A pastor’s decision to pray for President Trump in front of his congregation said his action left him at an “increased security risk.”
Last week, pastor David Platt of a Northern Virginia megachurch made a decision to pray for President Trump during a surprise visit.
“I was immediately called backstage and told that the president of the United States was on his way to the church, would be there in a matter of minutes, and would like for us to pray for him,” Platt wrote on the congregation’s website. “I immediately thought about my longing to guard the integrity of the gospel in our church.”
Platt made it clear in the same blog post that he did not endorse President Trump by praying for him, saying it stemmed from 1 Timothy 2:1-6. “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,” he said.
According to Fox News, Platt later said at a Southern Baptist pastor’s conference this past Sunday that his security was severely threatened just by praying for the president.
“I somehow managed to be labeled in Washington both a far-right-wing conservative and a far-left-wing liberal in less than 24 hours,” Platt said at the conference. “That is not easy to do.”
Platt said that his decision to pray for the president delighted some people while angering others. He has since opted for meekness by listening to those who disagree with him rather than defending himself.
“Sunday, a week ago, I made a lot of people glad with the decision I made, and I made some other people mad. So you know what I did? I turned around Monday and I took the people who were glad and made them mad,” he said. “Albeit, unintentionally, I successfully ensured that no one would be happy with me.”
“If you don’t ever have conversations with Bible-believing Christians who have different views on politics and on positions that you hold, including people who might not think it wise to bring the president on stage in a church gathering, meekness may mean humbly expanding your listening to people who aren’t just like you,” he continued.
On a more theological note, Christians generally believe that every person deserves prayer, regardless of their sinfulness or station in life. That is why even some of the most conservative of Christians prayed specifically for Hillary Clinton throughout the 2016 election.
The supposed controversy over Platt’s decision to pray for the president recalls a story out of Pasadena following the 2016 election where a notoriously left-wing Episcopal church (“All Saints”) specifically opted to avoid praying for President Trump by name in fear that its very utterance would trigger members of the congregation into a mental breakdown.
“We are in a unique situation in my lifetime where we have a president-elect whose name is literally a trauma trigger to some people – particularly women and people who, because of his words and actions, he represents an active danger to health and safety,” All Saints Church Rector Mike Kinman said at the time. “Whereas before we prayed for ‘Barack, our president,’ we are now praying for ‘our president, our president-elect, and all others in authority.’ This practice will continue for at least the near future.”