Christian Leaders React To Illinois Church’s Decision To Consider Drag Queen As Leader

Isaac Simmons as "Penny Cost"
A screenshot of a video showing Isaac Simmons in his drag queen persona known as Penny Cost. |

An Illinois church considered having an openly gay man who is also a drag queen serve as their pastor. Here's what Christian Theologians Al Mohler and Ken Ham have to say.

In his "The Briefing" podcast on Wednesday, Albert Mohler called the consideration "doctrinal annihilation."

He also condemned the church's promotion of Isaac Simmons, calling it "an intentional refutation and revolt against the very order of creation that God has provided."

"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 said.

Mohler also pointed out that there are no two opposing stances over Simmons' appointment as a church leader. Rather, what is taking place is a clash between two religions.

"Those two different religions cannot possibly continue to exist in one church or in one denomination," he said. "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."

Isaac Simmons, Who is he?

Isaac Simmons, a student at Illinois Wesleyan, has been known to be involved in online worship as his drag queen persona, Ms. Penny Cost.

News of Simmons and his clergy candidacy comes as many conservatives in the UMC are reportedly planning to exit the denomination. Earlier this year, a group of theologically conservative United Methodists announced the creation of the Global Methodist Church.

In an interview with CBS News, Simmons said he wasn't expecting to be approved for clergy candidacy, given the UMC's official stance against homosexuality, same-sex marriage.

"My faith and my understanding of God calls me to be a part of that," Simmons said in the interview, "to be a part of that change-making and to be a part of creating spaces where everyone."

Ken Ham Also Aired His Piece

Commenting on the 'prayer' clip of Simmons posted online, Ham said that the claims made have nothing to do with Christianity.

"It's a form of paganism, certainly nothing to do with Christianity," Ham examined. "'She' [actually he] needs to read the first of the Ten Commandments: You shall have no other gods before me." (Exodus 20:3)

Ham also noted that the cultural divide between what is Christian and not is growing wider.

Conservatives Splits

According to Global Methodist Church spokesperson Keith Boyette, UMC leadership has shown "an inability to defend its principles" on LGBT matters.

He explained that "in the United States, particularly, some bishops, clergy, and churches are operating in open defiance to the teachings of the United Methodist Church."

Boyette argued that "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," he said.

The UMC must still approve an amicable separation proposal at General Conference. Adam Hamilton, a United Methodist megachurch pastor, predicted that there could be "between 3,400 and 7,500 less churches" that will leave the UMC.