It’s a shame when a man of faith has to explain why he wants to pray with someone, and to his church members, that makes it worse.
President Donald Trump showed up at the McClean Bible Church over the weekend in Vienna, Virginia, after the massacre in Virginia Beach that happened on Friday. The president wanted to support the community and the church pastor offered to pray with the president during Sunday service.
I understand that the nation has gone through a fundamental transformation where God and prayer are not even first or second in the way of people’s hearts and minds anymore, but I still believe in the power of prayer and the word of God, as do many of my friends and family.
When I heard that the pastor of the Bible church had been receiving negative feedback for allowing President Trump to even walk on stage, I was floored. As I said, it is a shame when the leader of the flock has to apologize or even come up with an explanation for why he wanted to pray God’s protection and direction over another human being.
Here is Pastor David Platt’s statement via Bible Church website:
That’s why, as soon as I heard this request backstage, the passage from God’s Word that came to my mind was 1 Timothy 2:1-6:”
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.”
This hurts my heart to read this, knowing that what the Pastor did was right and shouldn’t have to do this!
Based on this text, I know that it is good, and pleasing in the sight of God, to pray for the president. So in that moment, I decided to take this unique opportunity for us as a church to pray over him together. My aim was in no way to endorse the president, his policies, or his party, but to obey God’s command to pray for our president and other leaders to govern in the way this passage portrays.
I wanted to share all of this with you in part because I know that some within our church, for a variety of valid reasons, are hurt that I made this decision.
What type of membership holds the pastor accountable for “prayer?” This vexes me as my father was a pastor and I never heard anyone say “don’t pray for that person.” What world are we living in again?
This weighs heavy on my heart. I love every member of this church, and I only want to lead us with God’s Word in a way that transcends political party and position, heals the hurts of racial division and injustice, and honors every man and woman made in the image of God. So while I am thankful that we had an opportunity to obey 1 Timothy 2 in a unique way today, I don’t want to purposely ever do anything that undermines the unity we have in Christ.
I do not even know if this explanation is going to be enough for some of the church members but it is enough for me, but then again I am not a member. President Trump needs all of our prayers each and every day based on the position that he is in and the attacks that he receives from political enemies, the opposition media and others who sit in high places with evil thoughts.
I praise Pastor Platt for doing this, but I wish it wasn’t necessary.
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