Church Warns Congregation Not To Read Story About Anti-Gay Pastor Caught Using Grindr

On Monday, anti-gay Reverend Matthew Makela, a pastor at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Midland, Michigan, was exposed as a hypocrite for preaching against homosexuality and gay marriage while secretly chatting with men on the gay hookup/dating app Grindr.

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Today, the Senior Pastor of St. John’s, Reverend Daniel Kempin, posted an open letter to his fellow congregants on the church’s website warning them to avoid visiting “malicious” websites just seeking to harm the disgraced pastor’s reputation, even if they seek to defend his reputation.

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Reverend Daniel Kempin writes “the details of sin that have been kept confidential are being posted online by those who seek to do harm to the Makela family and to St. John’s. This is taking an already difficult situation and making it even more painful… The facebook pages associated with St. John’s have been taken down in an attempt to remove the opportunity for malicious posters to have access to St. John’s members…”

“If you click on a website to see, or respond to what is being said–even in a positive way–you are only rewarding those who are trying to shame the Makelas,” he continues.

“I write this to you to warn you that you may be confronted with the details of the sin, and to remind you that sin is never pretty,” writes Kempin. “Don’t panic…Don’t respond…Be patient and trust God. This too shall pass.”

When someone stands at the pulpit and preaches hate and intolerance, in this case about homosexuality, we feel it is our duty to expose them as hypocrites especially when their words of hate can inflict emotional and psychological harm to those listening.

We can only begin to love and treat each other as equals when we stop listening to the hateful rhetoric passed down from one generation to the next, and begin to think for ourselves and see that our differences make us unique and beautiful.

Read the full letter below:

Dear members of St. John’s,

It is my grief to inform you that Pastor Makela announced his resignation as a pastor of St. John’s through a letter that was read in worship on Sunday, May 17. Pastor has acknowledged that there was sin and repentance, and I have testified that there is indeed forgiveness through the same Lord who forgives all our sins. Nevertheless, it is an end of our time together in ministry, and we ask for your continued prayers and support for the Makela family.

To make matters worse, though, the details of sin that have been kept confidential are being posted online by those who seek to do harm to the Makela family and to St. John’s. This is taking an already difficult situation and making it even more painful.

I write this to you to warn you that you may be confronted with the details of the sin, and to remind you that sin is never pretty. The facebook pages associated with St. John’s have been taken down in an attempt to remove the opportunity for malicious posters to have access to St. John’s members, but the internet and age of communication being what it is, I have no way of guaranteeing that you will not come across this information in some way.

A few thoughts on how to proceed:
-Don’t panic. This changes nothing. Matt is still forgiven and he is still loved, and we will do what we can to stand by him and the family as they face this spiteful attack of shame. God is bigger than this and will see us through.

-Don’t respond. Those who are trying to shake up the congregation are doing so, at least in part, to generate traffic to their website. If you click on a website to see, or respond to what is being said–even in a positive way–you are only rewarding those who are trying to shame the Makelas.

-Please know that the leadership of St. John’s will be forthright with any information the members need to have. However, we do not intend to use the internet as the primary means of communication at this point.

-Be patient and trust God. This too shall pass.

In the meantime consider the advice of scripture: “Be very careful, then, how you live, not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity because the days are evil.”

See you in Church,

-Pastor Kempin