The pastor of a church in Chicago, Illinois, is receiving backlash from the LGBTQ community and its supporters for publicly rebuking a male church member Sunday night after he repeatedly showed up to church dressed like a woman – despite numerous warnings.
Power House International Ministries Pastor Antonio Rocquemore explained that he had to resort to openly admonishing the cross-dressing church member because he refused to heed the church’s requests to stop showing up to worship service dressed as a transgender.
Virulent LGBTQ backlash
Advocates of the LGBTQ community came to the defense of the cross-dressing male church member’s defense, blasting Rocquemore for reprimanding the gender-confused man.
“Christian James Lhuillier … insisted that the member should not have been rebuked,” The Christian Post (CP) reported.
Lhuillier – a man who also appears to physically present himself in a feminine manner – was the first to bring attention to Rocquemore’s open rebuke of the congregant by taking to social media and posting a clip of the confrontation on his Facebook page, where he blasted the pastor for humiliating the man in front of others at church.
"Some of y'all are going to have to excuse my language, but I am tired of this [expletive],” Lhuillier wrote on his Facebook page – complete with a video clip of the open rebuke. “In a place that is supposed to be a place of change – a place of deliverance … whatever you want to call it – why would you destroy someone in front of a room full of people?"
He then proceeded to attack the Church for not embracing the LGBTQ lifestyle, blaming Christians – who stand by God’s condemnation of homosexual behavior – for gender-confused individuals’ suicidal tendencies.
"This is the kind of [expletive] that causes people to go home and commit suicide,” Lhuillier insisted. “[Expletive] like this is the reason that the Church has no power in 2018 – because they are so worried about the wrong things. I know drag queens and transsexuals that can pray you out of sickness faster and some of these preachers that collect your love offerings every Sunday."
His attack went on to bash churches that do not condone or support the LGBTQ lifestyle, assuring his Facebook following in his rant – which has more than 100,000 views – that he would have stood up to the pastor and given him a piece of his mind if he was called out for dressing like the opposite sex.
"I would have turned that church clean out – do you hear me!!!!!!!!!” Lhuillier continued. “It's time for us to stand up for what we believe and stand in our truth and walk away from these ministries that bash who we are. Too many illegitimate relationships have been created trying to conform to a mold you were never meant to fit. I have a great deal of respect for the house of God, but I wish upon wishes upon wishes that had been me. The city of Chicago would never forget my name!"
The other side of the story …
In the face of Lhuillier’s social media tirade, evidence of Rocquemore’s forewarning that such gender-crossing behavior was not acceptable in God’s sanctuary can be seen in a video recording of the entire church service.
“Rocquemore's public rebuke of the member begins after about 25 minutes of spirited praise and worship,” CP’s Leonardo Blair noted. “He also prefaced the rebuke with comments about biblical standards of holiness.”
The pastor made it clear that his church only abides by God’s Word – and does not cater to the ungodly and harmful behavior pushed and promoted through the LGBT agenda.
"The presence of the Lord is here ... if you stop believing – standing for something – you will fall for anything, and God can't move the way He wants to because of the standard,” Rocquemore preached from the pulpit Sunday night before rebuking the woman-clad man, as seen a full recording of the Sunday night service on the church’s Facebook page. “He set a standard. Stand by him – even if it costs you friends – because you'll always be approved by heaven. I'm at a point in my life where I'd rather heaven be pleased with me than people [who] speak to me. Speaking to me don't bother or stop where I'm going.”
Before the pastor asked the man dressed like a female to stand up from his seat and walk to the church’s aisle, he warned the congregation to guard their minds from Satan’s deception.
"Can you leave my church and go put on man clothes?" Rocquemore asked the cross-dressed man "And don't come here like that no more."
After the pastor told the young gender-confused man to dress according to his biological sex, one congregant yelled out, “Thank you, Jesus!” – which can be heard in the video.
The pastor then explained to his congregation his biblical reasoning for kicking the cross-dressing church member out of the sanctuary.
"I hold a standard in here,” Rocquemore asserted from the pulpit after the man left. “Whatever you do on the outside is your business, but I will not let drag queens come in here. And if you're gonna come in here, you're gonna come in here dressed like a man … If you're a man, dress like a man. If you're a woman, dress like a woman. I'm not going to allow it. My salvation is more important, and God is holding me accountable … You will not be wearing weaves and heels and fooling people up in here."
Dousing the social media flames
Rocquemore also addressed the issue on social media – attempting to calm the rage against him and his church for being “intolerant” of those adhering to the LGBT lifestyle.
“In a follow-up response to those criticizing his rebuke of the young man, Rocquemore explained that the young man has been a member of his church for several months and had expressed a desire to reflect manhood as expressed in the Bible,” Blair noted. “As a part of his agreement in joining the church, Rocquemore said, the young man said he would abide by the rules of the church. He said that the church had also been working privately with him and warned him several times about dressing appropriately for church.”
The pastor was unapologetic for kicking the gender-confused man out of his church – stressing that freely displaying sin in God’s house of worship – regardless of what kind of sin – is simply not tolerated.
"He was not put out the church because he was gay,” Rocquemore impressed on his personal Facebook page. “First of all, I don't bash nothing. I don't separate sin. Sin is sin. There is no need to bash one or the other if you're preaching the Word."
It was also emphasized that the young man was only held to the same set of biblical standards that the rest of his congregants were expected to uphold – bringing attention to the fact that the gender-confused congregant blatantly refused to abide by and listen to warnings he had given him multiple times.
"When you join my church, all the rules and regulations is told to you then,” Rocquemore pointed out. “If you ever slip up [on the rules], we would still take you privately and go over them again. [In] this particular situation, this young man was told several times in private. I went to him personally myself."
He made it clear that the cross-dressing man openly challenged him at church by repeatedly coming back dressed as a female, and something had to be done to stand up for the integrity of the church and God’s Word.
“Rocquemore said he warned him about the church rules and told him he couldn't ‘dress like a female’ in church – [and] he verbally agreed to follow the church's rules – but he still continued dressing like a woman,” Blair recounted. “On Sunday night – when he challenged the pastor publicly during the worship service – Rocquemore said he was forced to rebuke him publicly.”
The pastor said he merely followed up Sunday night by not letting the cross-dressing man defiantly and blatantly break the church’s standard of conduct.
"He challenged me publicly, and I challenged him back publicly,” Rocquemore explained. “I asked the young man to leave. There was no security taking him out ... ‘Sir, can you please change clothes?’"