Church Responds To Anti-Gay Reverend Being Outed On Gay Dating App

05/20/2015 02:33 pm ET | Updated Feb 02, 2016

A Michigan pastor who'd previously expressed anti-gay sentiments resigned this week after his profile on Grindr was revealed.

Matthew Makela resigned from the St. John’s Lutheran Church in Midland, Michigan, shortly after the website Queerty published photos and texts on Monday revealing Makela's activity on Grindr, an app where men can seek out same-sex relationships and encounters.

Makela confirmed that the Grindr profile was his in an email exchange with Queerty, but declined to comment further. The former pastor did not immediately return a request for comment from The Huffington Post.

Queerty, which said it had received the screenshots from an anonymous source, has listed several examples of Makela making derogatory remarks about gays and transgender people.

In November, for example, another pastor wrote a letter to a local newspaper that described same-sex attraction as "a sinful temptation to be resisted and overcome by God’s grace and power, just as a temptation to steal or lie or overeat must be resisted and overcome." Makela posted a comment to the paper's website in which he endorsed the other pastor's views and compared homosexuality to alcoholism. The comment has since been deleted.

In another instance, Makela wrote in a March Facebook post that "the transgender movement is going to assist opportunistic sickos in preying upon children and others." That post, too, has since been deleted.

In a post on the St. John's website -- which was no longer working as of Wednesday afternoon -- senior pastor Daniel Kempin responded to Makela's resignation. The full text was quoted by Gawker before the church's website crashed.

"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," the statement said, apparently referring to the Queerty story. "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."

Kempin urged his congregation to avoid reading stories about Makela.

"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," the statement said.

The church did not immediately respond to a HuffPost request for comment.

Makela is only the latest in a long series of anti-gay clergy members and politicians to be outed. In 2010, Lutheran pastor Tom Brock was put on leave from his Minneapolis church after Lavender magazine reported that he attended a support group for people trying to rid themselves of same-sex attraction.

Brock had previously suggested that God disrupted a gathering of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America with a tornado because of the church's liberal policy on gay clergy members.

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