Pastor Loses Job After Church Sign Stating ‘Homosexuality Is Still A Sin’ Causes Uproar

Pastor Justin Hoke of Trinity Bible Presbyterian Church in Weed, California, lost his job following backlash over language used in a recent church sign.

Hoke said that because “the culture has drawn a line in the sand and dared [Christians] to step over,” he came to the conclusion that the church should accept the challenge — not with hate, but by simply preaching “the gospel.” The pastor also noted that he wasn’t “fired,” but that the church faced a potential fracture in the wake of the fervor surrounding the sign, and that in order to keep the church intact, he felt it was best to vacate his position.

 

Pastor Justin Hoke of Trinity Bible Presbyterian Church in Weed, California, has lost his job following both community and alleged internal backlash over the language used in his most recent church sign.

In early January, Hoke designed a sign that read: “Bruce Jenner is still a man. Homosexuality is still a sin. The culture may change. The Bible does not.”

According to SFGate, “a couple dozen” community members gathered to protest the sign on January 6. The protest, called the “Shastina Love Rally,” was organized in part by local resident Amelia Mallory.

A second protest was held on Sunday. According to the most recent count on the official Facebook invite page, 71 people were “going” to the event, and 182 people were “interested.”

In a pinned post on the official Love Rally Facebook page, a message from Mallory reads in part:

We are there to support the LGBTQ+ community in a positive way. Debating with any church members isn’t the goal. We are not there for them. Some of us on our side of the street still are also religious. All of us are capable of treating everyone with respect, even if we disagree. Do not engage anyone trying to escalate the situation to violence.

On or around January 9, the sign was vandalized:

In an article published just several days ago, Yahoo Lifestyle quoted Pastor Hoke, who said: “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.”

Despite there being no outward sign of fracture within the church, on Saturday evening, Hoke published the following unexpected update on Facebook:

As of today, I am no longer the pastor of Trinity Bible Presbyterian Church.

After much prayer and counsel, I have decided that it is best to briefly communicate what has taken place.

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