One California pastor has recently become unemployed after facing backlash after a controversial church sign.
In Weed, California, Pastor Justin Hoke of Trinity Bible Presbyterian Church posted a new church sign in early January with the sign reading:
“Bruce Jenner is still a man. Homosexuality is still sin. The culture may change. The Bible does not.”
“The ultimate purpose was to say that while the culture may change, the Bible does not,” Hoke shared with SF Gate. “The culture is now demanding that we call ‘good’ what the Bible calls evil.”
The message quickly started protests among members of the community.
Even demonstrators congregated outside of the church for the first ever “Shastina Love Rally,” which condemned the sign and celebrated the LGBT community.
“We’ve really had to refine our message to be one strictly of love and support for anyone who feels like they are the target of the sign,” Amelia Mallory, shared with SF Gate. She was one of three women who organized the rally. “Debating religion is unproductive, for one, and we also don’t want anyone to feel like we are against Christianity as a whole. People are welcome to their own beliefs but can’t be surprised if people take action against such a public display.”
And as you can imagine, it did not take long for someone to vandalize the sign.
“I woke this morning to find that our sign had been vandalized. They broke not only the plexiglass and stole some of the Letters, they also busted the power box. I have not seen it up close yet as this picture was sent to me by a member of our congregation. Please pray that God would provide,” Pastor Hoke posted to Facebook on Jan. 9.
The pastor then patched up the sign and then plastered the message up once more.
“It’s not pretty, but it’s back up,” he said.
Pastor Hoke then days later announced how he was no longer the pastor of Trinity Bible Presbyterian Church.
The Facebook post shared how multiple people, including a church elder, threatened to leave if he did not step down as pastor.
“I did not want to leave, I did not quit, and I was willing to stay,” Pastor Hoke shared.
Hoke later shared how he was not fired but decided to leave to save the church from fracturing according to The Daily Wire.
“Many people have reached out asking if they could help me in some physical or monetary way. I am really thankful for such thoughts and offers. But, I don’t want to use this 5 minutes of fame as a chance to capitalize on the sympathy and good will of others. The Lord has taken care of my needs,” he posted to Facebook once more.
“Please pray that God would open more doors for me to preach the Gospel, that is all I want or need,” Pastor Hoke added.
So if any congregation out there is in need of a homophobic pastor — we know a guy!
Though we should clarify that he does not come with the interchangeable plexiglass church sign.
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