Pastor Justin Hoke of Trinity Bible Presbyterian Church in Weed, California, has now lost his job following backlash over statements he made about sin, sex, and gender on the church’s most recent sign. A few weeks ago, he put these words on the marquee:
“Bruce Jenner is still a man. Homosexuality is still a sin. The culture may change. The Bible does not.”
Just one technicality: the sign should have said, “Caitlyn” Jenner because he legally changed his name a few years back. Other than that, it’s completely true. And from what I understand, the Pastor Hoke recently gave a sermon called “Love Warns.”
The side issue, however, regarding the pastor’s decision is this: should he or should he not have put these statements on the marquee outside the church?
But the cultural debate continues over the existence of God. Did He create mankind male and female – which is what biology, history, and science confirm – or can we choose whatever gender we want at any time for any reason?
In addition, can we have sex with whomever we want whenever we want or are there any reasonable moral restraints on behavior? God’s design for sex and natural marriage is to be exclusively between one man and one woman.
The LGBTQ lobby has been forcing change for decades and they obviously didn’t like the church sign, so they held protests outside the church. The sign was vandalized, the glass broken and the power box destroyed.
Pastor Hoke then posted pictures of the damage on Facebook saying:
The more wicked the culture gets the less they fear God.
Our sign has been destroyed. Please keep us in your prayers.
Christians aren’t saying we have it all together or other people are less valuable; what we’re saying is the Bible is true and we have chosen to accept God’s offer by trusting trust Him to forgive our sins. We believe His Word, that every person has sinned, is separated from a holy God, and has fallen short of His high standard of righteousness.
By His death and resurrection, Jesus paid for your sins and mine by giving himself as a ransom that we might be forgiven and live eternally. Think about it: if we really cared about and loved other people, why on earth wouldn’t we tell them the truth about God’s plan of salvation?
Pastor Hoke also stated:
“We believe that Jesus commands all Christians to let their light shine. We also believe that salvation is only for sinners. Jesus said he came to call sinners, not the righteous. If we give in to cultural demands to stop calling sin ‘sin,’ then we are robbing people of opportunity to hear the truth.”
But these days, truth is hate to those who hate the truth. The Left would have us stay inside the church and never come out, but Jesus told His followers to go proclaim the gospel.
Sadly, many within the Christian faith have been desensitized and are professing believers are being duped into accommodating pop culture’s favorite sins. It even appears Pastor Hoke was forced to resign. But in this case, it wasn’t the LGBTQ activists for once. He was told that people in his own church would leave if he remained pastor. I don’t know all the details, but that’s even more disappointing.
We were warned in Scripture about these crazy times and Christians are not to pursue lives of comfort, self-fulfillment, or popularity.
The Apostle Paul said do not conform to the world’s ways (Romans 12:2). He also said in these last days, more people would love themselves, love pleasure rather than God, and have the appearance of godliness, but deny its power (2 Timothy 3:4-5).
One of Jesus’ closest disciples, John, said we cannot love the things of this world and have God’s love inside us at the same time (1 John 2:15). James said if you’re a friend of the world you’re an enemy of God (James 4:4).
You can even read the words of Jesus:
“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” John 15:18-19
We are to love those who don’t know the truth and are still in darkness, many of whom are hopeless in this world.
And remember, whether it’s on a church sign, street corner, or social media, methods may change or be debated, but the message of hope in an unchanging, everlasting God remains the same.
*originally published by Freedom Project Media