In case you haven’t heard yet, Leftists and LGBT activist are not happy with churches that preach the Gospel. Pastor Justin Hoke has gained nationwide notoriety for posting a message to his church sign which read, “Bruce Jenner is still a man. Homosexuality is still a sin. The culture may change. The Bible does not.” Cue LGBT tears and Leftist gnashing of teeth, and, of course, the requisite protesting which ensued.
The thing is, this sign isn’t even that inflammatory, by Christian standards. It is simply wrong think. The LGBT lobby can brook no resistance, no matter how small or backwater the source. It is exactly the fact, in this case, that shifting cultural consensus has more to do with this protest than the Bible’s intolerant stance on the immutability of sex.
Justin Hoke stood up to the protesters, at one point vowing to keep up the sign until the protest ended. I was proud of this stance. But on Saturday Pastor Hoke announced that he would be leaving his position as pastor at Trinity Bible Presbyterian Church. In his own words, Pastor Hoke makes it clear that an Elder in his church denounced him with the claim that many of the families in the church would leave. These families would only stay if Pastor Hoke resigned.
He resigned. I am not proud of this stance. I’m sure Hoke was moved by some sense of propriety, solidarity with his church, and perhaps the willingness to be made the martyr. I am certain he was trying to be a peace maker, and noble. But, I think this decision is misguided.
He stood up to the bullies on the outside of his church, but couldn’t find it in himself to stand up to the bullies on the inside. Why the dissonance? Why not fight them both? Instead, Hoke capitulated.
Jesus said that a house divided upon itself cannot stand. In just such a fashion, this church decided to collaborate with the LGBT and Leftists, rather than be torn apart by sound doctrine. Would that it had been otherwise.
I propose that this church drop the words “trinity” and “bible” from its name. Just a thought.
But, this is why the Church loses. It is ashamed of winning. And, it is filled with insurgents. Too many times our brethren go about polishing their own armor and killing our own wounded. Our Christians are not willing to be divided from the culture, face ridicule, sacrifice status. And, their are fewer and fewer each year. When the church loses the “tang of otherness” it has lost the only thing that makes it worth investigating.
In a recent survey most pastors said that preaching on cultural issues was very important. Most of them also said they wouldn’t dare. Apparently an offended congregation is not a very generous one. Teaching God’s truth will get you fired, even in a Presbyterian church. Its a matter of risk versus reward, and many pastors have come to believe that the return on investment is too small.