Antonio Rocquemore, Pastor of Power House International Ministries in Chicago, publicly rebuked a member of his church dressed in drag and then asked him to leave the service. Not surprisingly the LGBTQ community is up in arms about this.
During the service the Pastor made the following statement just before calling out the young man in drag:
“if you stop believing, standing for something, you will fall for anything. And God can’t move the way he wants to because of the standard. He set a standard. Stand by him, even if it costs you friends because you’ll always be approved by heaven. I’m at a point in my life where I’d rather heaven be pleased with me than people speak to me…”
He then pointed to the young men and made the following statement to him:
“Can you step out into this aisle. Please. Can you leave my church and go put on man clothes. And don’t come dressed like that no more. I hold a standard in here. Whatever you do on the outside is your business, but I will not let drag queens come in here. And if you’re gonna come in here you’re gonna come in here dressed like a man … If you’re a man, dress like a man. If you’re a woman, dress like a woman. I’m not going to allow it … you will not be wearing weaves and heels and fooling people up in here.”
You can view a partial cell phone video of what happened here.
After many false accusations against him regarding his public rebuke of the young man dressed in drag, Pastor Rocquemore, posted a video reply to all his critics clarifying why did he what he did and reemphasizing that he had no regrets about doing it.
In that clarification he makes the following facts known.
The young man in question was a member of his church. Not some random stranger off the street. The Pastor also makes clear the when coming to join the church as a member the young man told the Pastor he wanted to learn how to be a man. The Pastor made clear to him the rules of the church including dress codes for both men and women for the services. He told him he could not dress as a woman while attending their services but what he did outside of the service was between him and God.
This Pastor even tried to love on this young man and gave him some of his own money. The young man showed up in women’s attire a few times after joining and the Pastor quietly pulled him aside and told him he needed to stop doing this. The young man finally stopped wearing women’s clothing for a period of time.
Someone, outside or inside the church, encouraged this young man to defy the Pastor by wearing full drag again to a service. This time after several quiet and private admonishments, the Pastor felt that he needed to take a public stand against what this young man was doing as he was challenging the Pastor’s position on men wearing women’s clothing.
You can watch Pastor Rocquemore’s full video reply here.
Now that we have the full truth about what happened in this church let’s look at what the Bible says about this.
The Bible Condemns Transvestism
In Deuteronomy 22:5 the Scriptures tell us:
“The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.”
So, we can see here that God’s unchanging moral law makes it crystal clear, beyond any reasonable doubt, that a man is never to wear that which pertains to woman or try to change his appearance in anyway to look like a woman. The same goes for women – a woman is forbidden from changing her appearance to look like a man.
Deuteronomy 22:5 then is a clear and concise condemnation of transvestism, cross-dressers and transsexuals going through sex changes.
But the Bible Forbids Us from Eating Shellfish and it Condones Slavery!
Among the myriad of comments on line attacking this pastor we will see people dismissing passages like Deuteronomy 22:5 on the basis that the Bible condones slavery and it commands us not to eat shellfish or wear mixed fabrics. If I had a dime for every person, some sadly even professing Christians, who throws this tired old argument at me I would be a rich man. This is an argument that comes from a complete and utter ignorance of the Scriptures.
The goals of those who use this argument are two-fold. The first goal is to say “Well you don’t follow all the laws of the Old Testament; therefore, you cannot use any Old Testament passages as a basis for morality.” A second goal in this attack is to discredit the Bible as a source of moral truth on the basis that it allows for things that our society considers to be immoral like slavery (Leviticus 25:39-46) or forcing a woman to marry her rapist (Deuteronomy 22:28–29).
I have written several articles and even done a You Tube video refuting these false arguments which attempts to either dismiss all Old Testament laws or even the entire Bible on these grounds. See these links below:
What is the distinction between the Moral, Ceremonial and Civil laws of the Old Testament?
What are the Moral Laws of God in the Old Testament?
Why Christians shouldn’t be ashamed of Slavery in the Bible
Shellfish, Mixed Fabrics And Slavery – Oh My!
The short answer to these false arguments against Biblical authority and specifically the authority of the moral laws of the Old Testament is as follows.
God gave moral laws all throughout the Old and New Testaments. He gave moral laws before Abraham or Moses were ever born and before he instituted the nation of Israel as a theocracy. But when he gave the new nation of Israel it’s laws, he repeated moral laws he had given before and also gave new moral laws as well. In addition to his moral laws, God also instituted civil laws for the nation of Israel which were mostly the punishment or restitution to made for the breaking of his moral laws. He also instituted ceremonial laws which included laws about the priesthood, tithes, festivals, clothing, diet and the sacrificial system.
In the New Testament with the coming of Christ the ceremonial laws are put away because Christ is the fulfillment of God’s law. He was the sacrifice that believers had always looked for. The civil laws were also done away with because those were given for the physical nation of Israel and not the spiritual nation called the Church. God would eventually dissolve what was left of Israel within a century of Christ’s death the Jews would be dispersed throughout the world.
So, the point is that Deuteronomy 22:5 is moral law that is still standing today.
But while Deuteronomy 22:5 could stand on its own the Apostle Paul repeats God’s condemnation of men appearing like or acting like women in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10:
“9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”
But Jesus Did Not Condemn the Adulterous Woman
In the Gospel of John 8:3-11 we read the story of the woman taken in adultery. The scriptures tell us she was found “in the very act” (John 8:3). The Pharisees wanting to see what Jesus would do threw her before him and reminded him of Moses’s law that commanded that she be stoned. But Jesus said to them “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her” (John 8:7). And then when all her accusers left by one by one Jesus finally tells the woman “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more” (John 8:11).
This passage is used by many unbelievers and even professing Christians to say unless we are sinless, we as Christians have no business passing judgement on other’s sins. But again, such an argument is based on an ignorance about the teachings of the Scriptures.
Some have pointed to the fact that the Pharisees had not brought the man whom she was caught in the act of adultery with to be stoned as well. The Bible commanded that both the man and woman caught in the act of adultery must be killed (Deuteronomy 22:22). So, they were not completely following the law by letting the man go and only taking the woman to be judged.
But aside from their half following of Moses law, Christ was trying to demonstrate two important principles to them. He first was showing his authority as he had previously stated that “that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins” (Matthew 9:6). Secondly, in exercising his authority to forgive sins he was demonstrating to them mercy and forgiveness as he commanded us all to have toward each other:
“For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you” – Matthew 6:14
Pastor Rocquemore demonstrated Christ’s example perfectly toward this young man. He tried to quietly address the issue with this young man. He forgave him on multiple occasions but in the end the young man became more defiant than ever and the Pastor had to take action. People often will cite the first part of the story of the woman taken in adultery but they miss Christ’s final words to that woman “go, and sin no more”. This was exactly what this Pastor did when he told that young man “go put on man clothes. And don’t come dressed like that no more”.
But Doesn’t the Bible Tell Us Not to Judge?
There are a lot of comments by those detractors of what this Pastor did stating that what he did was a violation of God’s prohibition on Christians judging other Christians.
Jesus said “Judge not, that ye be not judged” in Matthew 7:1, but John 7:24 Jesus also said “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment”. The Apostle Paul said “Let us not therefore judge one another any more …” in Romans 14:13 but he also said in 1 Corinthians 5:12 “For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?”.
So, we can clearly see that both Jesus Christ and the Apostle Paul are condemning one type of judging but commanding another type of judging. What they are condemning is hypocritical judging or engaging in judgement over those whom we have no authority to do so.
In 1 Corinthians 5:1-2 we read of a serious situation happening in the Church of Corinth:
“It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife. 2 And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.”
So, at the Corinthian church a man had his father’s wife (his step mother) and the church was proud of this! This is no different than many so-called churches today that are “proud” of their gay members, transsexual or transvestite members. But unlike so many false Christian churches today the Apostle Paul did not tell them they were right in not judging this couple living in open immorality, but instead he called on them to JUDGE this couple as he had already done before he arrived.
In 1 Corinthians 5:3-7 Paul gives the church the remedy for dealing with those who try to enter the assembly whilst being in open sin against God:
“3 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, 4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? 7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: 8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”
Paul literally commands that the Church gather together as an assembly and publicly hand this person living in open immorality over to Satan. He commands them to “purge” such people from the assembly of believers.
The Apostle Paul then goes on to clarify for them those whom they are to judge as a church and those who they cannot judge as a church in 1 Corinthians 5:9-13:
“9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. 11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolator, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.
12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? 13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.”
Paul makes it clear that that righteous judgement has to do with those whose claim to be brothers in Christ but are proudly living in some type of sin. We are to having nothing to do with such wicked professing believers and we are to put away such people from the assembly of God.
So, we can see based upon the clear teaching of the Scriptures that what Pastor Rocquemore did in this instance was righteous judgment according to the Word of God.
But Doesn’t the Bible say “Come as you are”
Another common argument in the comments condemning Pastor Rocquemore’s actions toward the man dressed in drag at his church is that his actions violated the Biblical principle that we can come to God as sinners. In other words, we can come to God as we are.
The Bible tells us in Romans 5:8 “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”. It also tells us in Revelation 22:17 “Come! Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely”.
The problem with this argument is that it mixes apples and oranges. The “apple” in this case is coming to God and taking freely of the water of life by calling on Christ for salvation. The “orange” in this case is fellowship within the assembled church.
God absolutely takes us as we are, wicked sinners. But we cannot remain in this state. If we do remain in sin then we prove we never truly accepted the salvation he so freely offers us.
The Scriptures tell us this:
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” – Romans 6:1-2
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17
It is absolutely Biblically true that we can come to God as we are – wicked sinners. In fact, there is no other way we could come as we cannot cleanse our own sin, only Christ’s shed blood on the cross and the work of the Holy Spirit within us can do this. But if we truly believe, then our minds will be renewed. We come as we are but we cannot and will not remain the same if we are truly in Christ.
While God invites all to come as they are for salvation, he only invites those who are not as they were, those who are new creatures in Christ, into to the assembled church.
This Crisis is the Result of the Seeker-Sensitive Church Movement
The fact that it is even debatable as to what this Pastor did in openly rebuking and expelling this man from his church is a direct testament to the massive damage that has been done to many churches by the seeker-sensitive church movement.
The false philosophy of the seeker-sensitive church takes God’s command to the Church to preach the Gospel to the world (Matthew 28:19 & Mark 16:15) and uses it to cancel out all other commands given to the Church.
God did more than just command the Church to spread the Gospel. In 1 Corinthians 5:1-13 God commanded that the holiness of the church assembly be kept above all other concerns and that those who would live in sinful lifestyles while trying to be part of the assembly be expelled from the assembly. In Ephesians 4:11-15 we read that a core purpose of the church is “the perfecting of the saints” which means helping Christians to learn the doctrines of the faith and apply these doctrines to their lives. And in 2 Timothy 4:1-5 God commands that the Church is to “Preach the word” and “reprove, rebuke, exhort” those in assembly.
The modern seeker-sensitive churches cast aside all these other commands given to the church in order to make their churches more appealing to the outside world and unbelievers in their midst. They refuse to preach against sin, to rebuke those who sin in their assembly and to keep the church only for those who are new creatures in Christ.
The Bible tells us:
“Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” – James 4:4
These seeker-sensitive churches value friendship with the world and being loved by the world more than faithfulness to God’s commands to keep the holiness of his Church. As a result, these compromising churches find themselves filled with people who are not new creatures in Christ.
As Christian Churches we may disagree on various doctrines. But standing for the holiness of the church cannot be one of them. We must stand together on this.
A War on Christianity Has Begun
As Christians we must realize that within our culture a war is being made on Christianity. Just a few days ago the following news was reported in an article on CBNNews.com entitled “Incoming Democratic Congress Has Hobby Lobby in Their Sights, Hoping to Force Abortion Funding“:
“Having just won back control of the House in this year’s midterm elections, Democrats now have their sights set on an issue near and dear to people of faith: the sanctity of life.
As they prepare to take over the chamber, 50 Democrats have agreed to co-sponsor legislation that would effectively cripple the 25-year-old Religious Freedom Restoration Act. That brings the total number of Democratic House legislators supporting the bill to 172.
According to The Washington Examiner, H.R. 3222 would make it so LGBTQ rights and other progressive causes would take precedence over religious freedoms.
In addition, supporters say the bill would reverse the Supreme Court’s rulings in the Hobby Lobby and Masterpiece Cakeshop cases.”
The enemies of true Christianity are trying to force church ministries and Christian owned businesses to provide abortion services as part of their health insurance for their employees. Homosexuals purposefully go into Christian bakeries, florists and wedding photographers to set them up for lawsuits. And now we see transvestites forcing their perverted actions and beliefs on local churches. I have no doubt that if not in this case that in the future we will see homosexuals suing churches to force them to allow them to be members.
Those who do this believe they fight for civil rights and social justice. But God grants no such right to live in these wicked ways or do these wicked things. Thus, they stand in opposition against God and his Word. Many falsely compare the fight for equal treatment for those of different races in the 1960’s with the fight now for LGBTQ rights. But the difference is that one was based on race and the other is based on one’s actions. These two things are as different as night and day. Those who falsely believe they will force by the power of civil law full acceptance of the LGBTQ community on Bible believing Christians are in for a very rude awakening.
We know what the Scripture tell us when civil authorities pass laws which contradict God’s laws:
“Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.” – Acts 5:29
Christians have been dying for centuries for their belief and adherence to the Word of God and now will be no different than then. When the time comes, the true believers in Christ will be willing to lose their businesses and even in their lives for the cause of following the Word of God. But as Churches and other Christian organizations continue to be taken to court many Christians and non-Christian alike in America will grow tired of this. And the fight for the soul of our nation may boil to a point we have not seen since the Civil War.