A California pastor lost his church earlier this month when the congregation took issue with him for standing on biblical truth about homosexuality.
Pastor Justin Hoke had a straightforward and blunt message for the northern California community of Yreka. The message board outside his church read: "Bruce Jenner is still a man. Homosexuality is still sin. The culture may change. The Bible does not."
Homosexual activists quickly gathered to protest the message, but Hoke was undeterred – and made this remark during his message on January 6:
Hoke: "We've not been left here, beloved, to hide our light under a basket, to hide our light under a bed. Love warns. It is hatred, it is selfishness which conceals truth."
It turned out to be his last sermon at Trinity Bible Presbyterian Church. He wrote on his Facebook page that the other church elder felt he could no longer follow Hoke's leadership and that all but one couple in the church would quit if he remained in the pulpit. Hoke chose to leave.
The Facebook page for Trinity Bible Presbyterian Church includes the two following posts dated January 14:
"TBPC apparently is more invested in being a "part of the world" than in pleasing God. They take His Word with a grain of salt and have no courage to stand for His truth. There is only one couple that stood by it and I recommend that they find a new church that practices what ... is commanded of God. Actually, I advise that for the entire congregation. I am praying for all to wake up before it is too late!"
"They have fired a fine and good Christian pastor for telling the truth and expressing Christian values. How despicable!"
Dr. Richard Land of Southern Baptist Seminary says it's a sick church.
"Evidently he took a very strong and uncompromising stance on the issue of gender identity and transgenderism and homosexuality … and discovered that his church had been seduced by the neo-pagan culture of California," Land tells OneNewsNow.
Trinity Bible is hardly the first church to face this issue. Biblical sexuality has tripped up entire denominations, says the seminary president. "The whole homosexuality/transgender issue is like truth serum for the church," Land explains. "Either you're going to take a biblical stance or you're going to take the culture's stance."
The church sign was destroyed by LGBT activists a couple of days after Hoke delivered his sermon, according to a report by PulpitAndPen.org. Hoke's Facebook page includes photos of the vandalized church sign.