I've recently written about how a bigoted sign sparked protests outside of Trinity Bible Presbyterian Church in California. Because the backlash for the sign was so severe, Justin Hoke, the creator of the sign and pastor at the church, was forced to resign, according to The LA Times.
Hoke said in a Facebook post that he " was informed that essentially all but one couple in membership would leave the church if I continued as pastor of TBPC.” Another member of the church agreed to take over pastoral responsibilities.
The sign created a lot of grief for the church, to which Hoke responded with he put the sign up too late because "a conservative mountain farming community is no longer a safe place to call sin, sin" and that he feels that there is no safe place for "real" Christians in the United States.
Despite Christians being probably one of the most protected classes in this country.
Amelia Mallory, a resident of Lake Shastina where the church is located, said that she was shocked by the sign and said that Hoke was not open to the idea of removing the sign. She also said, “Even acknowledging that we live in a more rural, and generally a more conservative area — the fact that somebody thought that that would be accepted by our community was definitely surprising.” She also organized the Shastina Love Rally mentioned in my previous post.
The rally organizers praised the congregation for being “willing to stand on their convictions.” I also praise the congregation, as I am aware of how difficult it might be to deliberate defy someone whom they trust.
It is nice to know that a small conservative community supports LGBTQ people, or at least won't tolerate homophobic language within their town or anywhere. Perhaps the congregation threatening to leave the church unless the homophobic pastor leaves is a good sign that people are realizing that homosexuality harms no one and should not be met with such hate.
h/t: The LA Times