A pastor has lost his job after his church sign along the road in Weed, California went viral.
Up until Saturday, Pastor Justin Hoke led Trinity Bible Presbyterian Church in a rural town near the foot of Mt. Shasta in the far northern reaches of California. He decided to put a message on his church’s readerboard that quickly drew a massive backlash, including from many members of his own congregation, according to CBN News.
The sign, posted on Facebook, stated: "Bruce Jenner is still a man. Homosexuality is still sin. The culture may change. The Bible does not."
A week after the message was put up, a “Shastina Love Rally” took place outside the church, which used to be called the Lake Shastina Bible Church, according to The Siskiyou Daily News. Protesters held up rainbow flags and signs with messages that ranged from “Love>Hate” to “Jesus had 2 dads and he turned out fine.”
Hoke commented that, “The response we’re receiving from this sign proves that it was posted way too late. If a conservative mountain farming community is no longer a safe place to call sin, sin, then is anywhere in this country still safe for real Christians?”
Two days later, someone vandalized the sign and stole some of the letters. The pastor patched it up and recreated the message.
Then on Saturday, Hoke announced that he had stepped down from being pastor of the church after one of the two elders threatened to quit and most of the members said they would leave the church if he didn’t resign.
In a Facebook post late Sunday night, Hoke said people have reached out to him to see if he needs “physical or monetary” help, but he has refused. He simply asked for prayer “that God would open more doors for me to preach the gospel.”
In other California news, the new governor's wife has made it clear that she does not want to be referred to as the state's first "lady."