shades of Fiction?”
For all the brouhaha, Kaltenbach said the discussions the label has sparked have been good for the faith community.
“It’s caused a lot of controversy, it’s caused a lot of conversation, which I think conversation is good,” he told KCBS-TV.
For its part, Costco released a statement to Fox News, saying a distributor had mislabeled a “small percentage” of Bibles before sending them to the store.
“However, we take responsibility and should have caught the mistake. We are correcting this with them for future distribution,” Costco said. All mislabeled Bibles were also immediately relabeled.
“We greatly apologize for the error,” the store said in its statement.
Kaltenbach told Elisabeth Hasselbeck on Fox News the label "probably was a mistake, I have no idea.” But, he added, the issue highlighted the fact that “we do need to be vocal about our faith.”