Southern Baptist leader Albert Mohler has denounced an Illinois church’s consideration of having a drag queen as their pastor, calling it “doctrinal annihilation.”
Hope United Methodist Church in Bloomington garnered headlines for having an openly gay man who is also a drag queen serve as a leader at their congregation, with a local UMC body advancing him as a candidate for ministry.
In a Wednesday episode of his podcast “The Briefing,” Mohler blasted the church's advancement of Isaac Simmons as “an intentional refutation and revolt against the very order of creation that God has given us, and a direct violation of the clear teachings of Scripture concerning the fact that those whom God has made as men should identify as men.”
“This is open revolt, and of course, you're going to see a division between those who are appalled by it, deeply troubled by it, deeply concerned by it and opposed to it on the one hand, and those who celebrate it and say that it's arrived far too late on the other hand,” said Mohler.
“By the time any kind of church or church body reaches this point, it has already basically embraced doctrinal annihilation. There is virtually nothing left of the historic Christian tradition.”
Mohler went on to explain that “you're looking not only at two different positions” when it came to whether Simmons should be a church leader, but rather “you're looking at two different religions.”
“Those two different religions cannot possibly continue to exist in one church or in one denomination,” he added. “Once conservatives are out of the picture in the United Methodist Church, this is only the start of where things will go in the future.”
A student at Illinois Wesleyan, Simmons has been known to be involved in online worship as his drag persona, Ms. Penny Cost, including on April 11, known as “Drag Sunday.”
In an interview with CBS News affiliate WMBD in Illinois, Simmons explained that he wasn't expecting to be approved for clergy candidacy, given the UMC’s official stance against homosexuality, noncelibate homosexual ordination and same-sex marriage.
“They’re saying this person is being called to ministry and has our approval to receive the United Methodist support financially and otherwise,” Simmons said. “My faith and my understanding of God calls me to be a part of that; to be a part of change-making and to be a part of creating spaces where everyone, regardless of their identities [or] orientations, can be and exist without even an inkling of ‘Am I welcomed here?'”
News of Simmons and his clergy candidacy comes as many conservatives in the UMC plan to exit the denomination due to many officials' failure to enforce its official teachings on LGBT issues.
Earlier this year, a group of theologically conservative United Methodists announced the creation of the Global Methodist Church, set to launch once the UMC approves an amicable separation proposal at General Conference.
Keith Boyette, spokesman for the Global Methodist Church, told The Christian Post in an earlier interview that UMC leadership has displayed “an unwillingness to uphold its teachings” on LGBT issues.
“In the United States, particularly, some bishops, clergy, and churches are operating in open defiance to the teachings of the United Methodist Church,” Boyette said. “The Church has become ungovernable as a consequence, such unchecked defiance has destroyed the integrity of the Church.”
“In light of this, theologically conservative leaders have decided to launch a new denomination that will be true to its doctrine and teachings and end this endless conflict within the United Methodist Church.”