Michigan Pastor Matthew Makela, who has publicly rallied against gay marriage, has resigned after messages sent from his profile on gay hook-up app Grindr were revealed, where he told other men he was a “bi-curious guy” who “loved making out naked” and cuddling.
The Rev. Matthew Makela made the announcement on Sunday in a letter to the congregation at St. John’s Lutheran Church and School in Midland, where he served for 10 years, after the gay and lesbian entertainment website Queerty uncovered the messages.
His resignation became effective Monday.
Makela has made comments over the years regarding his anti-gay views.
In November 2014, a fellow Midland Pastor, Dan Dickerson, wrote an article that explained the how the church views homosexuality as a sin that can be overcome with God.
“A sexual attraction to the same sex is 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 by replacement with working hard, telling the truth and moderation in appetite.”
Before deleting his comment after Queerty published this story, Makela wrote in the comments section that he agreed with Dickerson and compared homosexuality to alcoholism.
“Thank you, Pastor Dickerson, for believing the Word of God and loving people enough to reveal God’s will for their lives and also His plan of salvation for all believe in Jesus…I love people who have same sex attraction, and so does God. The proof is in the sacrifice He made for all of us who sin…We don’t tell a person born with tendencies to abuse alcohol to keep on giving in to his innate desires because he can’t help it. We try to help him in his struggle.”
However, according to screenshots obtained by Queerty, Makela was not “taking the marriage union with the utmost seriousness” behind the locked screen of his smart phone.
Instead, the married father of five was contacting men on the Grindr in order to meet and perform sexual activities, while saying he had a girlfriend and two kids.
Makela reportedly confirmed the authenticity of the screenshots to Queerty, but only added that he had resigned from his position at the church after the story surfaced, and that his wife and senior pastor had been made aware of his extracurricular activities.
Only a month ago, an antigay lawmaker was found on Grindr as well.
In a letter posted on the St. John’s church website, the church’s senior pastor, the Rev. Daniel Kempin tells church-goers that Makela “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.”
He goes on to say, “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.”
Makela’s bio was removed from the church’s website Monday afternoon, his listed phone number disconnected, and the website was taken down Wednesday afternoon to avoid any negative backlash.