Calif. Pastor Ousted From Church Over 'Bruce Jenner Is Still a Man' Billboard
On Saturday, Justin Hoke, former pastor of Trinity Bible Presbyterian Church in Weed, Calif., announced that he had been ousted from his position. This came days after the church erected a billboard declaring Bruce Jenner — now known as "Caitlyn" — still to be a man, and after LGBT activists vandalized the sign.
"As of today, I am no longer the pastor of Trinity Bible Presbyterian Church," Justin Hoke announced on Facebook. He recounted a four-step process of growing alienation.
"I was informed by our other elder that he felt he could no longer follow my lead as Pastor of TBPC," he began. "I was informed that essentially all but one couple in membership would leave the church if I continued as pastor of TBPC. Our other elder and the couple felt that those who left would likely return if I would leave. Our other elder was agreeable to stay and assume the pastoral responsibilities."
On Monday, he added, "I would like to add to this, I did not want to leave, I did not quit, and I was willing to stay."
Last Friday, Justin Hoke posted a photo of the church's billboard to Facebook. "Bruce Jenner is still a man. Homosexuality is still a sin. The culture may change. The Bible does not," the sign read. Hoke posted the photo with a quote from 1 Corinthians 13:6, "Love does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth."
Last Sunday, LGBT activists showed up at the church to protest. On Thursday, Hoke shared photos of the billboard having been vandalized.
Late on Sunday night, after the pastor was ousted, he posted a long message on Facebook focusing on the gospel. "We live in a time in world history where the truth of the Bible about how men can be reconciled with God has been so distorted, that while most have heard some presentation of the facts, they have not heard the true gospel," he wrote. "The gospel is the work which Jesus accomplished to redeem His people from their sins. He did this by becoming fully man and remaining fully God."
Hoke focused on theological issues, laying out the Christian doctrines of the Fall, Jesus's birth, death, and Resurrection, and how Jesus saved those who believe in Him from the just punishment for their sins, eternity in hell.
In his latest post, Hoke thanked people for their statements of support but insisted that he would not use his "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."