Justin Joplin was unsure how his church would accept him coming out as a transvestite for a Sunday morning sermon. The online service gave him the perfect element of surprise to tell his story to the congregation, as the other church staff were unprepared for what would ensue. With “Black Lives Matter” in the background, Joplin gave his coming out speech on YouTube on June 14. The video has since gained over 19,000 views.
He was unsure how his church would respond. Evidently, so were they. Five weeks later, Lorne Park Baptist Church would come to a decisive decision. After 111 votes were cast, the congregation by a vote of 58-53 decided to oust Justin Joplin as pastor. This amounts to a mere 52% of the vote. While losing his job, it seems Joplin has a future ahead of him. The apostate Baptist News Global reports that Joplin has already fielded speaking gigs at other churches.
Is this a win?
It’s hard to imagine why this church made the decision. A normal church would have ousted Joplin after or even during the sermon. But this church was a woke egalitarian church. Its stated beliefs appear as though it’s a social club. They have female pastors, and by no appearances take theology very serious. This is evident that the 53 No’s were still members enough to vote. But what of the 58 who resolved to determine that having a transvestite pastor was a bridge too far? When did they decide to act out on biblical scruples? By what standard can they justify this action and also the other ecclesiastical decisions of Lorne Park. Are they going to enact church discipline on the 53 dissenters?
These questions matter because we need to act according to the standards of God in church matters. There is little doubt these standards were deviated from long ago when they hired a woke white pastor for their church. Furthermore the church sent Joplin off using his female pronouns. Perhaps it was the informed laity that made the bulk of the 58. But what does it say about their witness to be under the guidance of wolves?
Situations like this are why we can never deviate from the ministry standards set forth in Scripture. Once we do, there is little stopping us from further deviations. I suppose, I’m wondering what stopped this church from yet another deviation. Because I hold doubts that it was for the right reasons.