During a church service, a pastor called a parishioner out for cross-dressing. The pastor asked the man, who was dressed like a woman, to leave the church and “go put on man clothes.”
“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,” Pastor Antonio Rocquemore said to the crossdresser in front of the congregation.
Support of Crossdresser Floods Internet
Rocquemore is the pastor of Power House International Ministries in Chicago, Illinois. There has been no shortage of comments circulating on social media about Rocquemore’s comments to the man. Several are calling into question the efficacy and the Christ-like nature of asking a person to stand up in front of everyone and then calling out their problem.
One critic, Christian James Lhuillier, shared the video of the young man being called out in a very pointed post on his Facebook page. (Please note the language used in the post may be offensive to some.) Lhuillier’s thoughts can be summarized in this excerpt:
In a place that is supposed to be a place of change a place of deliverance whatever you want to call it why would you destroy someone in front of a room full of people. This is the kind of bull**** that causes people to go home and commit suicide. Sh** like this is the reason that the church has no power in 2018 because they are so worried about the wrong things.
In a Facebook live video to his congregants, Rocquemore discussed the incident and attempted to clarify what happened.
Rocquemore explained the young man he addressed is not, as some people claimed, “a stranger off the street.” Instead, he is a “full member” of the church. Additionally, the man was not asked to leave because he was gay, as some people claimed. Rocquemore said he felt no need to call the man out for homosexuality because “sin in sin. There’s no need to bash one or the other if you’re preaching the word.”
Addressing several other claims made by critics on social media, Rocquemore said the man was not asked to leave and never come back. Rather, he was asked to go change and come back when he was wearing men’s clothing.
Rocquemore spent a few minutes explaining that when someone joins the church, all the rules of the church are explained to that person. There are certain rules concerning modesty that women are asked to adhere to at Power House. For instance, females who join the church are told not to wear leggings to church.
Crossdresser Knew the Rules of the Church
As for as this young man, Rocquemore said he told the pastor he wanted to “sit under a man” and be shown how to be a man. He agreed to follow the rules of the church, which Rocquemore made clear included dressing as a man. When the young man “slipped” by dressing like a woman, Rocquemore said he addressed the young man’s sin “several times in private.”
The young man was “doing good” for a long time, but he slipped again into cross-dressing. The video of Rocquemore confronting the young man about his dressing habits publicly was recorded at a Sunday evening service on November 11, 2018. Rocquemore explained, “He challenged me publicly. Now, I challenged him back publicly.”
Some critics speculate the pastor asked security guards to escort the young man out of the church, but Rocquemore says there was no security involved, nor was the young man “kicked out” of the church.
Rocquemore emphasized that he holds the same standards with everyone in his church, including his own family members, who he admits to having called out before. The pastor believes he’s done everything he can to communicate the rules and then enforce them equitably. “If you don’t like the rules of any house, don’t go there!” he says emphatically.
Below, you can watch the video of Rocquemore confronting the young man. What do you think? Was Rocquemore right or wrong to handle the incident this way?