In the wake of an appearance on the HBO drag show, We’re Here, the Rev. Craig Duke was relieved of his duties as pastor of Newburgh United Methodist Church. In a letter sent by Mitch Gieselman, superintendent of the South and Southwest Districts of the Indiana UMC Conference, Gieselman writes:
There has been a great deal of information circulating in recent weeks concerning the status of Rev. Craig Duke in the wake of his appearance on the HBO production “We’re Here.” Much of that information has been less than completely accurate. My hope is to clarify the situation as best I’m able.
The fact that anyone who calls himself a minister of God would even partake in such a disgusting act of rebellion against God, and do it so blatantly, is baffling. That an organization that refers to itself as a church would even hire such a man who would do such a thing is maddening. Why even bother pretending to be a church? Seriously, what’s the point?
The letter continues,
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No single resolution will be satisfactory to all. I’ve received numerous calls and emails that are highly critical of Craig’s actions, and I’ve received numerous messages of support for him. In such a polarized climate, our main intent is to foster an environment in which both NUMC and the Duke family can move forward in grace.
My suggestion to anyone in that so-called congregation called or emailed to express criticism, just stop it. You’re obviously repulsed by it, and rightly so–but that church is a harlot. She is not the bride of Christ. Get out. Get saved, and get into a Bible-believing church.
And for those who called to express support, there is hope for you too. Christ died on the cross bearing the wrath of God for sinners like you and me, and if you’ll repent and believe in Him, you too can be saved. And when you’re truly born again, you too will be repulsed by the sin that God hates. You’ll even be repulsed by your own sin. It is the mercy of God.